The image shows Civic House Coworking Studio Sustainable Fashion Marketer Joanna Sim sitting at a desk and smiling at the camera. There is a laptop on the table and a vase with daffodils.
The image shows Civic House Coworking Studio Sustainable Fashion Marketer Joanna Sim sitting at a desk and smiling at the camera. There is a laptop on the table and a vase with daffodils.

Civic House Coworking Studio Profiles: Joanna Sim, Sustainable Fashion Marketer & Marketing Coach

4 March 2024

Whilst the membership of Civic House Coworking space is fascinatingly varied, there are undoubtedly some shared themes. One such prominent theme throughout our membership is sustainability. For our newest blog post, we’ve decided to profile a member whose work centres on this theme at Civic House Coworking Studio: Sustainable Fashion Marketer Joanna Sim of Caravan Folk.

Can you tell us who you are and what you do?
I’m Joanna and I’m an ecommerce marketer and marketing coach for responsible fashion brands. I got into this work after I sold my sustainable fashion retail and ecommerce store back in 2012. I work with brands to develop their ecommerce marketing strategy to connect with their dream customers through brand storytelling, SEO, social media and a rock solid email marketing strategy.

What are the best bits about your job?
I’ve loved fashion since I was six years old so working with fashion designers and witnessing their collections coming to life is a huge thrill for me. And I love working with my clients who are full of creativity and passion for what they do. It’s exciting to be around people like that.

Any challenges?
Not spending all my money on my client’s designs! I regularly fail in this challenge but I have a wardrobe full of things I love to make up for it.

What attracted you to Civic House Coworking Studio space as a fashion marketer and how have you found it working here?
I was attracted to the Civic House Coworking Studio as a sustainable fashion marketer because it’s near my home and located next to the canal path, which I love walking along. (Lack of) natural light is a deal breaker for me and Civic House’s big windows sealed the deal for me.

I really enjoy it here. It’s a mix of peaceful, productive and social and the members who work from here are all lovely.  The incredible food (hello delicious cakes!) at Parveen’s Canteen downstairs is a very big bonus.

As someone working in sustainable fashion, can you tell us a bit about current trends and developments that you find exciting?
I’m excited to see the developments in upcycling into luxury products by small designers. Upcycling had very different connotations of a crafty DIY aesthetic 10 years ago. However, I’ve seen an increase in designers taking fabric scraps and turning them into highly covetable couture and luxury pieces. Most of the time you wouldn’t even know they were something else before.

I’m also happy to see the conversation that designers and brands are having with their customers about their own role in sustainability and ethical practices. There are no brands that are 100% sustainable or ethical. It’s very nuanced, but it’s important to share with your customers your sustainability goals and how you’re making improvements toward them.

I also really love that more designers are adopting a pre-order model. Making only to order meaning there’s no excess stock left over. I’d like to see this happening at scale and it would do us all good to have to wait a while for things we love. It would reduce those impulse purchases.

Favourite sustainable brands/designers that you’d like to shine a light on?
The design ethos and brand storytelling of Australian designer KitX is a masterclass in making sustainability sexy.

Melbourne designer SMENA for their zero waste leather patchwork designs. They’re a great example of upcycling scraps into luxury designs.

House of Black in Glasgow for 100% upcycling. Designer and maker David does incredible things with discarded clothing and I love his pricing transparency.

Bournemouth based Veronica Velveteen for beautiful lingerie and limited run collections made from dead stock fabric, sold on a pre-order basis.

Rejean in Glasgow who makes new pieces from old jeans and also runs mending workshops to help you keep wearing your favourite denim pieces.

Do you have any tips for shoppers who want to be more ethical about how they shop (especially on a budget!)?
1. First, find a local tailor or alterations place and ask them to help you make your clothes fit you better. A poor fit is one of the main reasons we don’t wear clothes that we love. A good fit will completely elevate the garment and change how you feel in it. Fit is everything!

2. Then, save up a little each month and invest in something beautiful that you love and makes you feel great. If you can add one or two more expensive, good quality and well-fitting pieces to your wardrobe every year, you’ll still love wearing them in 10 years time (and it’ll save money in the long run).

3. Also, invest in the things you wear often and for a long time, like a good coat, knitwear and jeans then shop on the likes of Vinted for seasonal pieces that may only be in your wardrobe for a few months. Resell, gift or thrift when you’re done with them.

4. Finally, get to know your local designers and makers. They’re usually making in small quantities and sustainability and ethics are usually inherent in their work. Support the ones whose designs you like. You’ll feel really good in when you’re wearing them, and that’s the ultimate goal when we’re choosing clothes.

Where can we find out more about your work?
I hang out on Instagram at @caravanfolk and my website is