Author - Olivia Young
Being a consumer during the climate crisis feels remarkably like being left to man the cockpit of a spacecraft solo. Shopping for anything — house plants, washing machines, broccoli — is a grave responsibility, yet navigating the perplexing and often contradictory ethics of fashion is near impossible when even the label on a jumper is too complex to read.
Fortunately for aspiring environmentalists who don't have the time nor the vocabulary to sift through hundred-page sustainability reports, there are a number of nifty podcasts out there that do all the research for us and, more importantly, deliver it in layman's terms. Addressing everything from fair pay to sustainable sourcing and greenwashing, these five podcasts are tackling the big issues with easy-to-digest episodes that you can listen to on the way to work.
Clare Press is such a force in ethical fashion that Vogue Australia created a position just for her — the first ever sustainability editor-at-large — in 2018. In her three-years-running podcast, Wardrobe Crisis, she calls upon the elite (British Members of Parliament, supermodels, activists, designers, and UN leaders) to discuss the perils of the fashion industry as well as less weighty things like vintage shopping and zero-waste living. Press talks to Everlane's Michael Preysman about radical transparency, Tarana Burke about the #metoo movement, and Eco-Age's Livia Firth about what it means to be a fashion activist.
This series, now with nearly 200 episodes under its belt, has been around since the dawn of podcasts. Host Kestrel Jenkins — who's been fighting for better ethics in fashion for over a decade — has had everyone from Patagonia execs to sustainable travel experts as her conversation partners. Covering a diverse range of subjects such as the benefits of hemp, the rise of resale, menstrual waste, and fair materials, Conscious Chatter touches on serious issues with an infectious optimism.
Venetia Falconer is leading the Instagram slow fashion movement with her #OOOTD (old outfit of the day) hashtag and her fearlessness in taking on big-name greenwashers like Boohoo and H&M. Her podcast, Talking Tastebuds, covers sustainability and conscious living on a broad scale. One week, she's talking to fellow ethical fashion influencer Aja Barber about privilege and the next, she's unpacking toxic masculinity. Veganism and mental health are frequent features as well.
Spirit of 608
F.E.S.T. stands for fashion, entrepreneurship, sustainability, and tech — in other words, the framework of Lorraine Sanders' long-running podcast. Through Sanders' commentary on fashion gaming, "fashtech," social media, etc., you'll get actionable advice to incorporate into your own life (for instance: taking prettier Instagram pictures).
Business of Fashion
While not exclusively sustainability-focused, Business of Fashion's podcast prioritises ethics in its all-encompassing fashion coverage as much as it does on its widely respected digital platform. BoF has long been *the* source of industry news and founder Imran Amed leads listeners through the latest behind-the-scenes happenings, touching on sustainability with icons like Eileen Fisher and more. The episodes "Woman are at the forefront of the sustainable fashion revolution" and "Designing with biology" should be at the top of your playlist.