MAY 18 QUESTIONS WITH JENNIFER BUTLER

1. What is your name?
Jennifer Butler

2. What is your occupation?
Clothing Designer

3. What was your favorite green ( Eco ) memory growing up?
Making things from whatever I could get my hands on

4. What did you do before becoming a fashion designer?
Honestly, nothing-I’ve been doing this since I was 16

5. How is your fashion company increasing environmental awareness?
My whole take on this is I create things that are produced as wanted.
I make the sample, and then take orders on it.

6. What are the most rewarding and challenging parts of your job?
I think the most rewarding is seeing someone in something you made and
having them look and feel fabulous, more confident, and happy. The
challenging part is sometimes getting there and paying the bills.

7. What is one environmental change you vow to make this year?
I do my best to not generate waste, therefore my garage looks like an
impending episode of Hoarders. I donate fabric I’ve been holding
onto too long to charitable organizations, so I’d like to double up on
that.

8. Can you tell us what inspires you to become a fashion designer?
Honestly, I didn’t even know it was really a job – I had always sewed
and made my own clothes, and I thought maybe someone else would buy them
so I took some dresses to a shop when I was in high school and they sold
and I got paid for them (not much, but still..) so I thought now I have a job.

9. If there was one industry/product that you could make more eco-friendly, what would it be?
Freaking Apple chargers and cords. I mean what the what??

10. What’s next for you?
I’m filling orders for Spring, and starting Fall 2018, and I’ll do my
shows a benefit for the Fairfield Public Library like I always do. I just
finished a big benefit for the Norma Pfriem Breast Care Center, a
Bikini Beach Bash-I made bikini tops men modeled in a runway show and they
were auctioned off. One top I made was modeled after the blue-green eyes of
one man’s beloved wife, who had died four years ago-the runway surprise
was he could make one of them wink. I thought it was amazing he could do
this, to turn something so sad into something to live for with humor and
hope for a future. I thought it was a great take on fundraising.

11. What’s your favorite book?
I don’t think I could pin that down. I go from Jane Austin to Tom
Perrotta-I’ve been reading a lot of bios lately, I’m going to start
the new Viv Albertine book, I loved Patti Smith’s Just Kids, going to read
the John Doe bio soon as well.

12. Where do you turn for your news?
My husband has been getting the actual NYTimes every morning for
decades,but I don’t sit down to read it as much as he does, so I tend to read
snippets of it online.

13. Where on the green scale do you fall?
Hmmm.. is this a 0-10, or 0-100 thing? We live in a 1964 house full of
vintage furniture, we throw little away, we don’t buy new(except
food) I definitely hold onto things until they collapse.

14. Do you lead a vegan lifestyle?
No, but I’ve been a vegetarian since I was 13, I raised both my kids
the same.I don’t know if I could do vegan, I’m really fond of cheese. But
I don’t wear leather, or eat anything with a face or a sex life.

15. Who would you want to have a conversation with past or present?
I’d love to have a real chat with Tom Waits-I met him once when I gave
him some clothes, and I’d loved to have had the chance to talk to
Alexander McQueen about anything. I thought he was brilliant.

16. What is a small environmental change you think we all can do to make a difference?
Buy. Less. Crap. Which I know is weird coming from someone who is
technically in retail, but we REALLY don’t need tons of stuff, we just
need a little bit of really GOOD stuff.

17. How does Jennifer Butler fashion positively impact the environment?
I make only what is ordered, I shop for fabric locally, often buying
designer showroom sample bolts that don’t go into production so have
no home. I sometimes use vintage fabric, but there’s no extreme turnover
every season, I usually sell all the samples within the year so there are
not tons of pieces going into a Marshall’s and then a landfill.

18. What do you want your personal legacy to be?
I made beautiful things that made people happy, and I was a kind,
giving person along the way.

Lourdes Martin

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