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Meet Jillian Clark of Roboro in Playa del Rey

Today we’d like to introduce you to Jillian Clark.

Jillian, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
Before starting Roboro in 2017, I worked in the arts and entertainment. I came to Los Angeles from Boston, where I worked in the costume department for the Boston Ballet Company and designed costumes for several theater companies. Once in LA, I redirected my focus from designing for theater to television and film. After a couple of years of spending 12+ hours on film sets, day in and day out, I became more and more aware of and distressed by the amount of waste produced by Hollywood productions. In an effort to make my own department more sustainable, I began educating myself on the global effects of fashion and textile industries. That was when I learned that I was a major contributor to the second most polluting industry in the world, as the fashion industry is second only to the oil industry. From that moment on, there was no looking back, working to clean up the fashion and textile industries was now my goal.

Has it been a smooth road?
I wouldn’t say its been a smooth road, no. Starting a business with no training or understanding on HOW to run a business is absolutely going to lead to a fair amount of mistakes or unforeseen struggles. I had to learn the hard way the importance of trademarks and copyrights. I’m still learning the art of negotiating deals within the corporate world. But with all that said, I have found an amazingly supportive community in the sustainable fashion and small business worlds. I realized that I couldn’t be afraid to ask questions and admit the things I didn’t know, and I have found that people are positively receptive to that. Most people want to see you succeed and will offer help where they can.

So, as you know, we’re impressed with Roboro – tell our readers more, for example what you’re most proud of and what sets you apart from others.
Roboro is an upcycled design and services studio, and our mission is to reduce textile waste. We do this in a number of different ways. Our Atelier makes one-of-a-kind and custom designs, all made from at least 90% textile waste or deadstock fabric. Our commercial upcycling service works with companies and events to reduce their carbon footprint by upcycling their signage and banners into custom branded products such as tote bags and laptop cases. Finally, we host a variety of events and interactive pop-ups that share the importance of reducing textile waste and creative ways we can all help.

What sets us apart are our 6 Tenets. With sustainable and ethical business practices becoming more of a priority for consumers, greenwashing is becoming more of a problem. Companies making false claims about the work they are doing to better people and planet. Our 6 Tenets are a way to hold ourselves accountable and show our customers that sustainability is at the core of our company. Every Roboro product meets our 6 Tenet requirements, which are (1) Ninety Percent (2) Material Driven (3) One of One (4) Designer Built (5) Batch Control (6) Infinite Story.

I’m actually quite proud of what the company is doing this very moment. We are in the middle of a global pandemic with Covid-19 and as most people are aware, there is a global shortage in Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). To help ease this burden, we have transitioned our studio into a medical mask manufacturing facility. We are donating our materials and time to help healthcare workers and other essential personnel who are keeping us safe through this crisis.

Let’s touch on your thoughts about our city – what do you like the most and least?
Los Angeles is an incredible city to start a company. It is a city full of creative people with groundbreaking ideas. People are willing to take risks, to try something new, to challenge the status quo and so-called ‘industry standards’. You also can’t beat the weather. Being from Boston, the novelty of being able to walk to the beach on a sunny March afternoon is still not lost on me. The traffic however, is soul-crushing. I am constantly trying to find ways to get around the city that do not require a car. I’ll use the trains and bike whenever possible. Even if it takes twice as long, the commute is so much more enjoyable when you aren’t battling the 405 at rush hour.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Alex Lark

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