Meet The Experts: Andrea Cheong. Mindful Shopping Expert.

Meet The Experts: Andrea Cheong. Mindful Shopping Expert.

For Second Hand September we have interviewed 10 experts in the field, delving into the world of vintage and secondhand. Covering categories such such fashion, furniture and watches we spoke with industry leaders about the boom in this ever growing category. Next up is Andrea Cheong, our mindful shopping expert.

For those that don’t know you, how would you describe yourself and what you do?
I'm Andrea, I'm a fashion educator, editor and author! I created the Mindful Monday Method that teaches people to shop better for their mental health and the planet. 

"People are sick of rising prices and declining quality."
What was the inspiration behind starting to make mindful shopping content via social media and how did you develop your personal brand? Your hashtag #MondayMindfulMethod has over 14 million views on TikTok.

It started in 2019 when I didn't want to be an influencer anymore and I was becoming very jaded with the fashion and social media industry. After a mental health crisis, I began to reject that culture and began talking about what real quality clothing means. I soon discovered the prolific greenwashing used by brands and the Mindful Monday Method developed to incorporate sustainability into its programme. It didn't start with wanting to pivot or even building a personal brand, I was frankly just sick of all of that. I was very late in finding out who I am as a person, my purpose etc. and along the way, this happened.

Do brands ever contact you to defend their practices or have brands asked for you to review them?
Brands don't contact me to do that. What I say is fact checked or generally true of the fashion industry. Brands do ask me to review them but usually they don't have physical stores so this is hard to do. I believe in reviewing IRL because it helps people that have accessibility issues to see what the clothes look like. Reviewing online is incredibly limiting and can be inaccurate.

Why do you think consumers are gravitating towards vintage and pre-owned?
Value first and foremost. People are sick of rising prices and declining quality. Then there's also the idea of quality, that if this product has lasted so many years, it will have many more in it.

Your book 'Why don't I have anything to wear?' has been a huge success, tell us about the book and its journey to being published.
That is SO kind thank you! I've always wanted to be a published author since I was 12, I wasn't sure what it would be. For this book, the idea started at the end of 2021 and snowballed throughout 2022 with numerous offers of representation. After a video blew up about a rejection I faced from a publisher, Bonnier and Gleam Titles contacted me. I ended up working with both.

"For me, it's about having people around you that share the same values"

- a lesson I learnt the hard way from my influencer days - and that's why it took me so many months to find the right team.

What tips would you give someone wanting to consume fashion more sustainably?
Learn to sew and practice the 5 steps of the Mindful Monday Method. This is also part of it but very important: learn your fashion goal. This is in my book and essentially details the different and valid ways that we can approach sustainable fashion. 

Greenwashing is a huge problem in the industry with little to no legislation, do you think this will improve or become worse in the future?
There's a lot of regulation in the works, particularly in France and in New York that will bring the onus back on the companies. I think it will improve, it's already morphed into greenhushing which is just as bad - not talking about sustainable goals at all to avoid any backlash. However, as shoppers we can't wait around for this to be put in place, we actually have a great deal of power. A lot of the work that has been done by activists have inspired the change we're seeing now. It's easy to forget that because we're overwhelmed with scary visuals and confusing statistics, not to mention, a great deal of in-fighting within the sustainability community. We have to be kind to ourselves and each others if we're calling on people to be kind to the planet.

Follow Andrea Cheong on Instagram @andreacheong_
Photo credits: @alisejane_photo
Back to blog

Latest Drops