Jill Matthews - @suttonandgrove
Jill was one of the first ethical fashion bloggers I found on Instagram after I decided to create Ethical Made Easy, and is someone I find myself consistently inspired by. Her blog and Instagram account are focused on both ethical fashion and lifestyle, it’s a combo I find incredibly refreshing and easy to reflect on when it comes to my own world and how ethical fashion plays a part in my daily life.
Jill and her husband Luke, have created a blog called Sutton and Grove which is a conscious lifestyle and fashion blog dedicated to both his and her’s lifestyle, travel and fashion which I also highly recommend you checking out.
Personally I’ve found that following Jill on her journey has made it easier to realise that shopping sustainably and ethically made doesn’t mean you have to look second best. Her outfits are incredible and the stories behind the pieces are ones I’m personally in love with. She’s authentic, caring and overall an incredibly Mover & Shaker that’s paving the way to make shopping ethically, a hell of a lot more easy.
As for this interview though, there’s such incredible tips that I know I’ve begun to implement into my own life. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did! x
WHAT MADE YOU START SUTTON AND GROVE?
My husband Luke and I started our blog Sutton + Grove out of a time of discovery. We both took a first year course together in International Development a few years back and the things we learned about the history of the world economy, the imbalance within the global north and south (first world/third world) and the connection to consumer responsibility, really shook us and spoke to us both.
It was then that we entered a serious discovery period; watching documentaries, finding inspiring organizations, socially good businesses and other people who were wanting to make shifts towards a more conscious lifestyle. It was during this time that we started our blog as a form of accountability to our journey and a place where we could learn about new brands, organizations and people that are making it their mission to do good and make changes in our beautiful world. It’s been a wonderful journey thus far, and we’re only getting started!
HOW DID YOU FIRST COME ACROSS ETHICAL FASHION/CONSCIOUS CONSUMERISM/SUSTAINABLE LIVING?
During my discovery time I watched some documentaries on ethical fashion like ‘The True Cost’ and this Norwegian 5 part mini series called ‘Sweatshop-Deadly Fashion’ (which is on season 2 now). These documentaries opened my eyes, and then I just started to research brands, people and organizations who saw things in a similar perspective.
It was also the same time that I was taking my beginning courses in my Global Developments degree, so the combo of information was very convicting.
WHAT HAS BEEN THE MOST CHALLENGING PART SINCE YOU BEGAN EMBRACING THIS TYPE OF LIFESTYLE?
Finding products locally that I can buy. Everything that I fall in love with is online, and being in Canada shipping costs can get expensive so it makes it hard to try the items, exchange pieces and shop consciously.
WHAT OR WHO INSPIRES YOU TO DO WHAT YOU DO ON A DAILY BASIS?
All the other amazing conscious bloggers and people I know who I follow on social media. I have gotten to know some and love their passion and convictions and we’ve been able to grow together which has helped me so much.
BEST PIECE OF ADVICE YOU HAVE EVER RECEIVED?
The most recent is to just start doing ‘it’ (dream, passion, hobby, etc) and to use your past self as a healthy competitor rather than others around you. It’s great to spur each other on and be inspired, but where you’re at and your progression is unique to your lifestyle, effort and experiences. If I look back at Jill one year ago and I can feel that I’ve progressed somewhere positively I’m happy!
DO YOU HAVE A MORNING ROUTINE? IF SO WHAT IS IT YOU DO TO SET YOURSELF UP FOR THE DAY AHEAD?
I don’t love a ton of routines, but my morning routine is definitely a must when I can do it! In an ideal day my routine is waking up around 7-7:30 am, going for a 30-45 min run and stretch. Come in make my green tea and oatmeal with apples, cinnamon & almond milk. Then eat, and take about 30 min of alone/me time to refresh and reflect on the day and then dive into emails!
HOW DO YOU DEFINE SUCCESS?
To me success is progression of any kind that you feel good about. For some that can mean financial progression, child development in their kids, weight loss, etc. I think for me when I can look back at my past and evaluate where I was and where I am now and any progression that has taken place that I feel good about that’s when I feel successful.We can hope for great success like a big end goal of something planned and implemented over time which I have, but for me the healthiest way I’ve been able to feel good about myself over this past year in particular has been in the small progressions and successes.
ONE BOOK EVERYONE SHOULD READ? WHY?
My favourite books in the last five years have been ‘David and Goliath’ and ‘The Tipping Point’ by Malcolm Gladwell. Once you start his books, you can’t put them down. They help teach you life skills in engaging, creative and suspenseful storytelling.
Also, one book I’m pretty excited to read soon is “Slave to Fashion” by Safia Minney.
FOR THOSE READING THIS WHO ARE INSPIRED TO MAKE A CHANGE TODAY IN THEIR OWN WORLD. WHAT DO YOU RECOMMEND THEY BEGIN WITH? WHERE SHOULD THEY START?
Start with watching a couple documentaries like ‘The True Cost’, ‘Before the Flood’, ‘‘Minimalism’ and ‘Sweatshop- Deadly Fashion’. You need to be inspired and convicted for yourself rather than just see it as a hot trend to join in on. Watching and reading up on the truth out there and how you can make a difference will help motivate you to make changes in your life.
From there I would suggest to go follow a bunch of conscious bloggers and businesses (like Ethical Made Easy) to learn about who’s out there and what their goals and ethos are. Some people feel really drawn to social injustice, some feel really drawn to environmental issues or animal rights. You may care equally for all of it, but by seeing how you can get involved and what moves you and sparks your drive it can help you to see what changes and contributions you can start to make in your own life. It’s all a journey and that’s something to keep in mind because it takes time to learn and grow, so be easy on yourself and don’t let ethical judgements cloud or hurt your path!
ARE THERE ANY OTHER MOVERS & SHAKERS OUT THERE IN YOUR WORLD THAT YOU THINK WE SHOULD ALL KNOW ABOUT?
YES definitely and many I won’t be able to list below. But here are a couple ladies I love to follow and have been connected with for awhile now:
– Natalie from Sustainably Chic
– Ellie from Selflessly Styled
– Holly from Leotie Lovely
– Hannah from Life Style Justice
– Olivia from Simply Liv & Co
– Jessica from English Lass in LA
– Karen from Sustainable Daisy
& there you have it, a little more about the incredible changemaker Jill Matthews from Sutton & Grove. I hope you’ve found some little nuggets of wisdom from this interview that you can take out and implement into your own life. I know I have.