“How can you choose a neutral when you can choose pink?” Jillian Harris asks me. It’s a rhetorical question. The Love It or List It host and Bachelor/Bachelorette alum is in Toronto to celebrate the launch of her brilliantly millennial-pink Jilly Jacket, a limited-edition fall puffer made with Joe Fresh.
The collaboration is a meaningful one for Harris. “For a while, I just felt like a blogger (not that there’s anything wrong with being a blogger),” says Harris. “I felt like I was just pushing product all the time and there was no purpose behind it. This partnership has a really great charitable component.” As part of the collaboration, Joe Fresh is donating 300 jackets to low-income families through Mamas For Mamas, a non-profit based in Kelowna, B.C. “It really allowed me to be like, ‘Oh my god, there’s a purpose for this.’ I get to shop and design things and give back to the community and make money,” she adds. “It’s amazing.”
Below, Harris talks about living a plant-based lifestyle, avoiding plastic and the evolution of her personal style.
Joe Fresh x Jillian Harris PrimaLoft Hooded Puffer Jacket ($79) is currently sold out online, and may still be available in select stores. Other colours are available here. Jillian also loves the deep pink, white and mustard.
The jacket is made with PrimaLoft, a vegan down alternative. That aligns with your plant-based lifestyle, right?
For the record, I’m not fully vegan. Our family is primarily plant based. We’re trying our best. You’ll never catch me wearing a leather jacket again and I probably will never buy another leather bag. But it is really hard with pillows, throw pillows and even couches. There are lots of great alternatives, but the problem is they can be really bulky or heavy or not practical. So the PrimaLoft is really cool because it has the same properties as down, but it’s also water resistant.
How has your personal style evolved over the years?
There was a time before I met [my husband] Justin and before I became a mom that I always wore a tutu and heels. Everything was super tight or short. I’ve always had an eclectic style. Now that [my daughter] Annie is a year old, I feel like I’m starting to love my body and fashion again. But for the last year, I just wanted to wear leggings and rompers.
People seem to appreciate how open and honest you are about parenting in your Instagram Stories. Why do you think people are craving that sort of community right now?
Because no matter how much money you have, everybody’s struggling and that’s okay. I feel super grateful – I have all the means to help me thrive, and I still feel tired and exhausted. I push myself too hard and I don’t manage my time properly and I don’t have good self-care routines. Everybody just wants to know that they’re on the same page.
If you look at just my Instagram feed, it does look very perfect and a bit intimidating. I really don’t want to change that, because for me, it’s my creative outlet. It’s like being a painter and somebody saying, ‘Well your paintings are too good, they’re making me feel bad about myself.’ I love looking at my feed and having the colours balanced and everything look pretty. But I want to be like, ‘Make no mistake, this is not my life.’ Come over to my Instagram story and I’ll show you the real deal.
You recently did a plastic-free July. What surprised you about that?
It taught me to think about how I’m consuming and what I’m consuming and to teach my kids to do better. I’m not too involved in politics, but I probably am a Green Party or Liberal Party. I do really believe in love and equality and saving the environment. I’m a consumer, but I also sell things. I’m really careful about what I’m promoting.
When you’re at the store, you have to make a decision: What can I live without that’s in plastic? For example, am I going to buy cherry tomatoes or not? Because you can only get cherry tomatoes in clam shells [a type of plastic packaging]. So this summer I went on a cherry tomato hiatus. I said, ‘I’m going to grow my own cherry tomatoes or I’m going to get them from the farmer’s market. Otherwise, I can live without them.’ What’s the quote? ‘Imperfect action is better than perfect inaction.’ And ‘We don’t need one person doing it perfectly, we need millions of people doing it imperfectly.’
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