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boss babe jasmyn bennett talks USED fashion and following dreams

Last month, we went in-depth about the ins and outs of conscious consumerism. This month, we wanted to focus on one of our favorite new brands, USED Styling. Behind this amazing eco-conscious wardrobe consultancy company is an equally amazing and visionary woman, our boss babe inspo, Jasmyn Bennett. We sat down for a chat with her about following her dreams, the dark side of the fashion industry and her love of used clothing. 

[Kristen]: The name of your brand is USED. What do you love about shopping used? 

[Jasmyn]: The thrill of it. I am thriving when I’m thifting. To me, there’s no feeling like finding a treasure I didn’t know I was missing in my life, just waiting for me in the bottom of a bin somewhere. I love pulling together a $30 outfit with stuff I found all over, that together looks effortless and expensive. 

Finding ways to be innovative with things that already exist is my art and the way I express myself. 

[Kristen]: Hell yes to that. And now you’ve made it your business. Tell us more about what USED does.

[Jasmyn]: USED is a sustainable personal shopping and styling company that encourages and teaches consumers to be more conscious with their clothing consumption and habits. The amount of clothing produced each year is not sustainable for the future of our planet, and we want everyone to know that each of us has a responsibility to do something about it. 

[Kristen]: Big words, woman. And do you believe our actions as consumers can actually make a difference?

[Jasmyn]: I believe we can easily make a difference. I recently learned, from the fast fashion episode of Patriot Act with Hasan Minhaj, if everyone were to purchase just one used garment per year, that could save nearly 6 lbs of carbon emissions per person per year. Considering there are over 7.5 billion people in the world, this could make a huge difference; the equivalent to about 850,000 American people’s carbon emissions for a year. 

Read more on conscious consumerism here. 

[Kristen]: Yeah, the case for buying used seems obvious faced with numbers like that. You used to work in the fashion industry--were there practices you personally saw that didn’t sit well with you?

[Jasmyn]: Yes, many. One thing that always made me uncomfortable was asking our overseas factories to rush a sample to us if the one they sent was incorrect. Sometimes they could get it to us within days, which is mind-boggling when you think about the transportation, the materials, and the labor it took to get that one sample to us as fast as (in)humanly possible.

Aside from the carbon footprint it left, I saw a human being on the other side of my email and felt sympathetic for what we were asking of them. But, it was my job, so I had to continue pushing them to get the sample finished so we could have it right away.

[Kristen]: It’s truly crazy and sad what is sacrificed in the name of fashion these days. As consumers, we really see so little of what actually happens. Was it your inside view that gave you the idea for USED?

[Jasmyn]: I can’t say there was one specific thing that gave me this idea. It was the accumulation of all my experiences, mind-opening lessons, and the influence of people I’ve loved, that got me here. For a couple of years, I knew that I wanted to own my own business and that it would somehow involve thrifted clothing. 

I was at a sustainability talk with my day-job colleagues when the universe gifted me with the thought-seed that has since become USED. I went home that night and started writing… the ideas flowed out of me.

I felt it within my whole being that this was right. This is what I wanted to give the world. 

[Kristen]: That’s amazing. That’s purpose right there. What does this project mean for you on a personal level?

[Jasmyn]: This project means everything to me right now. It’s an extension of who I am and what I do in my everyday life. It’s the product of a journey I’ve been lost on for a while, and has helped me find a sense of clarity in what I want in life, who I am, and where I’m going. I

can’t help but get emotional when I think about that sometimes, and how I, with my own mind and body, am making this come to fruition. I literally weep some days because I believe in this, and me, so much (and yes I’m crying now). I just want to help make this a better place for our future generations and make people feel happy and good about themselves while doing it. 

[Kristen]: And...now I’m crying. You’re amazing!

What obstacles did you have to face and overcome to start your own business, as a female, as a human?

{Jasmyn]: Working through self-doubts. Throughout my adult life, I’ve been so hard and mean to myself when I’d start something and not follow through with what I set out to do. I deemed myself not smart enough, not ambitious enough, too poor, too lazy, too broken, to be worthy of finding my version of success. And that’s why it didn’t work out. I was stuck.  

It wasn’t until I started seeing a therapist for the first time in my life that I started to fully understand why my mind took me to those places, and why I’d get stuck there--childhood traumas of not getting what I needed. It caused me to constantly looking for other people’s approval. I don’t feel like I need that anymore. I’ve worked through a lot of those. Leaving behind that codependency has enabled me to be more stable on my own. 

Other than that, finding the time, because I still have a full-time job. I’m starting from the ground up. Making the time for it has been hard. I’ve turned down a lot of things to say yes to this. That’s actually something I couldn’t do before because I was too busy saying yes to everyone else, which was a function of my codependency.

[Kristen]: And what keeps you going when it gets tough?

[Jasmyn]: I want to be my own boss. I’m tired of working for other people. And I know that I’m fucking awesome enough and badass enough to do it. I believe in myself. 

[Kristen]: Hell yes. What do you personally want to bring to the world and to people with this business? 

[Jasmyn]: Over the years, I’ve acquired the mentality of doing what’s right even when no one’s watching, but especially when people are watching. If you’re really convicted by your beliefs, that’s reflected in your actions, and I wholeheartedly believe that anything you do, good or bad, creates a domino effect of thought and action with the people around you. I can only hope that I make a positive impact on those who are witness to sustainable actions I make and that they carry that with them to impact someone along their own journey. 

[Kristen]: And to that, we say AMEN, SISTER! Thank you for your work, and for sharing so openly about your journey. 

[Jasmyn]: Thank you, I’m very happy to share. I want anyone who’s reading this to know, you are capable of things beyond what you think possible. May your journey lead you to your truth and an understanding and compassion for yourself. 

And thank you, dylan underwear, for taking the time to learn about our mission and featuring us in this month’s blog. So much love to you!

If you’re interested in getting USED, visit their website at usedstyling.com. You can mention this article for $50 off any service (valid until Feb 28, 2020). 

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