Earlier this month, we met with the wonderful Jaz O'Hara - Founder of The Worldwide Tribe
which is a platform on a mission to highlight the humanity behind world issues, inspire global community and leave a legacy of positive, social change. We've been inspired by her activism journey, fighting the looming refugee crises by driving awareness towards cases and stories of migration through her posts on Instagram @theworldwidetribe and podcast
We met with Jaz in our West Kensington Pop Up and had a catch-up about what she's been up to and even styled her in some of our pieces!
It was so wonderful to connect with Jaz's beautiful soul. We'd love to share some of her light with you as we find it incredibly insightful, heartwarming and much needed during this time.
Jaz, how would you describe your fashion style?
It definitely takes influences from all over the world. Quite eclectic but also influenced by East and South-East London. I also like colour in what I wear, it always gives me a lot of happiness and brings me joy.
Travel and working a long time in India made me realise our use of colours here in the UK is actually very minimal. We use so much black and my foster brothers always comment on that too - that when they first came to the UK they noticed we always use black jeans or black trousers.
I’m very aware of that too and I’m trying to bring colour into my wardrobe, based on the influences of places I’ve travelled. And I would say predominantly time in India, their use of colour is just absolutely incredible.
What drew you to Tea & Tequila and the Carmen Set you chose?
I was drawn to Tea & Tequila because of the way that you guys work so closely with the artisans in Mexico who make your clothes. I feel like we are becoming less and less connected with the makers of our clothes, where our clothes come from, where our food comes from in the world.
It’s so important to go back to that and recognise each and every stitch, each and every fabric. And it is so important to recognise as a consumer - that somebody made your clothes.
I think Tea & Tequila brings that back to the person who’s wearing it, brings you closer to the person who made it. And that loop is really beautiful and important.
I also actually like the Tea & Tequila's colours in general. My favourite colourway is the Lalila set - I feel like it’s the brightest and the happiest. I really loved the colours of the Carmen Set because it felt like it had great Summer vibes, and it was a Summer event I was going to.
Also I love the shape of the corset. I felt really incredible in the two-piece. It was very comfortable, it fit me very well and it’s so easy to wear. It took away a level of stress from the event I was speaking about - knowing that I look good and I didn't have to worry about what I was wearing
When did you begin your journey of living a conscious lifestyle?
It was actually at University that I started to think about sustainability. I studied fashion design, that’s why I love Tea & Tequila because I was also very interested in ethical fashion and using organic cotton, being fair trade along the supply chain, making sure that every person involved in the making of a garment had a fair and equal share.
And so, that led me on to working for an underwear brand that produced fair-trade organic cotton underwear in India. I loved working in India and that really opened my eyes to how important it is to be sustainable in your decision making as a consumer - to recognise the brands that are actually considering every step of the supply chain.
We were part of the Fashion Revolution day that was born after the collapse of Rana Plaza, which was a factory in Bangladesh that collapsed, killing many of their workers because of the terrible working conditions that they have over there. And so as a result, a few brands got together and created Fashion Revolution day and a campaign called #whomadeyourclothes, encouraging people to wear your clothes inside out and to get to know who made them.
My family also ended up adopting a boy from Eritrea who was a child refugee. He came to the UK alone when he was 13 and crossed the Sahara desert, the Mediterranean and made that horrible journey that we see in the news. It was when he joined our family that I started to understand the refugee crisis in Europe and migration globally. And that's what really got excited about the movement of people and got me starting what I’m doing now at The Worldwide Tribe.
We adore the work that you do at The Worldwide Tribe. With everything that’s going on in Afghanistan at the moment, we would like to say thank you for all your efforts. How can we participate to help?
I would say all of us have the access to learn, read, and watch films about Afghanistan. Listen to a podcast about the situation. Learn and take the responsibility to understand as much of what’s going on in Afghanistan, share those stories, start conversations with the people around you, share Instagram posts about what’s happening. That's something we all have access and ability to.
I also have links in my Instagram to where you can donate financially.
Finally, you can also welcome and host refugees through refugees at home if you have a spare room, that’s a beautiful thing to do. It's temporary and it can introduce you to a whole new world out there through a new person and make a new friend or even a family member.
How do you stay strong mentally through these depressing times?
I really recognise that burnout is very real in this industry and in this environment. People working in the humanitarian sector often do take on a lot of trauma, a lot of emotional impact in what they’re seeing, hearing and experiencing.
I definitely have days where I've been completely consumed. But it helps to talk to the people around me - my family and friends, my boyfriend.
I understand my boundaries a bit better than when I started this work. I know my boundaries and when I'm about to cross it and when I need to introduce things that bring me a level of balance like meditation practice, being out in nature, taking walks, exercise, moving my body, yoga, things like that. It sounds cliche but it’s really important and it really works.
But yeah, I don't always. I am going into this work with an open heart, and because of that, it leaves you vulnerable to feeling. But I think it’s important that we do feel what’s going on because we’re all connected in this world, and that we recognise that and take that responsibility on board.
Thank you so much Jaz for being a light in this world!
We'd love to invite you to participate in our Raffle Giveaway!
All proceeds from the Raffle Giveaway will be donated to
Afghan Aid to support their urgent work in helping families who have lost their homes and livelihoods as a result of the conflict in Afghanistan.
Enter the raffle by purchasing a ticket on our website (£5).
5 lucky winners will be selected to win prizes worth over £890!
The first winner will be picked on the 16th of September 12:00 PM.
A new winner will be picked each day running until Monday 20th September.
What your donation means...