The rise of the podcast is definitely not slowing down anytime soon, and I have to admit, I can see why. It fills your time whilst doing chores or whilst travelling, or whilst doing some work that doesn’t require too much thought with something other than music or the latest TV show you’ve been binging. You can listen to all sorts of creative people and intelligent minds, whilst still be somewhat productive, and it seems I may have Googled and discovered an ethical gem…
I was actually able to get in touch with the founder of this wonderful platform, Kestrel Jenkins, who created AWEAR World and the podcast, Conscious Chatter, in 2016, and have asked her a few questions which will enable you to learn more about what you’ll be listening to and why I, and so many others, want to recommend you taking a look (or listen) for yourself…
Conscious Chatter is an inclusive audio space where I welcome guests on to talk fashion, style and sustainability. It opens the door to conversations about our clothing and how we can all do our part to support a better future for the garment industry.
The podcast hasn’t even been in action for a year yet, but it has definitely transformed. It is now being used as a resource in select university classrooms and sustainable fashion courses, and it’s become a thrilling space to showcase the positive shifts and hopeful transformations in the industry.
The first episode I would highly recommend, would be the third episode which focuses on water and its effects on the fashion industry. I was already aware that water is a huge part of our clothes and what we wear, but hearing it from Mark Angelo & Roger Williams, two people truly focused on water and its journey, was really insightful. They discuss their new and upcoming documentary, River Blue, which will hopefully be released soon. If it is, I can’t wait to watch it and I hope this episode inspires you to do the same.
This episode was the first to really inspire me because I found it so relatable. Kestrel talks to Gretchen Jones who was the winner of Project Runway (Season 8), and although at first I was rather curious about how she fits in with ethical and conscious world, what she spoke about really spoke to me, especially about how she was always interested in being a fashion designer from a young age, but the issues surrounding the industry are what changed her mind set on what she really wanted to do… and I can slowly but surely see that happening to me. I think the design direction I want to go in has hugely shifted, but I’m extremely proud of that and this episode made me feel proud to embrace that change.
This was a really interesting talk, especially for aspiring designers or brand owners who want to head down the slow fashion route. It’s really refreshing to hear positive opinions about achieving the goal of creating an ethical brand, and some of the pieces of advice were great to take away with you.
Something which is big within the ethical/slow fashion movement, is downsizing and living with a smaller and more minimalistic wardrobe, as well as downsizing on other parts of your life. Courtney Carver, the creator of Project 333, spoke to Kestrel about leading a life of minimalism and how the project can help you. It had some really interesting points about how overconsumption can not only affect the world, but can also affect us personally with our health and our minds, and not just within fashion. If you’re interested in things like capsule wardrobes – this is the episode for you!
I have done my best to work on creating an open, welcoming space with Conscious Chatter. I understand that this conversation can be intimidating, it can be overwhelming, and it’s a lot to take in – especially when you start diving in. For me, I see the podcast as a great way to start learning – at your own pace – about the realities of the global garment supply chain and the amazing changemakers pushing for a better industry.
Reusing and keeping clothes alive is something that I think all of us should be more mindful of. Not only is there waste being created by what we choose to throw away, there is also being waste created by the brands we purchase from, and Nicole Bassett, co-founder of The Renewal Workshop, is part of changing how the system works. A ‘circular economy’ is an idea I’d love to look into in the future – it’s based on the idea of keeping everything in an endless loop and cycle, so that nothing is wasted and nothing is untraceable. It’s a topic that is discussed more than once on the Conscious Chatter podcast!
I was really excited to listen to this episode with the founders of Project Just. I discovered Project Just in 2016 when I was researching ethical directories; it’s a website that focuses on showing shoppers and consumers (as well as bloggers, journalists and even the brands themselves) which brands are the most transparent, and which we should be buying from. It’s a really powerful resource for everyone and anyone, and learning about how it all came together is a rather interesting story. I hope to focus more on Project Just on the future because transparency is hugely important when tackling the all-important issues in the industry.
When thinking about all of the changes and shifts that are happening to hopefully change the way fashion works, we often forget about how difficult the transition from fast-fashion to slow-fashion can be, and listening to Mara Hoffman talk about the ins and outs of that process was really eye opening and honest. I hadn’t heard of Mara’s work before the podcast, so it was awesome to be opened up to a new and innovative brand whilst listening.
For me lately, it’s been thinking about how many times I imagine I will wear something before I dive into making a purchase. Thinking about a garment as having a “price per wear” is a really good way for me to validate a purchase, or to rethink buying something.
Another discovery through the podcast, was the Cradle to Cradle Products Institute. As an aspiring designer, and now an aspiring ethical and sustainable designer, knowing that the team at Cradle to Cradle are working to share such amazing research and resources, really helps me believe that creating something powerful from the beginning will and can be possible. It’s another discussion focusing on the circular economy idea, and how designers and brands can work towards it.
As you can probably tell by the title, this episode of Conscious Chatter was rather relevant to me. Kestrel talks to three bloggers who focus on ethical lifestyle and fashion, about making money when focusing on such a niche topic and how we can all go about spreading awareness as influencers. I’ve already touched on this idea in one of my recent blog posts about why ethical fashion shouldn’t make you feel bad, and it has only made me think about how to share my thoughts with you in an even better and more inspiring way. I hope that this starts to shine through in 2017!
Last but not least, for now anyway, we have a discussion on diversity in the fashion industry. Diversity is something I’m always interested in learning more about, simply because it doesn’t make sense to me as to why the industry isn’t always very accepting of it. That’s what this episode aims to focus on though; why the fashion industry and the people within it are scared of change, and how we can try and solve that.
The largest – as well as most simple – takeaway I’ve had from the podcast thus far is that people really do care. This conversation has been exponentially gaining momentum in recent years, and the number of inspiring projects and people working for change is truly motivating. Having the opportunity to connect and hear from individuals across the world, working for a better industry, reminds me that we’ve come a long way and we must continue to tell this story, and continue to welcome more people in.
I think my biggest take away from listening so far, has been the idea of sharing positivity to do with ethical fashion rather than negativity. I think it’s super important we focuses on some of the tougher and larger issues but it’s also super important to promote the good parts of the industry as a way to change people’s mindsets. I spoke about this recently and I hope you’ll bear with me as I adapt to this thought process.
What are your favourite podcasts? Let me know in the comments!
(Sadly the weather has been terrible (we actually had a tornado yesterday!) which is the reason for the lack of photos. I should be back soon though!)
Lots of Love… Tolly Dolly Posh xx