Thursday, November 7, 2019

ECO MAMA MUSE: Sheena Jongenee: Rethinking What Sustainability Means in Kids Fashion

"ECO MAMA MUSE"is a series I created to turn the spotlight on rockstar mamas who are working hard to make non-toxic living easier for parents like you and me.

Today, I am featuring Sheena Jongeneel from Stylette 

Here is a question for you:  How many of you buy special holiday outfits for the kids to wear for Thanksgiving, family pictures or Christmas /Hannukkah ?  

How many times do your kids rewear that 'special holiday outfit'?

Sheena Jongeneel, this month's #ecomamamuse ,  had been faced with this same familiar scenario with her own daughter:  you buy your child an outfit and they wear it 1, maybe 2x, before it no longer fits.  

Then, one day while studying for her MBA in economics class , her Professor spoke to the class about disastrous impact that the fashion industry has on the planet.  Sheena was not ok with the astronomical amounts of clothing sitting in the landfills, creating greenhouse gases and increasing global warming. 

That is when she decided she wanted to stop being part of the problem and instead become part of the solution... and so, Stylette was born.  

Stylette is a platform where you can rent (the cutest) children’s clothing; your kids are happy because they have an adorable outfit, parents are happy because they saved time and money (brand names can be rented for up to 70% ticket price) and the planet is happy because excess clothing does not end up in the landfill after being used once or twice.

Here is more on her and her journey

Aida : What inspired you to open Stylette? 

Sheena: I remember the day I sat in economics class, while my
professor spoke about China not taking our waste anymore, the US not equipped with the
infrastructure to get rid of our waste, and of the sinful amount of clothing that sat in the landfills,
90% that could have been recycled. These clothes create greenhouse gases that stay in our
atmosphere for hundreds of years creating global warming. Personally, as a mother of a 5-year-
old girl, I was also experiencing the pains of a child growing too quickly to maximize her
clothes, and the money and time I had wasted on these clothes. That day in econ, I told my class
I would create a platform from which to rent children’s clothing, to stop overconsumption of
clothes that end up polluting our planet, and help parents save time and money.

Aida:   How does Stylette address the waste in fashion problem?

Sheena:  Stylette is part of the secondhand economy, but for children’s clothing. By renting
kids clothing, we can stop overconsumption of clothes and extend the life cycle of these items by
maximizing their wear, by sharing their love across many families. We will also be expanding by
taking clothes from families to share back on to our platform, or donate to children in need.

Aida: Who is Stylette for who can use Stylette and why would they? 

Sheena: Stylette is for every child and
parent as we shift our lifestyles towards eco-fashion. Kids as young as preschool age are learning
about the environment and growing up with a different mindset. These generations will grow up
to rent, and not buy, their clothes. However, it’s starting now with millennial parents changing
their habits and educating their children. As parents, we have a responsibility to protect our
children and our planet. Stylette will expand to offer rentals for all occasions, so there is no
excuse not to rent for any style or age.

Aida:  Is sustainability important to your business?  

Sheena: Sustainability is a huge message of ours. We are a B Corp, which states how we practice
sustainable business, and transparency. Although we are for profit, we are also for purpose. We
are using business for a force for good. Our shipping bags are made from recycled material and
each shipping bag can be used 40 times or more. We use non-toxic cleaning services, and recycle
clothing for textiles.

Aida: Can you mention 3 non-toxic living essentials you cant live without.

Sheena: As a family and company, we love Tangie natural stain remover laundry bar It comes in a non-plastic box and gets kids stains out! Also, we love using their detergent bar which also comes in
a box, but can make your own from it and store in a glass jar. A little goes a long way. My daughter and I love bubble baths but know how toxic it can be to your skin, so we do a proper bubble bath once a week with Susanne Kaufman bubble bath with natural ingredients that support your immune system and your skin. It’s expensive but the bottle will last the year. I also love Baeo Baby and have been using it so much since it launched

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