You might already know Kylie Rollins and Tom Rowe from nights out at the Secret Pizza Company, enjoying their delicious stone oven pizzas. Kylie and Tom’s family of businesses became three when they launched Jazzy Jeff and Uncle Fill’s. They joined with Andy Skillen and Kieran Rollins to create the four horsemen and bring these two businesses to life.
Jazzy Jeff’s began as a humble clothes rail at Douglas record shop, Sound Records. Kylie is a big advocate for ending the fast fashion industry. She explained how poorly it impacts the environment, “a bin lorry full of clothes is sent to a landfill every eight seconds.” Not only does it cause much pollution, but fast fashion is also based upon exploiting workers.
Through Jazzy Jeff’s, Kylie and her business partners wanted to try to make a difference in the world of fashion by reusing clothes. Kylie explained their ethos, “Jazzy Jeff’s is about giving clothes a new lease of life.” They not only sell vintage, but also clothes that have been reworked. One of their suppliers for reworked clothes is Callum from Creative Alterations on the island. Callum is a talented designer that reworks garments into new bespoke items.
Grocery shopping prompted the idea for Uncle Fill’s. Grocery shopping has always been a chore, especially when searching for ethical, sustainable and healthy products. So, they decided to create their own online store that only sells ethical and environmentally friendly products. This would cut out all the research people would have to do, allowing them to shop safely knowing they aren’t accidentally funding exploitation, slave labour and polluting the environment.
Uncle Fill’s stocks local, ethical and sustainable brands. It also sells items “nude” or “loose”, meaning they aren’t in any packaging. For example, an individual can use a glass jar to refill lentils whenever they buy from Uncle Fill’s.
One popular example of an ethical brand is Tony’s Chocolonely, whose mission is to stop slave and child labour within the cocoa industry. They also stock many popular local products such as Bee-Co Wax Wraps, Ross Bakery and Apple Orphanage.
Kylie has been a passionate supporter of climate change action for the best part of 12 years. A memory that still sticks with her is being a young girl with her friend at the Royal Agricultural show. They entered a maze where the objective was to find the cow in the middle. The girls found the cow and her friend said, “don’t worry little cow I won’t eat you.” It suddenly made her think about her love for animals and how she contradicted this by eating meat. She explained, “It made me think what else do I do that is completely unconscious?” She has been a vegetarian ever since.
After that incident, she began to research and wanted to find out other ways to protect the environment. Kylie highlights the importance of sharing information. “It’s about learning and sharing that learning.” She believes it is better to inspire many people to make small changes than if you inspire one person to change everything.
Kylie’s Second-Hand Life
Kylie is a massive supporter of second-hand shopping wherever possible. She recently bought a house with her partner Tom. Everything they have bought for the house is second hand or they have made themselves. Kylie reupholstered their sofa and is presently making her own curtains. Kylie is no stranger to homemade products, as each year they give homemade Christmas presents and make sure to reuse materials for wrapping paper.
In their home and the kitchen, they strive to cut down on their waste. Kylie explained how food waste from supermarkets accounts for 10% of global emissions and 50% comes from homes. To combat this they write a meal plan for the week and stick to it. They also use Uncle Fill’s as much as possible.
- Make small changes.
- Meal plan, you’ll waste so much less food.
- Visit Uncle Fill’s and Jazzy Jeff’s.
- Buy secondhand – shop at Depop, Vintage, eBay, charity shops
- Kylie’s most important tip is, “It’s about just doing your best in as many areas as possible.”