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Shot Caller: A Podcast by Shannon Sagawe

Jun 18, 2020

Dana Thomas in Bangladesh

Fashion Bulimia

"We don't need any more clothes! If we stopped making clothes today, we would have enough clothes to dress the planet for the next 50 years!" Dana Thomas- Fashionopolis

From modelling in Rome and Paris to becoming a Washington Post Journalist, advocating for less "fast fashion" and a more conscious consumer. 

Dana Thomas' first job was as a model for local department stores, making $75.00 an hour in the late 1970's.  She saved her money up to put herself through college so she could become a journalist.  Her dream was to become a political reporter for the Washington Post!

She did get her foot in the door at the Washington Post where she had the good fortune to work for and with some journalistic legends! (David Remnick, Michael Spector, Gwen Ifill)

The Antagonists and The Protagonists

The bad guys are anyone who bases their business on "fast fashion" and "volume" in her opinion.

We produce 100 billion fashion items a year but only sell 80 billion.  It is much cheaper to make 100 and sell 80, knowing full well that 20 billion will get destroyed. It is cheaper and more profitable on ONE kind of balance sheet.  However in the bigger picture, one which takes into account all the different impacts it IS NOT cheaper. The Kering Group and Price Waterhouse have created an "environmental profit and loss" statement to reflect the TRUE cost of the fashion we produce. 

The Fashion Innovators

Stella McCartney is a trailblazer in this space.  She is a lifelong vegetarian and super supporter of PETA.  She set-out to create a brand that designed and produced "animal free" clothes.  Recently, she has launched a biodegradable Tennis dress that I personally can't wait to get my hands on.

There is a long queue of new and exciting entrants into the alternative leather space that we discuss.  Modern Meadow, Ananas-Anam (pineapple fibre) and those using mushrooms or mycelium to grow the material. Colorifix is the first company to use biological processes to produce, deposit and fix pigments onto textiles.  Dana also talks about a very cool new company called TIPA, making compostable & flexible packaging! 

She gives me a little lesson in 3-D printing and how we will all eventually be printing our clothes after receiving a "link" from the company we bought the item from!

People, this IS the FUTURE!

Sprinkle of Marxism

While still a capitalist, Dana somewhat jokingly but also with some sincerity, advocates for a "sprinkle" of Marxism to bring us back to balance. Capitalism and Globalization have been unbridled and unchecked for 30 years. When they get into problems, they are happy to ask for government hand-outs and it creates a very unhealthy cycle.

Dana tells us that "you do not need an MBA to realize that Zero-Waste is better business!"  We discuss John Wood's recent book Purpose Incorporated which advocates the growth potential for businesses that align purpose with profits!

What responsibility do the consumers have in the fast fashion world?

We need to educate the consumer and they need to be part of the solution.  Understanding the vulnerabilities of those people in the emerging economies living and working in terrible conditions who are making our clothes is a good start.  We can also put pressure on the brands to honour their commitments, pursue transparent supply chains and relentlessly search for environmental solutions that don't damage the planet.

70%+ of the people employed by the fashion industry are women, most of which are very poor.  When women are marginalised in any economy, that economy suffers economically.

Conscious Consumers- Fashion Platforms

#Ecoage, #WhoMadeMyClothes #TheFashionRevolution #Fashionourfuture #Responsiblefashion #Beyondinvesting #BeyondAnimal #Beyondbags

Please join me in this fascinating and educational episode on the Fashion Bulimia that is plaguing our wallets, our communities and our planet.


Her true message is "Buy Less and Buy Better"

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Modern Meadow




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