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The Creator Series is back! To kick off the end of the year, it's my pleasure to introduce you to Patricia Hanley, who has worked in the mental health and social services sector for over 25 years.

Vancouver-based Patricia began her career working in the city's Downtown Eastside. Her career has led her to many forms of support, from assisting those who experience mental health problems who need advocacy and support going through the criminal justice system to now aiding children and youth in the foster care system.

Patricia and I met through Collective Will. If her love of fashion didn't stand out immediately, her caring disposition and authentic interest in who you are will. From our first interaction, it was clear that Patricia cares about what she wears - they're tied to her values.

Patricia believes in working collaboratively with others. Her experience in the field has opened her eyes to Canada's true history of colonialism, and this is not something she attests her education to; this is through the community she has served, the true educators in her life, and for that, she is grateful.

Patricia's relationships don't end at others but trickle into how she spends her resources. Read below to explore Patricia's relationship with fashion and where she sees the industry heading.

Q: How do you harmonize a conscious lifestyle between work and play?

"I have a unique job that takes me from an office environment to the community, working with teenagers and young adults. Over the years, youth have conveyed that authenticity is the only way to gain trust. To express my true self to clients and the world, I like to show up wearing something nostalgic, something colourful, something classic and with overall physical comfort. I take this look from work to play but will step things up for play by adding more accessories and colour."

Q: Why do you choose secondhand?

"I shop secondhand to wear unique pieces that no one else will wear. I love to think about who else wore my clothes and how I participated in a small way, saving them from a landfill."

Q: What is your most coveted secondhand piece?

"A brooch I bought on Salt Spring Island, BC. It looks like a giant blueberry tart. I love it!"

Q: Where do you see the fashion industry heading?

"I see the fashion industry becoming more fluid with gender, age and personal style. The optimist in me sees less fast fashion and a more humane and environmentally friendly industry."

Q: What fashion lessons do you want to leave for future generations?

"Don’t change your body to look good in certain clothes. Find the clothes that make you feel good in your body the way it already is, and then wear them regardless of what anyone else thinks. It takes some practice and life experience, but it feels wonderful when you get there!"

Stay tuned for more stories like Patricia's with the Creator Series.
Read about previous creators here.


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