Interview by Carly Crosby

With a passion for surfing, the ocean, simple living and a sustainable lifestyle, Lea Brassy is the perfect Patagonia ambassador and the brands Worn Wear initiative of reducing, repairing, reusing and recycling is a concept she is very much onboard with.

The Worn Wear campaign promotes Patagonia’s drive to make high-quality stuff that lasts for years and that can be repaired so that you don’t have to buy more of it. Keeping your gear in action longer and providing a way to recycle Patagonia garments when they’re beyond repair.

Lea and the Patagonia team have been promoting the concept across the UK throughout September and we grabbed a surf and a coffee with Lea to find out all about this anti-consumption idea….

Lea, you have been a Patagonia surf ambassador for seven years, how do your values match the brands values?
I think the brand’s values are very logical, they are based on very natural and responsible statements, statements that I have been taught by my grandparents, people who were very close to the earth and the ocean. For me the fact that I can reinforce those values by sharing them with others, makes total sense to me. The values I cherish in life, Patagonia have on a global company scale and now the company is growing it’s passing that on to others.

The Patagonia ‘Worn Wear’ movement ties in well with your low consumption style, what’s your favourite Patagonia item that you just wear again and again?
A Patagonia fleece hoody – it’s actually a mens one so it’s super big. I wear it all the time and it’s still in very good condition. I initially got it for my boyfriend but he’s never worn it because I just claimed it for myself.

We love the sisterhood between you , Kimi Werner and Liz Clark – how did this friendship and meeting of ocean loving-minds come about?
We all met through Patagonia – the people that gravitate around the brand are just all so interesting and nourishing for the soul. I say that from the heart as well, I really mean it.
I met Kimi the first time I went to Hawaii. I had been talking to a friend about my fear of the abyss and he recommended I talk to Kimi about it. And that’s what happened – I got in touch and asked her to take me diving, she said yes and so I flew over to Hawaii to meet her. The first time we went diving together, we went quite deep and heard the sounds of the whales and from then the fear turned into attraction. It was a very strong moment – we drove down to the diving spot, chatted on the way and we just got along so well. We were two women who have the same excitement for the ocean but also the same issues and fears in life.
With Liz, when I was younger it was my dream to live on a boat and sail to different surf spots and 10 years ago I told this to a friend in New Zealand who pointed me towards Liz’s article ‘A Surfer’s Journal’ and so I started following her. Then years later, when we were both Patagonia ambassadors we met and we just had so much in common – our lifestyles, choices, issues and all the emotions we were going through. We naturally found that friendship together.

Why is sisterhood important?
The word is so important to me. ‘Hood’ because the meaning of everything we do isn’t really important unless we have people to share it with. ‘Sister’ because women are just so empowering, the sensitivity that they have with the elements and particularly the water and the ocean is different and something special. Sisterhood is rare and something I don’t find very often but it’s so important and special.

Where is home for you right now?
Home is between France and Tahiti and it’s more or less a 50/50 split between those two places.

What are your tips for travelling in an environmentally friendly way?
For me it comes down to trying to reduce the amount of plastic that you use when you’re on the go and so I always travel with my own flask or cup for water and hot drinks. You can’t always be 100% perfect but always trying your best to reduce using single-use plastic items is a good start.

What’s your plans for next year?
With big adventure trips it’s about experiencing the harshness of the environment and challenging yourself to perform within it. So next year I want to do less trips to different environments and instead focus on my surfing and spearfishing abilities and really pushing my body, my performance and progressing.

The Worn Wear tour continues across France this October, so if you have an item of clothing (any brand and any item) that needs repairing, head over to one of the following events to get it repaired and to join the Worn Wear revolution:

3/10/2018 – 4/10/2018: Lacanau
Lacanau, France

5/10/2018: Le Surfing
Place des Estagnots, Seignosse, France

6/10/2018 – 7/10/2018: Le Surfing
Place des Estagnots, Seignosse, France

9/10/2018 – 10/10/2018: Hangar Darwin
Bordeaux, France

10/10/2018: Lacanau
Lacanau, France

12/10/2018: Le Surfing – Nevertown Film Screening
Place des Estagnots, Seignosse, France

13/10/2018 – 14/10/2018: Le Surfing
Place des Estagnots, Seignosse, France

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