Cloudflare TV

🎭 Style and Sustainability

Presented by Janet Van Huysse, Renee Taormina, Ellie Jamison, Carly Brunner
Originally aired on 

Tune in to Style and Sustainability for a roundtable discussion with fashion enthusiasts Carly, Ellie, Janet, and Renee on how to be stylish and sustainable!

Talent Week

Transcript (Beta)

Okay, we are live. Everyone who's joining us, thank you so much for joining. This is Cloudflare TV Talent Week.

And in this episode, Janet, Renee, Carly and I will be discussing sustainable fashion.

But first, I think we should go around and introduce ourselves.

So Janet, why don't you start? Oh, great. Thanks, Carly. I'm Janet Van Huysse.

I'm the head of people at Cloudflare. And I don't know what else you want to know.

I'm a big fan of this. I'm really excited for this program with all of you wonderful ladies.

Awesome. Renee. Hi, I'm Renee Taormina. And I'm on Janet's team.

I oversee people systems and operations. I've been with Cloudflare over three years now.

And I've been a big fashion fan ever since I can remember. So I'm really excited to talk about sustainable fashion today.

Awesome. I'm Carly Brunner, colleagues with you all on the people team on our learning and development function.

And I think like Renee, fashion has been in my bones since my mom took me shopping.

I remember we used to go to the shoe store for little girls, and I would be like, how many pairs can I get?

So it has been ingrained in me at a young age, and it hasn't stopped.

And Ellie, you have to introduce yourself. Yeah, sorry, I forgot.

My name is Ellie. And I've been at Cloudflare for two years. I'm on the recruiting team.

And yeah, I think I can speak for all of us. I've never would have imagined that I'd be on Cloudflare TV, talking about fashion.

But here we are.

And I'm really excited about it. Talk about fashion within a talent show.

Yeah, Talent Week. Yes. Also, I want to mention that we were nominated. So I feel a sense of pride to be on here.

And thank you, Andrew Fitch for the nomination.

Awesome. Okay, so I think to get things started, we should do a quick fire icebreakers.

So we can just go in the order that we have been. The first question, heels or flats?

Heels. Oh. Platforms.

Nice. I was gonna say booties. Button downs or tees?

Tanks. Tees. Tees. I'm more tees. Yeah, tees. I would love to find a good button down though.

I'm a tees. Yeah. Yeah, I think tees as well. Okay, so go to everyday outfit.

I'm gonna clarify this one is this is outside of work.

Go to everyday outside of work. Jeans and a tank top. These days being a mom of two young kids, I am jeans, t-shirt and tennis shoes living in that.

Yeah, I'd probably sweatshirts with something on them.

And then I love high-waisted jeans. So the higher they are, the better for me.

Mm-hmm. I agree. I will say my staple is a white tee.

I like a clean white tee and then probably high-waisted comfy jeans. Love those.

I can't wait for high-waisted to go away. I'm sorry. I'm glad you guys love it.

Just does not work for me. The low rise is miserable. It's so hard to rock.

Respectfully disagree. This is what happens when you're five feet tall. We could talk about this later.

I understand. High-waisted does not give me a lot of upper body to work with.

I know. I'm five too. Different styles work for different people.

It's true. It's true. It's all about, yes. Yes, that's part of it. I love the look of high-waisted jeans, just not on me.

Nobody wants to see them on me. Yeah.

They're definitely having a moment right now, but I do. Yes. I do think the early 2000s low rise will come back.

Yeah. Okay. So last quick fire icebreaker, describe your work fashion in three words.

Can we go the opposite way? Ellie, can you go, and then Carly?

I've got to think about this. Okay. I will go. So my work fashion in three words when we were going into the office would be cozy or comfortable rather, maybe bright.

I liked wearing bright sweaters and warm because San Francisco was quite cold.

I would say I'm quirky, colorful and exaggerated.

I love all things like big sleeves, big poofy dresses.

The poofier they are, the better. I once had someone tell me that I dress like I'm always about to go to a five-year-old's birthday party.

It's very true.

I think about it all the time. It's very, very true. Yeah. I've tried to keep that up in Zoom, but it's not easy when you see yourself and what you're wearing all the time.

Sometimes I'm like, I don't know if I should wear this. It's great because you only really need to care about from the chest up.

It's like, it doesn't matter what's going on down below.

It's like, it doesn't matter if the skirt doesn't fit me because no one's going to see it.

That's very true. I would say my description would be stylish, eclectic and diverse.

One of the things that I like to do is change up the outfits and not always wear the same look.

Pairing a skirt with a different top, putting on a separate belt can change up the whole look of a dress.

People would always think that my wardrobe is bigger than it actually is, but it's just because I did a good job of changing things up and not wearing the same outfits.

I can vouch for this. I have worked with Renee for, I don't know, almost 10 years at this point.

Yeah. I have asked her if she ever wears the same outfit twice.

Yeah. Very rarely. And then we had that moment and you're like, well, Jenna, don't you get in style?

I'm like, of course I do. She's like, you know, like here's five different ways to wear the white shirt.

And I'm like, yeah. And I go, yeah, I look at that and I go, well, I can only wear it that one way.

And you're like, well, I wear it all five ways.

So that's true. That's such a good hack. She's so good at that.

You're a master machine for sure. You don't know what I would describe.

I'd be like a pop of color. I was going to go with the B word. You got to have the B word in there, Janet, for you.

Bohemian. Yeah. Yeah. Kind of blousy bohemian with, with heels.

Like I try to not let anyone at work. No, I'm five feet tall.

It's like my goal always heals. I don't care if I'm pregnant. I'm in the heels, even especially important when you're pregnant, you need the extra length.

Yeah. Yeah. Okay. Great. That was fun. Let's go into what sustainable fashion is.

So this was from a quick Google search. And for anyone that's listening that you don't know, sustainable fashion is a movement and process of fostering change to fashion products and the fashion system towards greater ecological integrity and social justice.

So here's some facts about the fashion industry.

The apparel and footwear industries account for a combined estimate of 8% of the world's greenhouse gas emissions.

And the fashion industry is the third highest polluting industry in the world.

And so that is why sustainable fashion is so important.

And that's why we're talking about it today. So I will move on to our first question of the day.

And we're going to, anytime I'm going to ask a question, I think it would be cool.

I'm going to also state a fact about sustainable fashion.

So our first fact, only 15% of consumers recycle their used clothing.

This is also just crazy to me. I can't believe only 15% of people recycle their clothes.

Okay. So the first question is, when was the first time you knowingly or unknowingly participated in sustainable fashion?

Who wants to start? Harley?

Thanks. I would say from taking my mom's heels at a very young age until we're still the same size.

So we're able to, you know, we're far up, we're further apart now.

But when we were both in Chicago, we would say like, Oh, can I use those shoes for this event?

And I remember always as a little girl going into my mom's closet and trying on her heels and being like, this is so great.

And I'm still upset to this day that she had such good fashion in the 80s.

And it's all on, you know, it's all trendy right now.

And she got rid of all of those clothes. And I think I would have had a treasure trove of things to choose from.

So my mom and I have always practiced sustainable fashion.

My youngest age, I also raided my mom's closet and which was full of colorful bell bottoms.

It was so great. But I also went through a phase when I was around 13 or 14, where I was very punk rock, very grungy.

I was growing up in the Seattle area back in the 80s. So grunge was big. And so a good friend of mine would would live in like, secondhand thrift stores, army surplus stores, and we would outfit ourselves in those clothes, we found them, we were just much more.

We found them much more appealing than just what everyone else was wearing and what was available in the stores at that time.

So I think that was my, my earliest forte into the world sustainable fashion.

Yeah, I mean, we'll get there.

We're talking about the rental stuff. But that's one of my favorite things.

It's like, worn in clothes, it's so much better than just kind of buying stuff off the shelf.

I think mine is more like Carly's, like I had an older sister, a year older, and we were the same size growing up.

And so we just realized quickly that we could double the size of our wardrobe if we shared clothes.

The downside or the cautionary tale there is we have extremely different tastes.

So to this day, we have extremely and so it took until I was kind of not living with her anymore, when I went to college to really start to experiment with like, what works for me color wise and style wise.

And even today, we're so different.

I can't believe we shared clothes, but we did. How about you? I have to echo y'all as well.

I think my first experience was also with my older sister. She just passed everything down.

And I think out of convenience. I also liked her style when I was younger, and I wanted to be her.

So I was like, very happily taking her hand me downs.

So that was my first experience. So moving on to our next question.

And here's fact number two. By 2030, it is expected that fashion waste will increase to 148 million ton problem.

So question two, and this kind of dives into why we were nominated because we all use the rental subscriptions.

So what clothing rental subscription have you used?

And why did you choose that one? I'll go.

So I use Rent the Runway right now. And I had tried a couple different ones before this, actually.

But they they were a service where there was a shopper that selected pieces for you.

But I always found that they really didn't get my taste.

And so with what appealed to me about Rent the Runway is that you have 1000s of options to choose from.

And you but you choose what you rent. So it gave me the ability to search and choose whatever kind of outfit I needed, whether it was for a party, or whether I was traveling going to a cold environment, and I needed a warmer coat, or I just really enjoy the flexibility of it.

I also recently used it as a mom getting back into jeans after having a baby, I really didn't know what size I was.

And all I knew was that pre baby jeans did not fit me anymore.

And so but rather than go into the stores and have to go through that grueling process of figuring out what size you are trying on different types of jeans that may work on your body that has changed, I just rented a bunch of different types of jeans on Rent the Runway.

And I could send back anything that didn't work.

And then anything I wanted to keep, I could purchase it for a discounted price.

So there's a lot of different ways that I have leveraged Rent the Runway.

And I've continued to leverage it what even during the shutdown, because it gives me a little, a little bit of joy in I can have my tops be fresh for my zoom meetings.

So it's just a little investment in myself that I that has kept me happy over the last several months.

I was a Rent the Runway-er as well. I started because I became an employee there.

And so it was an awesome perk to also engage in it. And I was always on the fence if I was going to do it or not before joining the company.

And then when I did, Rent the Runway was really taking off at the time.

And it was at a point when designers were coming to Rent the Runway to say, can we please be featured on your platform?

This is so great. We get the movement now. So it gave me access to designers that I've seen from afar that I would never be able to afford.

And I'm like, oh my gosh, this Sandy Liang has a camo fleece jacket with neon lining, like I can rent this and have it for the fall.

And it was, it was really great to just have access and get to know more designers.

Yeah, I guess we're three for three on Rent the Runway.

So Ellie, I'm excited to hear your answer to this. Yeah, I probably have a typical path into Rent the Runway, like was definitely using them for special occasion dresses, and then was really intrigued by the unlimited membership when it came out, because I thought it would help me experiment with more styles.

I mean, I've got Renee sitting next to me at work, diversifying all the time.

And I'm like, okay, I could use some help. And so I thought it would help me kind of expand and experiment more.

And then definitely, yeah, like I'm renting items at a price point that I probably would never purchase something at.

And so that was, that's been really fun. Definitely. So I use a company called Newly, and they are competitors, Rent the Runway.

I remember the day they launched at the Rent the Runway, because it was like, whoa, it was just like, oh, this is the first one, you know, there were other ones, but that was the first one I was like, oh, interesting.

So I definitely remember it. Yes, definitely. So about maybe a year and a half ago, I remember I was visiting a friend and she had these beautiful outfits.

And I was like, okay, one, where did you get this? Like, what are you doing?

What's your secret? And she was like, oh, it's Rent the Runway. It's so incredible.

And so I was like, okay, I'll look into it. And there's this one brand that I'm obsessed with.

It's called Love Shack Fancy, and it is unbelievably expensive.

Like, it is ridiculously expensive. And so I was like, oh my gosh, maybe they have this brand at Rent the Runway.

So I look into it, they don't have the brand, but that new company, you're talking about Carly, Newly, they did have that brand.

And so I was like, okay, that's reason enough for me to lean towards them.

And then I just had a bunch of weddings coming up. And I was like, this makes so much sense to pay $80 a month for 300, $400 dresses and be able to return them.

And so that is why I stuck with Newly. Newly was Urban Outfitters, Free People and Anthropology combined, right?

You're getting all the brands from there.

Right. So you have tons of brands. But I remember that was kind of their big selling point was that they were like edgy and that type of style.

Yeah. The experience, which I'm sure we'll have when this pandemic stuff is over, like having to go to a wedding and it was kind of the travel and climate thing, where it's like a New Year's wedding in Indianapolis.

So it's like cold and special occasion. And I went into a Rent the Runway store, like a brick and mortar store and made an appointment.

I'm going to show up and there's like all these dresses. And they ask you the questions like, where are you going?

What do you like to wear? And whatever.

All these dresses ready for you. And then as I'm trying on stuff, like one of the women that worked there was bringing me more and more dresses.

And so it was really awesome because I was trying on stuff that if I saw on a rack, I would never, never try on.

And I was like, oh, wow, that actually works on me. And so I left with a few dresses that possibly were the wedding, but in my, whatever, my, not your shopping cart, but your favorites, whatever.

I had all those other dresses that I tried on that weren't great for that wedding.

But I know next time I need to rent one.

That was such an awesome experience. Absolutely. I will say also, I think it's very exciting.

And I think sustainable fashion is catching on with, you know, an even younger generation because I was talking to someone who had gone to their prom and they, this is last year and they said, yeah, probably 90% of my class rent the runway for their prom dress.

And I was like, that is so great. Like that makes so much sense.

And I mean, I wore my prom dress once and then never wore it again.

So I think that's awesome. Yeah. They need to start doing that for wedding dresses too, because they're not, I was saying the same thing, but they're not due for wedding dresses.

I think there is, there is a site somewhere, but rent the runway doesn't have it.

They definitely should. Cause mine is in the closet.

Yep. Me too. At my parents' house. Yeah. I just, I just celebrated my 20th wedding anniversary.

So I'm like, let me get this bad boy out. You know, I had it like preserved or whatever.

And I was thinking maybe one of my daughters would wear it, but then I realized I married someone who's like a foot and a half taller than me.

Like they're not going to fit in my shoes. They're not going to fit in my clothes.

Yeah. So I can find someone else to hand them down to if anyone knows any five feet, six and a half.

So I think that we all mentioned the price point, which brings us to our next question.

In fact, according to the global fashion agenda, 26% of business owners surveyed believe that low consumer willingness to pay a premium for sustainable products was the greatest barrier for them to become more sustainable.

So the question is, do you see a trend in your own buying habits to buy more sustainable products or do the price tags steer you away?

I think that's probably something that rent the runway taught me and using it is that before rent the runway, I would be known to go to Zara during my lunch break and buy like a whole new outfit and then change and for the afternoon have a different outfit on.

So I was constantly at Zara and like I, it wasn't the longterm, you know, the things I was investing in, I wasn't just like a instant gratification thing.

And so rent the runway taught me that I do like specific designers and I should invest in those pieces that I can wear again and again, rather than like, you know, going to Zara and not, I sometimes go to Zara still, but rather than that being my main focus.

So I've put a little bit more into investment rather than quantity.

I don't see the price point as being a barrier at all, if anything.

As I've gotten older, my priorities have definitely evolved and changed and having kids has been a part of that.

And, you know, realizing that every little part that I can do to conserve is really important for the future.

And so that's, the price point really isn't a barrier at all.

I also think, yeah, I'm kind of in the same boat, Renee. Like I'm older, I'm well into my 40s and I look at like a pair of boots or something like, wow, I've had those for 20 years, you know, which I thought I would hand down to a daughter.

And so I realized like, I'd rather have something that's going to last longer because I'm probably going to have it for longer.

I'm also kind of over dressing for the trend.

If anything, that's kind of where the rental helps. If like I do want to put on a trendy piece, it's not an investment I have to make, or I'm not consuming it.

It's just like part of the monthly membership. And so being able to spend the extra money for something that, it helps, you know, the environment, climate change and those types of things, I think is really important, but also like, I'm going to have it for longer.

So I want it to last. No, I really agree.

I don't see this as a barrier either. I think, and this might sound ridiculous, but I would buy a $50 white t-shirt that I know I'm going to love and wear, and that will last any day over, you know, a $5 t-shirt that, you know, is, isn't probably made to be sustainable.

So I definitely don't think that that is a barrier, but I do understand that, you know, not everybody can pay those price points.

So I can see how, how it might be for some people. Yeah, the RealReal, I really like them a lot too, because, you know, they're using their consignment with some of those designers that wouldn't normally be in the, in my price range.

And a lot of influencers from Instagram now, now just donate their clothes that they've given to them to the RealReal.

And you can like sort it through editors, picks and size and new.

So I found some amazing pieces that I was like, what?

This is on here for half the cost. That's cool. Yeah. Carly, tell us more about the RealReal, because I just discovered this actually last week.

Well, I'm not a stockholder, but I'll still like it.

You know, I, I also use like thredUP, but I think what's nice about RealReal is for some of those investment pieces that like, maybe I'm, I've had for a few years that I'm ready to move on from.

I just, their, their service is really like white glove. You don't have to talk to anyone.

You're doing it all through your app and you post it and then you get a commission based on it, if it sells.

And then additionally, their brands are really, really great.

It's a lot of like, a lot of the things I was saying, Sandy Liang, Ghani, all those things that I look at, of course they have Gucci, Prada, all that jazz.

And you can sort by like, what's new, what's trending, what's vintage.

And it's really, I think it's a cool app. Again, not a stockholder. Maybe I should be.

They aren't public, they weren't public. I think that those companies are incredible because it makes sense.

I think, you know, all those luxury brands for the most part, some of them sit in people's closet for 35 years.

And so I definitely think it's, you know, a more modern way of selling them at lower prices.

So more people can access them and actually use them. Some cities often also have, you know, in-store opportunities to buy similar goods that are luxury brands, but gently used.

So like in San Francisco, for example, we had Jeffries for a while that was near the Cloudflare office in South Park.

I don't know if it's still there, but there, and then there was Chris, which was another store in Russian Hill.

And for kids' clothes, especially, I think utilizing gently used clothes is a really great sustainable investment because they grow out of them so fast.

And so I really challenge myself to limit anything that I purchase new for my kids because I know they're only going to wear it for a few months and then they'll grow out of it.

Janet and or Renee, have you done any of the kids' rental on Rent the Runway?

Have you done a mommy and me look where you're both wearing the same thing? I definitely need to look at that.

I just, I'm selfish. I just look for my own clothes.

I actually have dresses for my girls just like once or twice, you know, for like Christmas last year or something.

Cause I think it's cool. Not a mommy and me.

I don't, I don't think that that's how I roll. But I, the girls do like, you know, kind of getting fancy and like, yeah, they're going to wear it once or twice at the most.

So I mean, luckily I have three daughters. So you know, they, it all kind of gets hand-me-down for sure.

But for special occasion stuff, yeah. I've done it just once or twice and they loved it.

Makes me want to do it again, actually.

Thanks for the reminder. Yeah, I didn't even think about that. It'd be very fun to have kids and participate in this together.

Absolutely. Okay. I can move on to our next question.

And the fact along with this one is... It's probably going to be our last question, Ellie.

Yeah, I can combine this to make the last one. So the founder of Rent the Runway said, one psychological difference that lots of people have studied is a need for variety.

Some people are high variety seekers. And if you're a high variety seeker, the happiness you get from something decreases as it becomes more familiar.

So the question is, are you a high variety seeker?

If so, how would you describe your style or multiple styles? And then this is supposed to be our last question, but I'll just add this.

Who is your fashion inspiration?

I'm gonna embarrass Renee because she's my fashion inspiration for sure.

And she's probably a big part of why I did Rent the Runway too, because I am definitely like a person who wears a uniform.

And I blame that probably of 12 years of wearing a school uniform.

My first year in public school was college. So I was just used to wearing the same kind of thing every day.

And I think I never really broke out of that habit.

And so like I said, I had to ask Renee if she's ever worn the same outfit twice.

So she is very good at whether it's variety or diversifying the look.

And so yeah, that's why I loved that. That's probably why I got into the rental is just to have that variety kind of brought in without having to make the investment.

That was embarrassing, Janet.

Thanks a lot. You're welcome. I do love to change it up.

I do get a lot of fulfillment and just happiness from finding a new look or just pairing a top with a different bottom and saying, oh, this kind of works.

And I guess for fashion icons, Michelle Obama, for various reasons, she has great fashion sense, but a lot of it goes into like what she embodies and what she values and what she presents and the force for good that she is in the world.

Rachel Zoe is also really fantastic.

So those are a couple that I really get inspiration from. I think the more that I transition into focusing on, okay, what are items that are not so much trendy and just things I really love and feel like they embody, you know, what I stand for, what I enjoy looking like.

I think those pieces bring me joy year after year.

Like I have one, the designer Ghani, I have four different dresses that's a horse print in different colors and different fabrics that I've had for years.

And every time I put them on, I'm happy. And for fashion icons, I'm going to London.

I'm always like multiple times, my jaw drops. They just dress so cool there.

And there's specifically one person, Pandora Sykes, who I am obsessed with.

She's the coolest. She has great style. Absolutely. Okay. We have one minute left.

So quickly. No, Ella, you need to answer. Okay. My fashion idol is Kelly Wurstler.

And if you've never heard of her, she is an interior designer and she dresses how she designs.

It is the coolest thing ever. She literally will have blouses that are the same print as like a chaise.

And I think it's very cool. And she's very edgy.

So that is my fashion icon. Okay. I think 30 minutes actually flew by.

I don't know how many seconds we have left, but I'm just going to wrap it up.

Like 10 seconds. So thank you, Elly, for being such a great host for this. It was so much fun.

And thank you, Andrew. This was so fun. All right. Bye, everyone. Keep watching the rest of Talent Week.