Although it would be much easier to just snap your fingers and get what you’ve always wanted, reality requires a bit more “pushing”, even when the sign clearly says “pull”. Finding the persistence to keep reaching your goals, and setting new ones once you’ve reached that imaginary target is like finding a rare gemstone in a pile of rocks. Sometimes life hands that gemstone over without wasting much of your time, and other times you have to reassure yourself it’s even there in the first place. What’s important is to keep searching, and believing that every move is as important as the previous one, which will eventually lead you down a path of self-discovery and success.
This type of tenacity has led Megan Doyle, our latest Cool Face of Bastet Noir, to experience all sides of the business: from behind-the-scenes fashion education to content writing and journalism. All of these aspects of the fashion industry have managed to leave a significant mark on Megan’s work and how she approaches sustainability. That is why her recognizable work can now be seen in sustainable fashion pioneers such as Eco Cult and Remake, just to name a few. We are beyond thrilled to have Megan share some of her wise thoughts with us, and inspire you with her strong will to keep pushing and reaching for more.
Who is Megan Doyle?
I’m an Australian-born, London-based sustainable fashion journalist. I’ve written for publications like Refinery29, the Business of Fashion, EcoAge, Remake, EcoCult and more, covering garment worker rights, fashion tech, material innovations, supply chain transparency, consumer psychology and everything in between! I also have a sustainable fashion newsletter called the Titian Thread Newsletter, where I share my curation of all the best content from across the industry each month. Alongside my work, I’m also an aspiring yoga teacher in training!
What’s your morning routine like?
To my shame, I’m not a morning person. It’s something I thought I’d grow into as I got older, but alas, I’m 28 and I’m still not great at the whole ‘getting out of bed’ thing. So my mornings start slowly, and usually coffee is my incentive to get up. I’m lucky that as a self-employed journalist, I make my own hours, so I usually have a quiet morning checking emails, making a to-do list for the day ahead, reminding myself of any meetings or events I’ve got on, and speaking to family and friends back home in Australia. In my defense, I’m usually up until at least midnight, so it all balances out in the end.
The Annie Trench Coat custom-made for her
You have worked in-house for MatchesFashion, fashion tech platform ORDRE, Graduate Fashion Week and many other sectors. On first sight they are not very closely related to sustainable fashion journalism, but can in fact expand a person’s views beyond the one dimensional approach to sustainability-focused research. How have all these titles helped you form informative opinions, as well as built your career throughout the years?
When I first started my career, I was working in the luxury and fashion business sector at MatchesFashion and then the Business of Fashion. I was 23, earning below minimum wage, but writing about £30k luxury watches or billion dollar brand acquisitions. I found it quite soulless and impossible to relate to. It was a world I would never really be part of, so I really struggled to fit in and justify the wild excess I was witnessing. I think that coming from a totally different background in Australia gave me a more critical, slightly cynical perspective on this side of the fashion industry.
From there, I worked in fashion tech for a while, then moved into fashion education, working for the Graduate Fashion Foundation (an amazing charity that I still work closely with now!), before becoming self-employed and honing in on sustainability.
Granted, it hasn’t been a particularly straightforward path to where I am now, but I wouldn’t have done it differently. I have been able to experience different facets of the industry to discover what I’m passionate about, and I’ve learnt so much along the way. Wherever I have worked, I always tried to write about sustainability through the lens of that sector, and I think that’s given me a more holistic, well-rounded perspective.
Having worked in other sectors gave me a solid understanding of my values and priorities, and has made me appreciate how genuine, well-meaning and inspiring people who work in the sustainability sector are. I feel really lucky to be able to meet and interview people who are actively making the industry a better place — it’s incredibly career-affirming.
Currently, you are a contributing writer for New York-based platform Eco Cult as well as a Remake ambassador and contributor. With so many areas to uncover when it comes to sustainability and its transparency, how do you choose which topics you’d like to bring to light through your work?
The news informs a lot of topics that I cover, as an editor’s biggest question is always: why now? Many of my stories are inspired by an event that sheds light on an area of sustainability. I also get inspired by new innovations that are constantly emerging to tackle fashion’s biggest problems. That could be an app, new material, a cool brand, or even a report.
Often, story inspiration comes from reflecting on the parts of the industry that I don’t know much about. If I’m asking questions like “Why can’t brands make less?” or “Is bamboo material sustainable?” I can guarantee that other people are probably wondering the same thing. This is a great place to get story inspiration as you’re tapping into under-discussed topics and creating really useful stories that may actually help people change their shopping habits.
Three things you wish you knew before starting out?
Look for meaning in your work and try loads of different things until you find it. As they say, you’ve gotta kiss a lot of frogs.
No job is worth your health. I learnt this the hard way, letting stress and pressure get the better of me until I got sick. Setting healthy boundaries around work is so important.
Don’t waste time worrying about what everyone else is doing or waiting for opportunities to land in your lap. Instead, spend that energy on making opportunities for yourself, and the rest will follow.
Biggest setback in life and what you’ve learned from it?
My dad died suddenly two years ago, just before the pandemic, and it’s fair to say that has been a life-changing setback. Although it’s been without a doubt the most difficult years of my life, what I’ve discovered is a greater capacity for resilience and courage, plus a dark, dark sense of humour. It’s so cliche, but I now understand the whole “life’s too short” sentiment, and have tried to actively apply this to my life choices.
I consider myself quite a cautious person. I do as much research as possible before making a decision, and I tend to choose the most sensible path, or the option where I’m confident that I can succeed. However, the last two years have taught me that if you want to do anything in life that you’re really proud of, it pays to take a leap of faith and try something that you’re not sure you can achieve. For me, it’s been a more risky, but ultimately more fulfilling way of living.
Books that changed your life
I don’t have a particular book in mind, but can I say books in general? I love reading, I find it to be a very comforting and nourishing exercise in self-care. After years of reading loads of fashion-focused autobiographies and non-fiction, around the start of the pandemic I rediscovered my love of novels. Now, I relish nothing more than spending hours with a good book, immersing myself in another world. I think reading teaches us a greater sense of empathy and understanding of different perspectives, which the world could use a lot more of these days. Big fan.
Favorite female empowerment speech
What kind of Aussie would I be without mentioning the famous speech on misogyny by ex-prime minister of Australia, Julia Gillard, in 2012? This speech resonated with me, and millions of women (Australian or otherwise) at the time, and it continues to elicit a patriarchy dismantling rage from me every time I watch it. It encapsulated the sexist, casually misogynistic attitudes not only rife in Australian politics, but also in wider society, where every week a woman is killed by domestic violence. Watching Gillard — who was treated appallingly as Australia’s first and only woman prime minister — get to respond to the pile-on of sexism and misogyny she faced in such an articulate and powerful way makes for a really satisfying watch.
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