Our second segment of our CULTALKS series is here! The place of open and honest conversations with some of the wonderful individuals we have had the opportunity to work with, delving into their lives, careers and values, and how these align with ours at culthread.
This week we will be in conversation with Parmjeet Dhillon (@parmjeetkd), a beautiful model that we met on set at one of our shoots earlier this year. From working with world-renowned, household names like Samsung and Wagamama on their latest campaigns, to embracing street style on her personal social accounts, Parmjeet is the ultimate allrounder when it comes to talent in her field and an absolute pleasure to work with.
In conversation with Parmjeet Dhillon
When did you become a model and what made you want to make this career move?
“I started modelling initially in 2017 during my time at sixth form but was officially signed by my agency in 2018. It wasn’t planned at all, I used to help out my friends for their photography projects in school and after posting the pictures on my Instagram I began to get some exposure so I decided to do a couple photo shoots to build a portfolio. Eventually I was recognised by my agency and got signed!”
What would you say are the peak and the pit of working in this industry?
“There are so many aspects of modelling I’ve enjoyed and have been super grateful for. The shoots I’ve attended, the people I’ve met and the accomplishments I’ve made have all led me to my success. Considering the pandemic left such a negative impact on us all, I felt like my career was going down the drain, however I was actually lucky enough to work with some huge brands I never thought I’d be working with and networked with some amazing people. These achievements are the reason I continue to do what I do not only for myself but for people around me as well. Modelling is a career I had no intention stepping my foot into but has ultimately changed my whole perspective on my self achievement. I didn’t expect to be on billboards around the world or to have been shortlisted for a brand like Burberry.
Although it’s been mostly great, I have had my lows in my career too. There’s been multiple times I’ve felt super insecure about my looks and have questioned my potential all because I wasn’t handling rejection well. I eventually realised that having thick skin is super important because rejection is a part of it all. In your career you attend so many castings/shoots/auditions and most times you don’t get the job but I came to understand that it’s not personal hate against you, they’re just looking for a particular look that’s all. I have also experienced some dodgy photographers who’ve made me feel uncomfortable, had some racial comments made because of my skin colour and faced partial racism and felt I wasn’t chosen because of my background. However, everything that’s happened I have dealt with how I saw best and I continued to focus on my career. These things come naturally regardless of what career you chose to do and I raise my voice where I can because everyone deserves to understand that it’s not all rainbows and unicorns. Modelling is a job and every job comes with it’s up and downs!”
What does being sustainable mean to you?
“Being sustainable to me means being considerate and helping our planet. There are multiple opportunities where we can all be sustainable whether it’s by using a paper straw instead of a plastic one or using a reusable bottle instead of plastic ones. Taking the chance to prevent the use of plastic or the harm of an animal may seem hard but taking that extra precaution to me is a huge difference. At the end of the day it’s our planet and we should be looking after it, therefore cutting out what’s damaging the planet and being more sustainable is how progress can be made.”
Do your sustainability ethics impact your work as a model? If so, how?
“Honestly, as the industry is so fast paced and I’m constantly receiving shoots I tend to complete them and focus on my next one. As much as I would love to wear mostly sustainable clothing, in an industry like this that is something that is being implemented at a slower pace than brands who originated with vegan clothing. I hope that sustainable clothing does become more popular but it’s all in time.”
How do you incorporate sustainability into your daily life? Are there any particular swaps you have made?
“I try my best to incorporate sustainability and a few things I’ve done recently is replace my plastic shopping bags with a vegan bag I bought online. I also have a bamboo straw in case I ever make a smoothie or milkshake and finally I have reduced my dairy intake and use alternatives such as oat or almond.”
Are you more likely to shop with a conscious brand that has a focus on sustainability and animal rights?
“As I am a vegetarian I haven’t yet reached a point where I’ve begun to look at clothing that’s vegan or sustainable as within my career especially I am constantly doing shoots where I wear all types of clothing. I definitely do look out for clothing that is sustainable however implementing sustainability in all clothing I wear is difficult but doable over time.”
Do you have any top tips when it comes to shopping sustainably?
- Donate unwanted clothes to charity.
- Take better care of your clothes so that they last longer.
- Avoid flashy faux animal printed stuff unless it's vegan of course!
- Take some extra time to read and see if it’s vegan or not.
- And finally don’t feel limited just be smart.
How long have you been vegetarian for and what made you become vegetarian?
“I have been vegetarian for most of my life mostly because it was how I was brought up by my parents. The food we eat at home is all vegetarian and honestly I enjoy eating it.”
What advice would you give someone thinking about going vegetarian or vegan?
“Take it step by step as it can be tough depending on how vegan you’re trying to be. Sometimes going straight into it can be intense and hard for your body to adjust therefore start by cutting out meat etc and reducing the wear of unsustainable clothing. Eventually push more to eating vegetarian foods and when you feel like you can cut out other elements like dairy for example, give yourself that final push to becoming a vegan. It’s a ‘trust the process’ thing.”
What is your favourite culthread piece?
Definitely the Ladbroke jacket. I love the cow print on it and the fact that it’s reversible as well!