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Influencer Spotlight on Julia Grieve: How Social Media Can Inspire Climate Action

Kitty Lana Carr
Written By
Kitty Lana Carr
Published On
Mar 20, 2023
A collage of Julia Grieve’s photos

This post is sponsored by Well.ca

Earth sure does have its own set of heroes—and no, they don’t wear capes, but they can be pretty stylish. 

We’re talking about the eco-heroes who are doing the best they can to uphold environment-friendliness and sustainability. And instead of wearing capes, these heroes are clad in fabulous power blazers, scene-stealing sweaters, and gorgeous stiletto heels. 

This Earth Month, the spotlight is on Julia Grieve—the founder of the brand @prelovedtoronto. As a self-proclaimed “Accidental Environmentalist,” she established the upcycled fashion brand Preloved in 1995, which was initially all about utilizing vintage sweaters and deadstock fabrics to create stylish and unique pieces. Little did she know that, in the process, she was actually helping Mother Earth breathe. Today, Preloved is a pioneer in the sustainable fashion space that has upcycled over a million sweaters! 

This content creator has been on a constant mission to show people how simple changes can have a huge impact over time. Keep reading to learn more about how Julia Grieve continues to prove that stylishness and eco-friendliness can co-exist.

Julia Grieve wearing a pink sweater
Instagram @prelovedjules

You are a self-proclaimed “Accidental Environmentalist.” Can you please tell me a little bit more about your story?

J: My story begins in fashion. I started a brand called “Preloved” almost 28 years ago, and I was taking vintage clothing, deconstructing it, and making new clothing out of it. It was all about making unique clothing—the environmental aspect of my business was the most positive offshoot. I set out to make you look good, but saving the planet just happened. And that’s kind of my ethos: making small changes that are almost accidental, so it’s easy to incorporate into your everyday life!

What role does social media play in the environmental movement? What role do content creators?

J: I think social media can have a great impact on the environmental movement. We’re having these big discussions on accessible platforms, which allows for dialogue; we’re sharing and educating one another. It helps to create awareness and keep each other motivated and constantly evolving!

Julia Grieve on a staircase wearing a floor length dree and red blazer
Instagram @prelovedjules

How can brands, creators, and environmental activists work together to inspire change and climate action beyond the digital realm?

J: I really believe knowledge is power. I think if we’re investing our time in educating and inspiring people, that’s how we’ll see real change. We have to make this big problem really digestible. Otherwise, we get overwhelmed and tend to bury our heads in the sand. So [it’s about] working together. I find challenges are a great way to slowly incorporate small changes into your life, like Veganuary, or buying nothing new for a month—pulling you out of the digital space and into action.

How do you choose which brands you want to partner with?

J: I like to work with brands I know I use every day and brands that are looking for opportunities to listen, grow, and take ownership of their company. I really enjoy working with brands that are passionate about what they’re doing, ones who understand that factoring the planet into their businesses is the most sustainable business plan.

Julia Grieve posing in jeans and chunky gold jewellery
Instagram @prelovedjules

Who should we follow on social media to get more involved in the climate movement?

  1. Max la mana (@maxlamanna): He’s a chef and shares great zero-waste recipes—I tried the carrot top pesto and it was delish!
  2. Zero Waste Chef Mary Anne-Bonneau (@zerowastechef): My all-time favourite quote that I live by is “We don’t need a million people doing zero waste perfectly. We need millions doing it imperfectly.” [- Chef Mary Anne-Bonneau] 
  3. Kathryn Kellogg (@going.zero.waste): A popular influencer who’s all about eco-friendly and frugal living—she even offers crash courses in sustainability!
  4. The Eco Hub (@theecohub): A great educational resource, and they highlight planet-friendly Canadian brands!

Follow Julia Grieve’s Stylish, Planet-Saving Work

We’d like to thank Julia Grieve for taking the time to share her incredible story and her inspiring views on the connection between sustainability, climate action, fashion, and social media power! 

Make sure to follow Julia Grieve’s stylish yet planet-saving work on Instagram. Interested in being featured on The Influence Agency’s next Influencer Spotlight? Reach out to us here!

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