Photography by Emmy Etie Photography
Charity Closet with Lynda Willoughby
Meet Lynda Willoughby, Mum to Max, 8 and Chase, 3. Lynda’s home and wardrobe are beautifully styled, reflecting both her career in fashion and incredible personal taste. Lynda and her family discovered Retykle when they lived in Hong Kong, but now reside in sunny Sydney.
What is your guiding fashion philosophy for yourself and your children?
Personally, I like to look and feel dressed up but always at ease. My daily uniform consist of color palettes – bright white, neutrals and monochrome. For glamorous occasion, I love dresses, usually color or print, styled back with statement earrings. When in doubt, wear a dress! It’s a sure thing that flatters everyone for any occasion.
For the boys, I always choose clothing styles that make them look polished, classic and effortless.
As a family, we try to emulate the relaxed glam look. The boys are usually dressed in a stripe or white top worn with rolled up denim jeans or bathing shorts. Oh, and a hat! Our family is obsessed with wearing hats!
I love good quality, wearable classic styles for our boys – the same styles on repeat in various colors. I have created a ‘fashion uniform’ of classic staples which makes daily-dressing, packing for short trips away and shopping easy.
What are your favourite brands to dress your boys in?
I LOVE Bonpoint! The quality is always beautiful and their designs are always so considered. Polo Ralph Lauren, Munster and Jacadi are fabulous for everyday too. Presently, I’m affectionately loving all things Australian and love seeing the boys in the label Bassike, (amazing classics with an edge), and also, Assembly Label, (go to staples for everyday).
How do you manage your boys outgrown clothes?
I purge on a regular basis and donate clothing to small local charities, schools and churches. The boys also help with their closet clearing and it makes them feel good to be part of this process and learn about what it means to pass on their gently used clothing to those in need.
I save some of the really special pieces for my family and friends. It’s so nice to be able to give these pieces a second chance.
Tell us about how you discovered Retykle and why it resonated with you?
Fashion is becoming increasingly disposable, and I don’t want to be part of a generation that throw away clothing after a single use. I asked my Hong Kong friends what they did with their children’s outgrown clothing. That’s how I discovered Retykle. It was the perfect way to consign our pre-loved, and also shop guilt free knowing that our choice to choose pre-loved over fast-fashion was a kind gesture to our planet.
Older generations grew up considering what value is, which is longevity and high quality, and something you keep season after season. It’s a challenge to hit the shops every time the kids outgrow something, so for me, Retykle is my favourite online shopping destination from Sydney. Thank you for shipping all the way "Down Under" to Oz.
#weretykle because we want to extend the life cycle of clothes, preventing them from ending up in landfills or shipped to another part of the world. To choose ethical, sustainable fashion like Retykle which will help reduce the negative impacts that fashion can have on our planet makes us feel like we are helping to shift the dial one step at a time.Lynda Willoughby
How do you incorporate healthy habits into your busy lives?
I love to cook, and the kids love to get involved. The family food environment plays a pivotal role with influencing our kids healthy eating habits. My husband and I try very hard to model this around the home by eating and cooking with seasonal, organic healthy food. We also do meat free on a Monday.
A simple gesture we try to do is eat together at home or at our favourite local restaurant, free from distraction of television, ipads, iphones etc. (which is mentally healthy for our wellbeing).
We have a vegetable and herb garden that we love! The kids enjoy picking things from the garden to make herbal tea concoctions. Fresh tea taste is absolutely delicious, and every bit soothing. It’s a simple, healthy and relaxing family ritual we enjoy.
We find listening to classical music while we eat dinner at home a relaxing ritual too.
How do you incorporate green habits into your daily lives or teach your kids about caring for the planet?
We have a motto, ‘everything can be recycled”. I get asked about it every 5 seconds whether an item can be recycled and which color bin it belongs in. But it’s becoming less of a question now, because we are consuming less packaging and saying no to plastic for our home.
Our kids are very aware of how the earth can be affected by human actions. They learn a lot about caring for the planet at school.
Earth Day is marked in BIG CAPITAL LETTERS on our home calendar. I get reminded that it’s coming up. They make me realise that earth is our home and it’s time for us to give back – to appreciate, love and respect it.
So, we conserve energy, recycle and keep our home and neighbourhood clean from unwanted rubbish on a daily basis.
Our Retykle community love to travel! Can you give us your best Sydney tips with children?
We live on the North side of the Harbour Bridge. Since being back from Hong Kong, we have enjoyed discovering family fun outings to do during the week and on weekends.
II Perugino – for a true local experience, we love this Italian restaurant for the best homemade pasta. The family has owned the restaurant for over 30 years!
Burnt Orange Café - for a lovely, casual family lunch overlooking bush lands – trust me, it’s a very zen experience (even if you have screaming kids).
Berts Bar and Brasserie at Newport – this is a wonderful experience for the whole family.
We are very much an outdoor family, these are our favourite hot spots for the weekend:
Shelley Beach - snorkelling
Balmoral Beach – paddle boarding, bike riding or scooter
The Spit Bridge – amazing hike over the bridge or kayaking
What are your favourite places to travel to as a family?
We love weekend escapes, especially a Farm Stay. It’s the perfect opportunity to combine the outdoors with a little luxury of cozy interior.
We recently stayed with our friends in Kangaloon, near Bowral about 2 hours down south of Sydney. They also have this gorgeous barn which is on their property and listed on Airbnb called The Kangaloon Farm/Sunnybank Kangaloon. This is the perfect farm stay for any family looking for an escape.
We recently went on a mini break to a place called Waiheke Island in New Zealand. The wineries in Waiheke are so lovely and has an Italian feel. The outlook is zen and beyond beautiful with lots of greenery and rolling hills that stretch on forever.
It was our first time as a family to New Zealand, and we loved it so much! Family friendly and so many activities for the kids. Our personal favourite was doing archery in the vines. Lunching at Mudbrick Vineyard and staying around Palm Beach.
Our recent overseas holiday was San Sebastian and Biarritz. It was an ultra luxe experience – beautiful beaches and stunning hiking trails.
Tell us about your chosen charity and why it is important to you.
I have chosen The Royal Hospital for Women Foundation - Neonatal/newborn intensive care unit (NICU, in Australia). Without a doubt, the NICU can be a scary place to visit babies who are born with health problems. Equally, it can also be a place of miracles with its life saving equipments.
8 years ago, our niece needed the units care when she was born with a hole in her heart. We are so grateful to this charity for saving one more life, our niece. Today, she is a thriving, happy, healthy girl who has been given a second chance at life.