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Conscious Chatter with Kestrel Jenkins

An inclusive audio space, Conscious Chatter opens the door to conversations about our clothing + the layers of stories, meaning and potential impact connected to what we wear. Hosted by Kestrel Jenkins, Conscious Chatter reimagines the narrative around sustainability, explores the importance of resourcefulness, questions conscious consumerism, and works to deconstruct how oppressive systems impact the sustainable fashion space.

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In episode 175, Kestrel welcomes Sloane, the founder and makers behind Eliza Sloane Jewelry, to the show. Handcrafting jewelry for over 7 years, and collecting crystals and sea glass for over 20, Sloane is a master maker, and creates all of her cast pieces for Eliza Sloane Jewelry from recycled metals. “I just think that not boxing ourselves in or pigeon-holing ourselves too much — that’s just what ultimate creative freedom is.” - Sloane, Founder + Maker Behind Eliza Sloane Jewelry On this week’s show, Sloane shares more of her journey, and how an internship sourcing vintage gems in New York City motivated her to build an Etsy shop, and eventually inspired her to start making her own jewelry. Sloane dives into more on how surfing inspires her creative work, and vice versa — and how they seem to feed each other consistently, helping her maintain a fluidity in both her lifestyle and creative work. Kestrel and Sloane also chat about the idea of scaling, how complicated it can be, and the challenges that come with it when you are the actual maker behind the brand. The below thoughts, ideas + organizations were brought up in this chat: Rio Grande, where Sloane sources all her recycled metals Esmeralda Turquoise Company, where Sloane sources turquoise American Gem Trade Association, promotes the highest ethical standards for gemstones “I don’t know, it’s just really hard to gracefully scale up, with keeping to your morals and your beliefs and your style.” EcoEnclose, sustainable packaging Sloane uses Trader Joe’s produce bags are actually compostable (more on their sustainability efforts in Food and Wine + Real Simple) Sloane's Instagram >


6 Sep 2019

Rank #1

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In episode 78, Kestrel welcomes Nellie Cohen, the Worn Wear Program Manager at Patagonia, to the show. Patagonia's Worn Wear program aims to reduce environmental impacts by encouraging people to change their relationship to stuff, through repair and reuse of what they already have, and by celebrating quality and durability. Patagonia's largest repair center is in Reno, Nevada, and they did 50,000 repairs there in 2016. Nellie shares some of the history on Worn Wear, and how it evolved from Patagonia's earlier roots with Common Threads. It's a pretty cool story how Worn Wear originated from a blog that Patagonia surf ambassador Chris Malloy and his wife Lauren had started separately.  Nellie also elaborates on the scale of Patagonia's Worn Wear, and the number of employees that are dedicated to mending and building out the company's program. For Nellie, celebrating the stories behind the pieces we wear is huge - she's especially a fan of the family heirloom stories that can be attached to Patagonia's past styles.  Throughout this chat, Nellie brings up the below companies, ideas and projects: Worn Wear Teijin, Patagonia partnered with Teijin in the early stages of Common Threads to recycle their capilene line, in a closed loop chemical recycling process Don't Buy This Jacket campaign in the New York Times, Black Friday, 2011 Jay Nelson, artist behind the Worn Wear wagon I Fix It, a company Patagonia partnered with to create their repair manuals Patagonia's Repair Manuals Yerdle, a company Patagonia invested in through their venture capital arm; they make it easy for brands to buy back and resell used items Nellie gave a shoutout to the work Renewal Workshop is doing when it comes to closing the loop You can listen to our episode with their cofounder Nicole here > The Ellen MacArthur Foundation, Reports on The Circular Economy ________ Amazon just launched a 500 piece fast fashion collection. What does this mean? How do you think this will impact the future of fashion? Will sustainability play a role in their upcoming endeavors? Check out The Fashion Law's article to learn more. Also, chime in on Instagram @consciouschatter and let me know how you think this move will make an impact on what comes next for fashion.


6 Sep 2017

Rank #2

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In episode 181, Kestrel welcomes New York-based author, journalist, and expert on consumer culture, fast fashion, sustainability and labor rights, Elizabeth Cline, back to the show. You may already know of Elizabeth from her widely read book, Overdressed: The Shockingly High Cost of Cheap Fashion; and she recently released a follow-up book called The Conscious Closet: A Revolutionary Guide to Looking Good While Doing Good. “The book in a lot of ways is very informed by moving away from fast fashion — so, really remembering that clothing is not a disposable good, because it just requires too many resources and too much energy to create.” - Elizabeth Cline, Author of Overdressed + The Conscious Closet On this week’s show, Elizabeth shares with us what she’s been working on, as well as her perspective on how much the fashion industry has shifted, since the last time she was on the show, almost 4 years ago. Kestrel + Elizabeth dive into some of the inspiration and details about her new book, The Conscious Closet. For Elizabeth, a lot of what drove the direction for her new book was her education on the secondhand market globally, and how clothing cannot be considered a disposable product. Also, in this chat, Elizabeth reveals some of her favorite ways to personally build a conscious closet. The below thoughts, ideas + organizations were brought up in this chat: “I understand the power of personal style because of conscious fashion, not in spite of it.” “And over time, it became more about, ‘wait — if we question the industrial food system, then the result of that, is that we also get to rebuild our food culture,’ and that is what’s happening with fashion — we are deciding as a community that clothing can be about more than mindless consumption and chasing the lowest price and buying whatever companies tell us to buy.” The Buyerarchy Of Needs by Sarah Lazarovic Some of Elizabeth’s favorite places to shop secondhand online: Poshmark, thredUp + The RealReal LA FRIENDS | Get Tickets for The Conscious Closet event featuring Elizabeth Cline at The Helms Design Center on October 27th from 2-4pm


24 Oct 2019

Rank #3

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In episode 161, Kestrel welcomes Brittany Sierra, the founder of the Sustainable Fashion Forum, to the show. A PR and marketing strategist by trade, Brittany has a deep passion for creating community and building connections, and she just recently produced the 3rd annual Sustainable Fashion Forum in Portland. “You know, when I created the event, it wasn’t as me, this expert, who knew so much and wanted to share it with everyone. It was more of me wanting to create a place where if you’re interested in this, you can come and learn from people who I felt were the experts.” -Brittany Sierra, Founder of The Sustainable Fashion Forum On this week’s show, Brittany shares more on her background in PR and marketing, and how that led her to working with fashion designers and creatives. After going to a sustainable fashion show event in Portland, Brittany got really interested in the idea of sustainable fashion, and so in order to learn more about it, she ended up creating an event — The Sustainable Fashion Forum. Probably not what most people would think to do when they’re craving more knowledge, but Brittany had a vision, and SFF has now hosted three annual events, and are currently hearing up for a Pop-Up Tour, launching early June 2019. The below thoughts, ideas + organizations were brought up in this chat: Sustainable Fashion Forum Instagram Sustainable Fashion Forum Pop-Up Tour ** mentioned in introduction (article Kestrel was interviewed for) “Are Brands Serious Enough About Their Sustainability Models?” on Sourcing Journal


21 May 2019

Rank #4

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In episode 191, Kestrel welcomes Kimberley Smith, the Chief Supply Chain Officer at Everlane, to the show. Known for their messaging around radical transparency, Everlane prides themselves on building timeless products that are designed to last. “We can be better — I mean we’re not perfect in any way. It doesn’t happen overnight, and I think that’s something that — our customer, just be patient, but we are listening … we really admire them, and we really want their feedback. And so, I think that that’s important for them to continue to challenge us.” On this week’s show, Kim shares more on her background, and how she found her way into the sustainable fashion world. She also walks us through more on how Everlane’s product has evolved over the years, starting with a focus on natural materials, and now evolving toward more sustainable materials and solutions. Kestrel asks Kim to respond to a petition that nonprofit Remake authored on Change.org, called “Ask Everlane To Share Worker Conditions (And Stop Greenwashing).” Kim responds by explaining more of what Everlane has been doing behind the scenes, how they need to be sharing more information with their shoppers, and how their new sustainability page will help answer some of these questions. Also, Kim reveals the details on Everlane’s recent sustainability commitments — no new plastic by 2021 and 100% certified organic cotton by 2023. The below thoughts, ideas + organizations were brought up in this chat: ”I think if you don’t have visibility in your supply chain, it’s hard to make change.” Everlane’s new Sustainability page > ReNew by Everlane, made from recycled plastic bottles ReCashmere by Everlane, made from recycled cashmere and wool ReCotton by Everlane, made from recycled cotton Tread by Everlane, low-impact sneakers, working toward closing their loop with these “Ask Everlane To Share Worker Conditions (And Stop Greenwashing)” — petition on Change.org started by nonprofit Remake, that Kestrel asks Kim to respond to Everlane’s Vendor Code of Conduct Everlane’s Organic Commitment: to change all of their cotton to organic by 2023 This week's episode is brought to you by United By Blue, a sustainable lifestyle brand from Philadelphia that makes men's and women's apparel, bags, and accessories. Use CHATTER30 for 30% off your order at United By Blue >


17 Mar 2020

Rank #5

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S01 Episode 03 | WATER

Episode 03 | WATER


4 Mar 2016

Rank #6

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S01 Episode 04 | MADE IN USA

Episode 04 | MADE IN USA


12 Mar 2016

Rank #7

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S01 Episode 10 | COTTON

Episode 10 | COTTON


29 Apr 2016

Rank #8

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S01 Episode 11 | SUPPLY CHAINS

Episode 11 | SUPPLY CHAINS

14 May 2016

Rank #9

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In episode 155, Kestrel welcomes Jayde Scukovic, the creative and influencer behind Jayde Archives, to the show. Originally from Australia, Jayde is now based in Switzerland, and she shares travel diaries, light packing guides, and eco living ideas through her blog + Instagram Jayde Archives. She’s also a self-proclaimed #ProudOutfitRepeater and capsule wardrobe addict. “The less I have, the more I cherish those individual items, and I really love that relationship I’m forming with my wardrobe and my clothing — and even myself. Since I’ve started taking things more slowly, everything feels a lot more positive.” -Jayde Scukovic, Founder of Jayde Archives In this week’s show, Jayde shares more on her background and how she made her way into the blogging / influencer world. She also shares more on why she loves capsule wardrobes, how less is more, and her push to celebrate proud outfit repeating. For Jayde, the restraints of space + finances first led her toward capsule wardrobes, and that direction helped inspire her to ask more questions about sustainability as well. The below thoughts, ideas + organizations were brought up in this chat:  “To be totally honest with you, the main reason I started my capsules was to help curb my shopping addiction.” Jayde’s Capsule Wardrobe Pros + Cons — Pros: saves money, is reducing clutter, saves us time getting dressed Cons: if you don’t plan it out properly, it can feel restrictive “If there is one thing that has always given me an icky feeling about the blogging/influencer industry it’s the expectation to be unboxing and wearing something new on a weekly basis. And the influence this then has on others and how they consume fashion.”


21 Mar 2019

Rank #10

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In episode 152, Kestrel welcomes Jenny Silbert, the founder of Rewilder, to the show. An LA-based brand, Rewilder is focused on the following tenants: salvage materials, local production, zero waste, good design, ethical production and high quality. “I have always been interested in upcycling, like from the time I was a kid it was something that I would do. My parents would be driving and I would be like ‘stop the car! I need to pick up that chair or I need to pick up that table that was on the side of the street.’ ” -Jenny Silbert, Founder of Rewilder In this week’s show, Jenny shares more on her journey into sustainable fashion, from originally starting in architecture. For several years, Jenny’s architectural career was focused on materials development and architectural problem solving. Through her work, she discovered how much industrial trash was building up in, for instance, the automotive and beer industries. This helped spark her and her cofounder’s concept to utilize this waste — beautiful, durable, unique material — and repurpose it into bag designs. The below thoughts, ideas + organizations were brought up in this chat: “The unique thing about fashion is that is really touches everybody.” “We’re in this interesting time where it’s very clear that we have a gigantic trash problem and it impacts everyone on the earth but the action - like changing people’s behaviors is still really really difficult.” For Jenny, using pre-consumer industrial waste has proven the most efficient for Rewilder. Because often, when something is already constructed, it’s so durable that the deconstruction and reconstruction makes it cost-prohibitive to utilize. Rewilder will be launching an entirely zero waste bag in the coming months.


21 Feb 2019

Rank #11

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11 Jan 2017

Rank #12

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In episode 126, Kestrel welcomes Zoe Cleary, the cofounder of Nisolo, as well as Matt Stockamp, the Impact Associate at Nisolo, to the show. A fashion company known for their hip, fairly made shoes, Nisolo's mantra is: Intentionally designed. Ethically made. Fairly priced. "Our mission has really been to kind of bridge the gap between the end consumer + the producer, and show how you can make a positive or a negative impact into producers lives. And to have that conversation going - for the consumer to feel like they understand where their products are really from, and the importance of the role that they can really play in that." -Zoe Cleary, Cofounder of Nisolo In this episode, Zoe shares her unique story, and what led her to shift away from the conventional fashion industry. She also shares the background of how she first connected with her cofounder over a 4-hour Skype call, that pushed her to buy a ticket to Peru to meet him, and then, quickly after - she quit her job in New York to move to Peru to help build Nisolo. Also, Zoe shares more on how Nisolo has grown over the years - after starting with 4 shoemakers, they now have 80 full-time shoemakers working in the factory that they own and operate.  To keep customers + other up-to-date, Nisolo shares an Impact Report regularly through their website. Matt shares more on this and the additional programs that Nisolo is working on to offset their carbon footprint, as well as close the loop in their supply chain. The below thoughts, ideas + organizations were brought up in this chat: Good World Solutions, Matt had a social entrepreneurship fellowship with them during university About 80% of Nisolo's products are made in their factory in Trujillo, Peru Nisolo & Ecosphere+ Partnership Nisolo's Impact Report "45% of our producers who are working with us have never held a formal job in the economy before. This is the first time that they're receiving a stable salary, this is the first time that they are receiving benefits." 2020 Circular Fashion System Commitment by Global Fashion Agenda, Nisolo has signed it Soles4Souls, Nisolo's partner for their takeback program BONUS FROM NISOLO Zoe wanted to extend an exclusive 20% off site wide discount at Nisolo for all Conscious Chatter listeners! :)   Use code CHATTER20 on Nisolo.com if you find something you'd like to add to your wardrobe. The code expires November 1st. RECOMMENDED READING FROM INTRO"Here's Why We Think Sustainable Fashion Is A Moving Target" via The Good Trade


7 Aug 2018

Rank #13

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In episode 118, Kestrel welcomes Rebecca Burgess, the founder of Fibershed, to the show. A globally recognized project, Fibershed is working to address and educate the public on the environmental, economic and social benefits of de-centralizing the textile supply chain. "What are we doing? What is our consumption doing to other people's cultures?"  -Rebecca Burgess, founder of Fibershed  In this episode, Rebecca shares more on her exceptional and unexpected path into working in the textile industry. For her, it all started with agriculture, and a happenstance loom that happened to exist at her former university. For Rebecca, she has continued to uncover and discover so many more intricacies of the textile system through her curiosity and drive to consistently ask more questions. Throughout this chat, Rebecca also shares more in depth information on the power that farmers and ranchers hold today to turn around the health of our soil, while becoming climate change heroes. The below thoughts, ideas + organizations were brought up in this chat: Rebecca realized what a fibershed is while she was living in Southeast Asia: "a Fibershed is like a watershed or a food shed - it's a strategic geography that clothes you." "I think there's a danger in abstracting the wearer from the source of the material." Paige Green, photographer Rebecca partnered with in the early stages of building out Fibershed Prototype Wardrobe, project Rebecca developed in 2010 (the beginnings of Fibershed), where she worked with the community around her to develop and wear a prototype wardrobe whose dyes, fibers and labor were sourced from a region no larger than 150 miles from the project’s headquarters Carbon Farming: decarbonizing the atmosphere + re-carbonizing our soils is a process Rebecca has been working diligently on educating farmers, ranchers and larger brands about, in an effort to help them maximize their carbon capture "Everyone who manages a farm or a ranch has the potential of being a complete climate hero." North Face x Fibershed Climate Beneficial Wool project Drawdown, book by Paul Hawken - Rebecca shares how overall, regenerative farming is really how we are going to be able to reverse global warming "Bare ground is what you want to avoid in carbon farming." Gabe Brown, farmer in North Dakota who has been sequestering massive amounts of carbon into his soil through his regenerative farming approach, using cover crops of diverse species that he calls chaos gardens Climate Beneficial Wool, supports fiber production that measurably contributes to balancing the carbon cycle Natural Resource Conservation Service Comet, tool that allows Fibershed and/or farmers model different scenarios, to help them determine how they can maximize their carbon capture Citizen Science Soil Sampling Protocol, developed with UC Davis - it's a toolkit that allows the rancher to take their own soil samples, and they send them to the lab to receive carbon data in their soil per acre (it also allows the farmer or rancher to understand how much carbon they are actually sequestering) The Fibershed blog, stories from their producer program The Fibershed Affiliate Directory, provides a point of connection to the grassroots network of communities organizing around regional fiber systems Post Colonial Bandaid Strategies: "it's like we're rich white people with money and we're going to invest in things that make us feel better in developing countries, and we're going to invest in big global technologies that have high returns and scale really quickly." Rebecca believes that people of means need to be investing in community-based infrastructure. Artist Alert From Intro: Rachel Ignotofky is an author and illustrator, who creates exceptionally stunning systems-oriented artwork, connected to the earth, science and women. If you're a visual learner like me, her artwork can truly help paint a clear explanation of some of the wonders of the planet and beyond.


12 Jun 2018

Rank #14

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S01 Episode 17 | TRANSPARENCY



21 Jun 2016

Rank #15

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In episode 73, Kestrel welcomes Céline Semaan Vernon, the CEO of Slow Factory to the show. Slow Factory is a mission-driven independent fashion label & lab that creates beautiful accessories, clothes and jewelry while directly supporting environmental and humanitarian causes. All work is fair-trade and manufactured with eco-friendly ink and fabrics. "Fashion activism is the practice of using fashion as a means of social change. It merges popular styles of dress, from clothing and shoes, to headwear and accessories, with efforts to implement social and political change. Fashion activism can be used as a form of protest, whether expressing dissent or support." -"Fashion Activism" by Céline, Wikipedia Throughout this chat, Céline shares insight into what fashion activism means to her, and why buzz words aren't enough in pushing for change in the fashion industry. She also shares her thoughts on the open web - unfiltered/unorganized information - and how she is an open web actovate. Kestrel asks Céline about her creative process and what inspires her collections. Céline explains that leaving her annual collections somewhat open-ended allows for more of an ability to react in a creative way to political or cultural situations that arise.  "You can't be creative in a vacuum ... well, you can but then you're completely disconnected from what's happening." Below are a list of other ideas, blog posts or organizations that were discussed throughout this chat: Overview effect Fashion Activism (Céline's Wikipedia entry) Read "Fair Trade Is Not Enough" on Slow Factory Read "Open Web" on Slow Factory ANERA Are We There Yet? #WeAreHome Documentary -> You can watch here! 


2 Aug 2017

Rank #16

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In episode 53, our first episode of Season 2, Kestrel connect with natural dye guru Kathy Hattori. As the founder of Botanical Colors, Kathy works to bring natural dyeing processes to larger scale production facilities, and also collaborates with designers on small batch dye projects. In this chat, Kathy breaks down the big differences between conventional and natural dyes, and the scaleability of the latter. Also, Kestrel and Kathy talk about "brilliance of dyes," and how this can be interpreted differently, depending on your relationship with color and its meaning. Nonylphenol ethoxylates (NPEs) are the chemicals that Kathy mentioned have extremely harmful effects. Research has shown that - when washed - NPEs are released from clothing and in turn, discharged into our waterways, where they turn into the even more toxic and hormone-disrupting chemical nonylphenol (NP). More on Greenpeace's Detox program here >


14 Mar 2017

Rank #17

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S01 Episode 16 | FIBER FARMING

Episode 16 | FIBER FARMING


14 Jun 2016

Rank #18

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In episode 102, Kestrel welcomes Dominique Drakeford, the founder of Melanin & Sustainable Style, to the show. A platform that is bringing melanin to the forefront of sustainable fashion, beauty and living, MelaninASS is helping to give the ethical industry an authentic and culturally relevant voice.  "This whole community is about 'let's talk about what's wrong' - we talk about what's wrong from an environmental point of view, we talk about fast fashion and we point fingers at H&M and we do all this ... but let's look at ourselves and let's talk about some real issues that are wrong because honestly, sustainability is founded on culture - the essence of sustainability is rooted in culture and we don't talk about it."  -Dominique Drakeford, Founder of Melanin & Sustainable Style In this episode, Dominique shares a bit of her background and the eclectic experiences that have led her into the sustainable style conversation. Kestrel and Dominique also discuss the layers behind two notable articles written by Dominique: "Who The Hell Wants To See Only White Women In Sustainable Fashion" and "Why I Think Ethical Fashion Is A Privileged White Girl Thing". Dominique highlights several of the disconnects in the sustainable fashion conversation - from representation to discrimination to tokenism to appropriation to privilege - and how historical relevance and institutional racism are being left out of the discourse. They talk about the reality of how the ethical fashion space has been dominated by white women, and how privilege and race relations need to play a larger role in our approach to this conversation. Also, Dominique shares her inspiration behind the Vanguard Series, a project she developed on her platform to highlight "true visionaries and cultural influencers who are creating a positive impact in the fashion, beauty and/or the sustainable lifestyle industry."  The below thoughts, ideas + organizations were brought up in this chat: The GreenShows, a company Dominique worked with in the past Donna Karan Urban Zen, a company Dominique worked with in the past "You're not really going to create change until you make people uncomfortable." "Who The Hell Wants To See Only White Women In Sustainable Fashion" by Dominique "Why I Think Ethical Fashion Is A Privileged White Girl Thing" by Dominique, published on Eluxe Magazine Food apartheid, as explained in this article: "a relentless social construct that devalues human beings and assumes that people are unworthy of having access to nutritious food" Studio 189, one of Dominique's favorite brands, which she also worked with in Ghana Chan + Krys, one of Dominique's favorite brands Susana Colina, one of Dominique's favorite brands Remuse, one of Dominique's favorite brands Voz, one of Dominique's favorite brands Kowtow, one of Dominique's favorite brands Grammar, one of Dominique's favorite brands Vanguards Series on Melanin & Sustainable Style Dominique's 'Conscious Closets' Dominique's YouTube Channel Recommended reading from the intro: "Why Fashion Is Key to Understanding the World of Black Panther" by Tanisha C. Ford in The Atlantic


21 Feb 2018

Rank #19

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In episode 59, Kestrel had the opportunity to visit the Patagonia Headquarters in Ventura, CA to record an in-person interview with 2 key players in the Patagonia game. Helena Barbour is the Senior Director of Global Sportswear at Patagonia, and Thuy Nguyen is the Manager of Social Responsibility and Special Programs. The two have played a large role in building out Patagonia's Fair Trade initiative - in conjunction with Fair Trade USA - in recent years.  In light of Fashion Revolution Day this year, and a continued hope to instigate more respect for the people who make our clothes, this chat is focused heavily on the concept and implementation of Fair Trade initiatives in the garment supply chain. Kestrel asks Thuy and Helena to share more about the evolution of the program at Patagonia, including their thoughts on where they started and where they have come. In addition, they discuss the logistics of how the Fair Trade program works, and how it has the potential to help support local communities around the world. Kestrel brings "scalability" to the table again, and Thuy and Helena provide their insight on the scalability of fair trade manufacturing, and how collaboration is key to the future success of this program. When it comes to storytelling, the three discuss how complicated it still is to bring up the sustainable fashion conversation with an inclusive, nonjudgemental approach. To close, Thuy and Helena each share their ideas on how we can continue to work on small ways of bringing a more conscious approach to what we wear.


23 Apr 2017

Rank #20