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The Ladies Dish Podcast #59: Fast Fashion vs. Ethical Fashion

January 3, 2017

Do you know who makes the clothes you wear? The ladies tackle the subject of fast fashion – how it impacts us personally and globally and what we can do to make better choices when it comes to the clothing we choose to purchase and wear. Get in touch: theladiesdish@gmail.com

 

 

Welcome to the Ladies Dish
IN THIS EPISODE

Updates (1:00):
• Happy 2017! Circling back… Did you make any resolutions? Or pick a word for 2017?
• SURPRISE --- KATE IS HAVING A GIRL! And is going to see the PRINCESS in London for a fun Babymoon!
• Dana is going back through Gretchen Rubin’s Happiness Project and going to make a resolution calendar – something different to focus on each month!
• There’s still time to jump in on Joy’s 21 DSD group - we’ll have our first meeting on the Tuesday the 4th! Info at pranahouseyoga.com/events!

 

The “it” List (8:56):
This week Joy is sharing something she’s into: Shutterfly’s photo gifts were a big hit this holiday!  Joy got coasters, photos, two different types of magnets and a stocking all printed with puppy pictures of Olive. So cute!

 

LDP's Sponsor - The Nutritional Therapy Association
The NTA is an amazing organization that certified all three LDP co-hosts as Nutritional Therapy Consultants. We all highly recommend the NTC course or NTP (Nutritional Therapy Practitioner) course to anyone interested in pursuing an education in holistic health and learning how real, whole foods help heal the body from the inside out. Visit www.nutritionaltherapy.com for more information and to download a registration packet!

 

Today’s Topic: Fast Fashion vs. Ethical Fashion (11:46):


Today we’re going to talk about our current state of the fast fashion industry and how it impacts us and the world.  And what we can and should do to make positive changes.

 

Fast Fashion - what is it? (15:01)


A term used by fashion retailers to express that designs move from catwalk quickly to capture current fashion trends - this philosophy of manufacturing at an affordable price is used in large retailers such as H&M, Zara, Forever 21, etc…

What’s the problem with fast fashion?

Background and Current situation:
Environmentally...
• The fashion industry has been named the most chemically intensive industry and 2nd largest polluter of water.
• GMO crops control 95% of the cotton seed market and Texas actually has the largest cotton patch in the world.
• Five of the top nine pesticides used in US cotton (cyanide, dicofol, naled, propargite and trifluralin) - ALL CANCER CAUSING CHEMICALS.
• 5,000+ gallons of water produces One t-shirt and a pair of jeans
• 20% of industrial water pollution comes from textile dyeing
• Waste is going to be the next biggest problem for the fashion industry - in 2015, 73 million tons of textiles were consumed and only 20% recycled.
• Producing at a rate that WILL NOT last.
• Check out Annie Leonard’s animated short called The Story of STUFF that talks about the supply chain and impact of ALL the STUFF we buy - including clothing.

 

The human factor... (20:16)


• On April 24, 2013, 1, 134 people were killed and over 2,500 injured when the Rana Plaza complex collapsed in Bangladesh.

On this day, Fashion Revolution - an organization out of Australia was born.  And every year on April 24th they have events around the world to collectively impact the way fashion is created and especially for the people who make the clothes we wear everyday.

Also a must see: a great documentary on Netflix called The True Cost which talks a lot about the human cost and also the environmental cost of our current fast fashion industry.  Joy recommends everyone watch it!

 

 

• Also think about how the farmers/growers of cotton are exposed to pesticides which can lead to neurological problems, birth defects, reproductive disorders, weakened immune systems, fetal death and neuro-developmental disorders.

The fashion industry is now one of the most influential sectors - both in terms of financial power and how it shapes wider trends, beliefs, attitudes, behaviors, identity and culture.  It’s estimated to be worth $3 trillion!  It’s the third biggest industry, only behind automotive and electronics.   In 2015, it was reported that the fashion industry directly employed at least 60 million people.

 

How does it impact us (individually and globally)? (23:55)


On average, each American creates 82 pounds of textile waste every year!

That includes donated clothing -  of which 10% actually gets sold out of thrift stores in the US.  Most of it gets dumped into developing countries like Haiti which has a huge impact on their own local economy - practically decimating their own textile traditions and heritage crafts by flooding their market with second-hand clothing.

The cost of an item of clothing doesn’t take into account the cost of land, farming, water and chemicals used to grow and harvest the raw materials.   The way the industry is progressing - it’s completely unsustainable when you think about these other factors.

Brands choose to manufacture their clothes in Bangladesh because that’s where they can get the lowest price for the labor - a place where there’s no maternity leave or health insurance, no pensions, no minimum wage.  It’s estimated that the current minimum wage in Bangladesh still only covers 60% of the cost of living in a slum.

 

Let’s think about what fast fashion does to us emotionally… (27:54):
Fashion is kind of like our CHOSEN skin.  It’s the way in which we can represent how we want to feel about ourselves and what we want to tell the world about who we are.

We have worn some type of clothing from the beginning of time but we have not always consumed it the way we do now in mass-production.

We went from seeing 4 seasons of clothing to seeing a 52-week cycle of clothing. What’s in this week won’t be in next week, and on and on.

We are surrounded by commercials and advertisements enticing us to purchase an item because it clearly will make us feel beautiful or get the results we want - the cute boy, that promotion - whatever it is.  And then we get the item and we feel the same. But it just continues the cycle that we are constantly searching for that thing that will make us FEEL better.

Feelings of materialism - that owning STUFF makes us happy but it actually just makes us feel unhappy, depressed and more anxious than ever.

 

So what can we do? (32:06)


1. Look for organic cotton
2. Look for a GOTS certification clothing - GOTS stands for Global Organic Textile Standard certified.  (a coalition from the USA, Germany, UK and Japan to promote organic farming and environmental and socially responsible textile processing.

3. Brands that are Made in the USA or supporting fair trade employment
4. Brands that are supporting sustainable environmental efforts - like using recycled plastic bottles to make their fabric or reducing water consumption.
5. Don’t have to change your whole wardrobe at one time.  Can make better choices going forward when you need a new item or to replace something that’s worn out.

*it’s hard to find a brand that does check ALL the boxes but supporting the ones that make an effort to create change is so IMPORTANT.  Our dollars do vote for what we want.

Resources for more info (36:40):
Fashion Revolution organization: http://fashionrevolution.org/about/transparency/
GOTs Certification: http://www.global-standard.org/  

Brands that are making a change:
Patagonia
Threads for Thoughts
People Tree
Eileen Fisher
Pact
Nudie Jeans

 

List of 35 brands:
http://www.thegoodtrade.com/features/fair-trade-clothing

 

Close show with a thought...


Quote from Fashion Revolution’s website:

 

“We believe transparency is the first step to transform the industry. And it starts with one simple question: Who made my clothes?”

 

Thank you for joining us this week for Episode 59. Remember to subscribe in iTunes so you don’t miss a future episode!

 

Like the show? Leave us a review!

 

Follow the below link and then click the blue "View on iTunes" button - once you're logged into your iTunes account you can add a review.  We greatly appreciate your time and feedback!
 

 

 

 

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