Jai Blue is a twenty-one-year-old singer-songwriter from West London, who has the power to move and affect with the softest of vocals. Her alternative style of delicate, soulful folk is made all the more impactful by her poetic & honest writing style. Influenced by the likes of Joni Mitchell, Susan Cadogan, Jhené Aiko and Barbara Mason; the songstress was encouraged from an early age to pursue her creative passions, ranging from writing & poetry to fashion and Textile art.
Since penning her first song, ‘No Quitter’ at age 12, Jai has continued to take her mothers advice in flipping the narrative; channelling her emotion through music. The singer states: “I think the most important thing for anyone is to feel seen and heard, and I want to empower myself and others to feel that way through the stories I tell with my music” She is currently working on the release of her debut EP.
Last month Jai took part in The Garment Streak 2021 alongside. Fer Production set a group creatives a challenge to showcase the versatility of their own wardrobe by picking one garment to wear for a week, styled in different ways. 37% of young people aged 16-24 would be embarrassed to be seen in the same clothing at a special occasion more than once. The Garment Streak aims to break down negative associations between self worth and consumption in the fashion industry.
Do you remember when or how you first became conscious of the connection between fast fashion,climate change and unethical practices?
I am currently in my final year studying textiles and business studies at uni. I have always loved vintage and charity shopping, and customising my own clothes over following every trend. However, I don’t think I truly understood the impact of fast fashion, climate change and unethical practices before starting my course. We would have lectures on everything from the impact of companies like Boohoo and their exploitation of workers, to just how many gallons of water and resources it takes to produce a single pair of jeans. It’s difficult not to shift your spending habits and be more conscious about the companies you are effectively investing into. It’s something I’m still very much working on.
What positive role do you think public figures and people with larger platforms could have in the fight against fast fashion generally?
For me, the key lies in being intentional about what you post and thinking about the broader impact of your influence and reach. Sharing one’s own unique and authentic style over jumping on fast fashion trends is really important. I also believe that using your platform to champion up & coming designers, sustainable brands, and Depop sellers can be a really beautiful thing. It brings about real collaboration and community through social media such as Instagram, which I love.
Do you have any tips or suggestions for people looking to adapt to a slow fashion lifestyle?
Having a good clear out of what you already own can be a really great way to get started, and its surprisingly fun to shop your own wardrobe in a sense. I was forced to do this when I moved house, and I’ve realised recently how much lighter I feel now that I know exactly what I have. I have a rule with myself that if I haven’t used something in the last year, then it deserves a better home… One man’s trash is another’s treasure. I try to sell items I’ve treasured on Depop, Thrift+ or Facebook Marketplace. If it doesn’t sell then I’ll ask my friends and family if they want it, and then eventually donate the items to charity. Another habit I’ve adopted recently is looking for a specific trending item I’m after and buying it secondhand, there’s likely someone selling that exact thing on Depop!
What has it felt like for you to be seen on Instagram wearing one item of clothing multiple times?
It was such a fun challenge initially brainstorming the different variations of one garment. It allowed me to get creative with my outfits. Admittedly I did feel a bit outside of my comfort zone, but I was excited to post. It was something I had put my own spin on, and promoted something much greater than me.
Besides performing in the Garment Streak, we’d love to know what else you’re working on, or any upcoming projects you’d like to share?
I am a singer-songwriter, currently working on my next project, which I’m really excited to share with the world! I usually write from the lessons I’ve learned or something I’m going through, so it its really nice to look back on a particular moment in time through song. I post snippets of this and whatever else I’m getting up to on Instagram and TikTok (@itsjaiblue) I also host a podcast called Girl Unafraid, which is all about living outside of your comfort zone and beyond fear. I’m always on the lookout for inspiring women to talk to and collaborate with; so feel free to reach out @thatgirlunafraid