Let’s be honest, the daily commute can seem like a bit of a waste of time. Unless you can fill it with something useful perhaps, like learning a new language on DuoLingo (if it downloads properly) or reading a book. Even The Metro or The Evening Standard are good ways to absorb some knowledge in the dead time before and after work. But living in London, well, there is no guarantee your elbows will have room to hold anything out far enough to read.
Being hands-free, this is where the podcast has its time to shine. I have learnt countless things on podcasts from economics to history, from the secrets of psychopaths to food. It’s all on there. Much better than listening to Alesha Dixon on a #ThrowbackThursday playlist and remembering all the reasons why you started (trying to) read again in the mornings.
So, below is my roundup of the best slow/responsible/conscious fashion podcasts on the block. Please comment if you know of any others I should be following – I’m addicted!
1. Wardrobe Crisis (Spotify/iTunes)
Clare Press was Managing Editor of Marie Claire magazine for years and has recently taken up the Sustainability Editor-at-Large position at Australia’s Vogue. She is passionate about exposing all the reasons to love the fashion industry, and all the reasons it needs to change before you fully can. Since her debut podcast in June 2017, Clare has had some fascinating guests, from Bangladeshi factory worker union leader Kalpona Akter and anti-consumerism economist Richard Denniss to leading luxury fashion buyer Eve Galambos and the fabulous French vintage queen Catherine Baba. Brands such as TOMS and Patagonia also feature. She’s now back with season 2 of the podcasts and her second-book, after Wardrobe Crisis, is coming very soon.
2. Ethical Hour (iTunes)
Following the British vibe, Sian Conway, founder of #EthicalHour, a network for ethically-focussed business owners, consumers and bloggers, blogs weekly about how to maximise your impact and live and work more ethically. She gives out some outstanding advice for individuals looking to use social media to increase their influence in the sustainable fashion field and also teaches consumers how to ‘spot’ a sustainable business. #EthicalHour has amassed a hugely loyal and interested following in a relatively quick time, and Sian shares her tips and tricks as to how you too can do so.
3. Who Made My Clothes (Spotify/iTunes)
Who Made My Clothes is a podcast which introduces you to various founders behind the sustainable brands working in all areas of the fashion industry from men’s socks to high quality bags. It is the brainchild of Fashion Revolution, the global movement set up by Carrie Somers and Orsola de Castro in reaction to the horrendous amount of lives lost in the collapse of Rana Plaza in 2013. Hosted by Clare Press, it delves into the trials and tribulations of setting up a sustainable fashion business, and the positive impact they see in the communities they work within and for. It’s a short series, I’m hoping there will be more.
4. The Successful Fashion Designer (Spotify/iTunes)
Sew Heidi, North American fashion industry stalwart, has a successful podcast detailing the intricacies of starting up a fashion brand. Most of her podcasts are about the fashion industry at large, but some are well-aligned to a more sustainable, ethically-focussed listener. I’d recommend Episode 22: Why we should all be asking who Made My Clothes, episode 26: how millennial are giving the fashion industry a better name and episode 12: how to build a group of raving fans before you have a product.
5. The Spirit of 608 (iTunes)
Hosted by fashion journalist Lorraine Sanders, the podcast gives tips and advice from women who are combining the following: fashion, entrepreneurship, sustainability and tech. Lorraine calls it F.E.S.T. She interviews some really phenomenal individuals about not only their journey into these areas, their tips and tricks but also where they think the industry is going. It’s truly fascinating. Particularly good if you’re launching a brand and looking for hints on PR and getting yourself noticed! There are so many episodes to choose from, your next month of commuting is sorted.
6. Conscious Chatter (Spotify/iTunes)
US fashion sustainability aficionado Kestrel Jenkins is probably the best known podcaster out there. She has a library of talks in which she interviews different individuals working in varied capacities within the ethical and sustainable fashion sphere. There is a lot of knowledge to be gained from her podcast, especially if you’re looking to open your eyes to the plethora of sustainable fashion brands that already exist beyond Reformation!