A refreshing fusion of thrift shop styling and a passion for teaching babies to swim led to a great conversation with Rebecca Greck. Bec is an Adelaide based stylist with a passion for sustainable fashion, a swim teacher and marketing manager at School of Little Swimmers “SOLS”, a boutique swim school. Bec is also mum to 3 beautiful boys!
Hi Bec, How did Look Twice your thrift shop styling interest come about?
Looktwice started back in 2013. I had gone back to full time work after having a car accident a year before and my body was not copying, so I left that job and started back with my passion of fashion and styling.
With Australians disposing of 6000kgs of fashion and textile waste every 10 minutes₁. Tell us about what thrift fashion is, why it’s important to you.
I firstly got in to thrift fashion just after my twins were born. We had three boys under the age of two, had just moved back to Adelaide for family support with our boys and my husband travelled nearly every week for work. Having three children is such a short period of time is very expensive - we had three sets of nappies, formula, baby foods, daycare fees, nanny fees. So there was a lot of money being spent on surviving and not a lot left to spend on ourselves, so I started to thrift shop to save some money.
Thrift shopping has evolved for me since then. It's not only a way to support charity but it’s also a way for me to show that they don't have to spend a lot to look good - I want to try and get rid of some of the taboo that thrift shopping has.
My boys are now a bit older - my eldest is 4 and twins are nearly 3, I’m starting to come out of that baby bubble (thank god) and it’s scary to see where we are headed with our beautiful earth and what our children might not see because we were too lazy or scared to try and change it.
So thrift shopping for me now is about creating awareness of the environmental issues that we have, and how fast fashion is a huge contributor to that!
What has been your best find?
One of my favourite finds would have to be a vintage Italian bag that is black with a wooden handle. It’s such a gorgeous piece!
96% of clothing donations are re-used by charities through sales and recycling streams₂. Do you have any styling tips to share and strategies for thrift shopping success?
Yes! Start with the basics and have a list.
I go through my wardrobe regularly! I have a colour palette so that most of my clothes all match and go together. My colour palette is very basic, - black, grey, white and denim. Everyone's will be different!
One of the rules I have is, if you buy something, make sure it goes with five items in your wardrobe. Then you can easily mix and match your wardrobe.
Don’t look at the size, women's clothing especially! Every brand is different. So, if you like it - try it on! You never know!
What do you love about living in Adelaide?
Adelaide is such an easy place to live. It really doesn’t take that long to get anywhere, we have beautiful beaches, fresh food, clean parks and amazing schools. We also live next door to my cousins, so the fact that we have a family support network next door is amazing - we are blessed!
Do you have any favourite shopping strips?
I have a few spots that I like to go and thrift shop! Grange road has a row of charity super stores and the Red Cross shop there is definitely a must see, especially if you are new to thrift shopping. It is set out easily so you don’t have to rummage too much!
Prospect Road has a St Vinnies that also gets some great brands in and there is a cafe across the road called Mekko Market that has some great thrift items out the back.
You’re a Super Mum to 3 brilliant little boys, jumping from a family of 3 to 5 in less than 18 months and you’re a working mum, what are your favourite moments with such a busy life and what are your secret organisational super powers?
All I can say is WOW! I’m not going to lie, our dynamic is hard, however, the older the boys get the easier it becomes.
What makes me smile is the small things - it was just this morning that I had them in the car and they were telling each other that they loved one another and they’ll look after each other at daycare. Or it could be, them sitting themselves down and grabbing a book to read outloud to themselves.
I am a super organised person - their clothes are laid out, their breakfast is ready and waiting, their lunches are made. I do most of this organising the night before after they have gone to bed as when they wake - it’s all systems go! When they then leave for kindy a load of washing is in, their PJs are out ready for when they get home, their clothes are ready for the next day - it’s like a military exercise!
What would be your favourite thing about teaching swimming?
The kids enjoyment! I didn’t like swimming when I was little until I had this one particular teacher who I can still remember to this day. He made it fun so that took all the scariness away for me! That’s what I want to do for my students, make it fun and enjoyable!
What age did you start swimming lessons with your own children, and could you offer some advice for getting their kids ready for swimming lessons?
My eldest started swimming lessons when he was 6 months. We lived in QLD at that stage, when we moved back to Adelaide and the twins were born we stopped as it was logistically hard. As I am now a swimming teacher I teach the boys myself. I don't make it a chore, I make it fun! They get a lot more out of it and as a parent so do I!
The bath/shower is the first place to get your child ready for swimming. Get their faces wet, go buy some water toys, let them play in the bath and enjoy it. It’s about enjoying the water! As parents though we have a huge impact on how they will react to swimming lessons. It is important to be relaxed, I can’t stress this enough! As a parent when we are stressed our kids are stressed and it is true even when coming in to the water!
What’s in your swim bag?
I have two towels, body wash, shampoo, moisturiser, brush, change of clothes and my thongs.
With an obvious passion for the fashion industry and styling. As well as, being an active mum with young babies, what is your mission and mindset with regards to Look Twice fashion styling events, what can we look forward to seeing from you in the future?
I’d love to rid the taboo’s of thrifty shopping in Adelaide, as well as draw attention to the fact that buying and disposing of huge amounts of clothing is ruining earth. I love meeting new clients and babies when I teach and giving them the joy of water but also working for an amazing swim school with an incredible Director who has made my life with a young family and a woman getting back into the work place easy! We work together on promoting School of Little Swimmers, so I would like to help her with her amazing company.