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From San Diego to New York “Sustainable Baddie” Creates Culture of Intentional Fashion  

Photos courtesy of Jazmine Rogers.

Jazmine Rogers, a 2018 Point Loma Nazarene University alumna, is known for her online influence within the sustainable fashion community. Rogers is @thatcurlytop on Instagram and has been featured in Refinery29, Sustain The Mag, NYLON and the good trade. She has also been added to the Grist 50, a list of “50 climate leaders driving fresh solutions to our planet’s biggest problems” compiled by the nonprofit organization, Grist Magazine. Rogers sports eclectic outfits made up of unique patterns, bright colors, tons of layers and a variety of materials that give her outfits dimension. She’s a pioneer in more ways than one, and her long hair ribbons, cobalt blue tights and bold lip colors are merely an external cue of the creativity she holds. 

Through her online presence, as what some might call an ‘influencer,’ and the company she created and runs, @sustainablebaddie_ on Instagram, Rogers is creating a culture around fashion that promotes a more sustainable world. 

Screenshot of Jazmine Rogers’ Instagram account.

“Instagram is my main [platform] but I do TikTok and Youtube and then I have my platform Sustainable Baddie, which is like an extension of what I do, and I have writers and editors for that as well and socials. It’s a whole production over there,” Rogers said with a huge grin on her face. 

Screenshot of “Sustainable Baddie” Instagram account.

The marketing major first came to PLNU with the hope of attaining a fashion merchandising degree; it was in this area of study that she saw a lot of the students above her had fashion blogs that they posted on and decided to start her own. She wanted to experiment and have a creative outlet, but it wasn’t until she joined an Anti-Human Trafficking Club during her first year, where she learned about labor trafficking. There, she started to imagine the fashion industry operating differently. 

In her second year, Rogers took an Ecology and Conservation class. She describes her realizations within the class casually, but in a crack-a-joke-so-I-don’t-cry sort of way. 

“At the end of the course [my professor] was like ‘Oh everything we know and love is being destroyed by consumerism,’ and I was like…‘Oh my God, that’s wild.’ And especially with fashion, [so] I was like, ‘damn, I don’t want to do this anymore, or be a part of that,’” Rogers said.

Rogers knew that she wanted to work in sustainability and fashion, but she wasn’t sure what that looked like exactly. After asking a marketing professor where she could work within this intersection of interests, she realized that perhaps her dream job title did not yet exist. 

“It was just so niche then. I was really worried for myself. I am really glad I was able to kind of make my own career,” Rogers said. “It was really beautiful once I finally came up with the idea for Sustainable Baddie because I felt like it was everything I was, [combined] into one.”

Her website hosts a range of articles that are timely, entertaining and informative. Blog titles like, “Black Friday: Can We Ethically Participate in a Consumer Holiday?,” “Upcyclers, Florists, And Mental Health Advocates: Filipino Baddies To Know” and “From Cherry Girl to Bimbo Vampire: How to Wear Red” fill the page. 

Rogers employs four people on her editorial team. While writing is not her main focus for herself, Rogers enjoys having people whom she can assign stories.

“I have ideas and I know what kind of content and resources people want and what I want to see, and I see what’s missing,” Rogers said. 

While at Loma, Rogers took a journalism class with 2000 Alumna and Adjunct Professor of Journalism, Danielle Cervantes-Stevens. Rogers said there are things she learned in that class which she uses to guide the publication standards. 

“I try to be unbiased and see nuances of things; I try to make sure our facts are correct; It’s a lot of integrity that I try to incorporate into what we do. I have hired editors who hold that to a high standard as well,” Rogers said. 

Rogers grew up in Los Angeles, moved to San Diego for school, then stayed in southern California for seven years. In 2022, she and her metallic-blue ballet flats moved to Brooklyn, New York. A self-proclaimed “Brooklyn girlie,” Rogers was evidently giddy about living in New York and thinks the energy of the city matches her personality. 

“I love San Diego because it’s so cozy but I always say that it’s like a lazy river … it’s so precious and perfect but I can only go around the lazy river so many times; I want to be more active and do things,” Rogers said. “I feel like New York kind of feels like white water rafting, where you’re kind of tussling in the space, but it’s so exciting.”

While her access to New York Fashion Week events makes things a bit easier, Rogers said she thinks that her job can be done anywhere and that location just serves different purposes.

“My whole approach to sustainability and fashion is very playful and fun and accessible. Anybody can be a sustainable baddie. Anyone who cares about the planet and people, you’re a baddie,” Rogers said. 

Back when the term “baddie” was coming onto the scene, Rogers thought it was funny to combine the trending vernacular of social media with the social justice she is passionate about — perfectly capturing her brand identity — to call her publication “Sustainable Baddie.” 

Photos courtesy of Jazmine Rogers.

“The core of what we do is fun and imperfect and accessible, but also like highlighting diverse people in the space and what they are doing uniquely because I feel like that’s what happened for me. I am a black woman of color, but I also focus on all these [other] things and I want the opportunity to showcase my talents and what I do,” Rogers said. 

Things picked up online for Rogers in 2020 during the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement and the COVID-19 pandemic. 

“Everyone was like, ‘Where are all the black people in the space?’ And I was like, ‘I’ve been here,’” Rogers said, raising her hand. “It has been nice to see people initially trying to outreach and highlight people, [which] helped me be in the forefront of things. I feel like after that, people were like, ‘Oh her content is actually really fun and accessible and good,’ and I feel like I’ve been growing ever since.”

While “Sustainable Baddie” has been making money through sponsorships and affiliate marketing, the company has recently begun hosting events and selling merchandise. $16 sticker packs are sold on their website, but Rogers said that they will soon start selling sustainably-made sweatsuit sets. The startup company they partner with to create their clothing operates on a made-to-order basis. 

“We want to make sure we’re more responsible with it, even the people that we are working with,” Rogers said. “None of the pieces will be created until people order them and all the pieces are made with sustainable materials and ethically made. I think that’s nice so we don’t have sitting inventory, hoping people buy it. If you’re buying this, you’re cherishing it and you wanted this and [it’s] not like we are forcing this onto you.” 

Rogers said that fashion should be intentional, slow and sourced properly. Ideally, she sees the fashion industry moving in the direction of scaling back on production and emphasizing personal style, where people normalize re-wearing and mending their pieces.  

“You are able to take a step back and really think about where things are coming from, who made it, how do you appreciate it, how you have it now and where it goes afterward,” Rogers said. “You can kind of see tidbits of where people have [been having] a mindset change of what fashion looks like, where they are trying to have more personal style and [asking themselves if] they really like something and [considering], how do I mend something. It’s becoming a norm, even for people who aren’t necessarily labeling themselves as sustainable.” 

Rogers is attempting to make sustainability accessible by creating content that inspires new ways of styling the clothes that are already in your closet. Sewing up holes, or putting buttons back on is a way to create a relationship with your clothing, according to Rogers. Whether it’s through clothes or not, Rogers believes sustainability is a skill that you build, fail at, grow and have fun with.

“Whether you’re into fashion or not, I think there are ways that you can incorporate sustainability into whatever you’re passionate about. That’s how we are going to see change in the world; for everybody, in whatever they are passionate about, incorporating small ways that you can be more intentional and more sustainable,” Rogers said. 

The Sustainable Baddie herself enjoys thrifting in San Diego more than New York, but has been focusing on buying less lately. Whenever Rogers visits San Diego, she tries to stop by AMVETS, The Salvation Army and Consignment Classics because their prices and selection beat the more expensive and curated New York spots. 

Every once in a while, she sees PLNU Alumna turned New York influencer, Elena Taber (@elenataber) in the city. She laughed to herself as she mentioned her West Coast friend.

“For both of us, whenever we see each other and we run into each other in New York, we’re like ‘Look at us.’ Like, who would have thought? It’s so funny,” Rogers said. 

Who would have thought the 2018-alumna would create her online career and be boosted to recognition amid the tumultuous year of 2020? While promoting the reworking and re-wearing of clothing, Rogers is also re-imagining how sustainable fashion is talked about through her online publication and social media presence.

“I feel very fortunate to be able to create a job that really aligns with everything I love: my values, my style. It makes me a little emotional actually,” Rogers said. 

Jazmine Rogers is @thatcurlytop and her company is @sustainablebaddie_ on Instagram.

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