Have you ever wondered about the environmental footprint of your closet? Why is it that we are so concerned with avoiding pesticides and single-use plastics in our food but not our clothing? Is fast fashion worse for the planet than fast food?
To answer these thorny questions and more, clothing expert Taryn Hipwell founded “Beyond the Label,” a nonprofit focused on consumer education and advocating for a more sustainable fashion industry.
Her groundbreaking “What’s in my tee?” program showed consumers the ingredients that went into t-shirts so they could learn how to avoid pesticides, heavy metals, and unhealthy dyes in the fabrics they wear every day. In our eye-opening chat, we cover how fast fashion’s reliance on polyester and throw-away culture is virtually identical to the world of single-use plastics and why we should all think more about the health impacts of what we wear.
We then explore the end of life for clothing and dig into why only a fraction of the clothes we donate get sold, while the majority of them get shipped to Africa. Taryn also shares a helpful guide to being “fabric literate” and learning to decipher which fabrics and chemicals you should try to avoid and seek out when you’re shopping. This episode is the education about clothing everyone should have really learned in school and will make you re-think your closet and personal style for the better!
- To get to know more about the fashion industry and buy the “How to Shop For Shift Guide,” check out Beyond the Label’s website: https://www.labeyondthelabel.com/
- Keep an eye out for the “For the Feel Marketplace” coming soon! Sign up for the waitlist to be the first to be informed as the Seed to Skin marketplace launches: https://forthefeel.com/
- Taryn recommends looking out for any of the following fabrics in your clothes, which are both more sustainable and softer than polyester fabrics: Organic cotton, recycled cotton, hemp, bamboo, tencel, and modal Agroloop is transforming crop waste into fabric! https://www.circular-systems.com/agraloop; https://www.circular-systems.com/agraloop
- A must-read book about the fashion industry is “Fashionopolis” by Dana Thomas https://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/books/554229/fashionopolis-by-dana-thomas/
- Taryn is a big fan of “Shop for Success” and “Dress for Success” which use used clothing to empower and enhance women’s lives by helping them get professional clothing for job interviews and more! https://www.shopforsuccessla.com/https://dressforsuccess.org/
- Taryn recommends the following documentaries about the fashion industry: “Walmart: The High Cost of Low Price” digs into the business practices of retail giant Walmart https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RXmnBbUjsPs; “The True Cost” explores the hidden side of the fashion industry https://truecostmovie.com/; “River Blue” sheds light on the environmental impacts of clothing dyes http://riverbluethemovie.eco/
- Taryn admires Sass Brown, Carry Somers and Orsola de Castro founders of Fashion Revolution, Tamsin Lejeune of Common Objectives, Sica Schmitz of Impact Fashion, Marci Zaroff of Yes And, Isaac Nichelson of Circular Systems/Agraloop, and Stephanie Wagner founder of For the Feel.