Sustainability Spotlight: Joanna Carrol

About This Series

Sustainability Spotlight is a blog series sponsored by Impact Earth that allows readers to discover the best zero waste practices in Rochester. We totally support our nominees that are living their best #zerowaste lives and hope that you do too! If you would like to nominate yourself or another local for our Sustainability Spotlight series, just let us know!

About Joanna

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“My name is Joanna, I am from New Jersey and moved to NYS while attending Alfred University for Art & Design. My primary focus was painting and printmaking; however, after I graduated I began to develope a guilt for making while becoming aware of my environmental impact. My art practice stalled for quite some time until I opened The Op Shop, a clothing co-operative that sells vintage and handmade items from the local area. My creative output lends itself to styling and collaborating with multiple artists, photographers and entrepreneurs. I have always been a type-A person so organizing events around sustainable efforts while practicing inclusivity and self-expression has become my jam!”


Her background with Zero Waste

“I have been shopping second-hand since 5th grade and over 80% of the items I own are second-hand. It never felt right to pay so much money for an item of clothing that felt poorly constructed when I know I could find something for cheaper that already has been made, sold, and is in like-new condition. However, I have a liking towards imperfect things. I realize I wear those imperfect pieces more for the sheer fact that I'm not scared to "mess" them up! ”

Joanna’s Motivations to Live Sustainably

“The fact that it is not hard to do and yet it is imperative that we do. Vintage and second hand are one-of-a-kind pieces and growing up thrifting, I have often gotten compliments on my outfits and when they ask where I got such a gem, I love saying I found it!”


Her Favorite Zero Waste Products

“That's tough when it comes to clothes! I have to go with my Hydro Flask waterbottle I got at REI which I can't live without.”

What Joanna Likes about Living Sustainably

“I feel more intouch with fabrics of fashion, straying away from plastic materials like rayon and polyester, and influencing others to be more sustainable by shopping second hand. People think it's hard to live sustainably or zero waste but really it is about being mindful about your intake and what you leave behind (hopefully not much!). ”


Her Favorite Green Space in Rochester


“Highland park--no question. Did you know it was designed by the same man who designed Central Park? So many horitculturalists have contirubted to our local park and being surrounded by flora from all around the world really makes you stop and appreciate what we have right here in Rochester, NY. Not only for its literal green space but for the people I say hello to and the knowledge I gain everytime I visit. Recently, I learned about the smell of Witch Hazel that blooms in the early weeks of Spring thank to a friendly gentleman. It was the perfect way to get out of the Winter blues!”

First - follow The Op Shop on Instagram!

Then - Interested in learning more about the zero waste lifestyle products that Impact Earth offers? Check out our store.

Learn more about how to get involved in the #zerowasterochester movement by getting in touch with us.

Or if you’d like to nominate someone for our sustainability spotlight series, drop us a line.