Laura Sophie Cox is a British celebrity and fashion stylist. She began her career in London where she worked on both red carpet and editorial. Laura moved to New York in 2016 and currently resides in Los Angeles. Laura is a champion of sustainable fashion, banging the drum of change and actively campaigning for innovative and conscious fashion practices and cultures.
Her roster of clients include Emma Watson, Olivia Rodrigo and Natalia Reyes and her recent editorial work has appeared in W Magazine, The Cut and Schön! Magazine. She has collaborated with sustainable designers and platforms including Triarchy, AnaKatarina and By Rotation and regularly contributes for Who What Wear.
With our own foray into creating a more sustainable SENREVE line, our team was very excited to chat with Laura about her perspective on the future of sustainable fashion. Read on to get a glimpse into her amazing work and tips on how to shop more consciously!
Tell us about your background and how you got into styling.
I began my career 10 years ago at Glamour UK, learning the ins and outs of a busy London fashion magazine. I then went onto freelance with publications including Vogue UK, American Vogue, Vanity Fair, LOVE, Harper's Bazaar and Marie Claire. I moved to the US in 2016 and ran celebrity stylist Micaela Erlanger's studio in Los Angeles, dressing Oscar-winning and nominated actors.
In 2018, I set up my own business and have collaborated with Emma Watson, Olivia Rodrigo, Natalia Reyes, Paola Núñez, Jacqueline Toboni, Cara Buono, Fernanda Urrejola and Benicio Bryant on everything from award season events to movie press tours and cover shoots.
Emma Watson styled by Laura Sophie Cox, in Teatum Jones for the 2019 G7 Summit
My schedule is fast-paced and the work is high turn-over. These strong women and men have a voice, and I think it's really important that they become good role models. Every red carpet outing is an opportunity for my clients to acquire column inches, obtain those digital likes and subsequently brand endorsements. The red carpet stakes are higher than ever!
How has quarantine and isolation affected your style and your work?
My day-to-day working life has changed dramatically. I had been constantly travelling and rushing from fitting to fitting with clients. But now, it has become important to take this time to slow down and focus on other avenues of my business.
I have spent my time writing. I contribute for @whowhatwear, and have written passionately within the sustainability arena. Furthermore, I have been focusing on brand collaborations and live interviews — celebrating progressive designers who continue to push against the tide, innovate and make moves towards conscious fashion practices.
I was back on set in July styling a music video for the Black Lives Matter movement, and it felt amazing to be edging back to some kind of normality!
Laura Sophie Cox with the SENREVE Mini Maestra in Vegan Saffiano Merlot
You’ve been a huge advocate for sustainability in the fashion industry, what does sustainability mean to you?
The sustainability factor of my business came into play when I began collaborating with Emma Watson. My work with Emma got me asking important questions, and as I began to learn more, I found the statistics to be terrifying.
The bottom line is that this 2.4 trillion dollar industry has a huge problem with pollution, waste and human rights abuses. It is the 2nd largest polluter behind the oil and gas industry, with 85% of our clothes ending up in a landfill each year, and only 15% being donated to thrift stores. We have 4 times the amount of clothes in our wardrobe than our parents' generation.
We all wear clothes, and are therefore all responsible for knowing where they come from. I want to show love to designers who are championing the life cycle of their products, support those brands that are choosing better materials and are working with audited factories. I also want to erase the idea that sustainable fashion is all about hippies wearing green and brown hemp dresses, and what better way to celebrate these designers by having strong and powerful women wear their clothes!
My work is very much a collaboration with my clients. Emma is an industry leader for ethical and sustainable fashion. We are constantly teaching each other along the way about designers we are discovering and new technologies we are learning about. Olivia Rodrigo is my Disney superstar. She is only 17 yet has a huge passion for sustainability and loves to shop at thrift stores. It is my job to navigate the best possible designers for all of my clients, and together we take calculated risks and make thoughtful choices.
Can you tell us a little more about the challenges with sustainability metrics, and how it’s important for brands to do an independent “audit” of their sustainability practices?
I talk about @goodonyou_app a lot in interviews. It is an extremely important platform that everyone should know about. In short, @goodonyou_app, also supported by Emma Watson, is the world's leading source for fashion brand ratings. They pull all the information together and provide an easy to understand score. It can be a minefield but they are my bible when looking into the sustainability of brands.
It is not only an important app for consumers but I truly believe every designer should be working with platforms like @goodonyou_app, so that there can be an independent and legitimate audit of sustainability practices. Unfortunately, we see a lot of companies overstating their sustainable credentials, using watered downs terms and fluffy language such as "eco-friendly", but what does that actually mean?
This global pause we find ourselves in makes the need for change within our industry more urgent than ever. This time is a period of self-reflection and slowing down, and learning to live with less. As a collective, we all need to come together and re-think how the fashion industry could, and should, be working. We find ourselves facing a fashion system that is increasingly less conducive to genuine creativity, and it is ultimately harming our precious planet. As long as companies can survive this pandemic, I am hopeful that meaningful change is going to come.
In summary, what are the 3 things you think women should be aware of when it comes to sustainability and fashion?
1. Always check designer's labels. As customers we all have the right to know the full details of a brand's labor conditions, their sourcing strategies, the materials being used and their animal and environment expectations. Download those important apps, like @goodonyou_app.
Good on You was created to help consumers shop more ethically using standardized metrics
2. Shop vintage (@whatgoesaroundnyc, @beaconscloset, @entrenousshowroom @timelessvixen), second hand (@therealreal @thredup) and use rental services (@byrotationofficial @hurr).
3. Finally, buy what you love. There is a huge problem with over-consumption in our industry. Ask yourself those important questions. Will I love that garment in 20 years? 50 years? If the answer is yes, you should have it!
"Fashion's creative power has the ability to shape our identities. What you wear represents who you are and therefore has the power to change the future of our sacred planet. No one can do everything, but everyone can do something. And the more people make such choices, the more impact we'll have together."
- Laura Sophie Cox, Who What Wear, March 2020
*Header Images by Brandon Kaipo Moningka