| Sustainable Fashion Academy

Big Closets Small Planet with Michael Schragger

INDUSTRY UPDATE: Circular business models, like clothing resale and subscription rental, are taking off - but can they ever fully replace today's retail models and deliver the radical sustainability improvements we need?

Experts and practitioners agree that simply improving upon today’s take-make-waste linear business models will not ensure the apparel industry can operate within the planet’s ecological boundaries. Instead, a new circular economy is needed and thus new circular business models. Circular business models, like resale and rental, are not actually new. But up until a few years ago, models like these were marginal, primarily employed by second hand stores and charity shops. How things have changed!

May 27th, 2020 56 minutes 21 seconds

Previous Podcast Episodes

In this new segment we will explore commonly repeated “factoids” in order to determine whether they are substantive and useful. Perhaps you have heard the statement that the production and use of clothing creates more climate impact than that of flights and shipping combined? A range of organisations - including the United Nations - have referred to this when promoting the need for climate action in the fashion and textiles industry. But is this statement true?

33 minutes and 40 seconds

The impacts of the corona virus on the apparel sector have been fast and furious. We are all affected, but millions of low-wage garment workers are facing a potentially catastrophic situation. In this episode we talk to a number of experts and union representatives to better understand what is happening on the ground, what responsibility buyers have for ensuring workers get paid, what this crisis reveals about the apparel supply chain, and if Bangladesh will ever be the same.

43 minutes and 1 second

The Fabricant, a digital fashion house, recently sold a piece of digital clothing - clothing that is only available in digital environments - for over 9000 USD. This experience helped them realise that their expertise in 3-d digital modelling could be used for a better purpose: creating a new industry sector for digital only clothing which is very good for business and the planet.

31 minutes and 1 second

…to develop and mainstream the sustainable apparel innovations required to meet key sustainability goals for the apparel industry. Listeners of this podcast series are familiar with our on-going focus on the crucial role finance and investment plays in enabling industry transformation. For the past two years SFA and Fashion for Good have been convening stakeholders to analyse this topic while calling for an analysis estimating how much financial investment is needed. Now we have it!

54 minutes and 57 seconds

In this new segment - Make Your Case - Big Closets Small Planet provides industry experts and stakeholders a platform to argue for a particular position or perspective. In this episode, Lewis Perkins, President of the Apparel Impact Institute (AII), outlines his organisation’s vision and advice for accelerating change in the apparel industry.

11 minutes and 40 seconds

Here is a quick dose of inspiration! At Planet Textiles, Mike spoke to Spencer Null about Natural Fiber Welding’s breakthrough solution: enabling natural fibers like cotton to behave like polyester. Is this a game changer? It is if it means poor quality fibers can be upgraded to premium fibers… Listen to this bite size pod to get a quick lesson on cool chemistry, and get inspired by a potentially disruptive approach.

9 minutes and 29 seconds

Do you ever wonder how CEOs from some of our industry’s most influential companies view the big social and environmental challenges we are facing today and the potential of business and innovation to adequately address these? TENCEL is a sponsor of this podcast series, so Michael took the chance and invited Lenzing’s CEO Stefan Doboczky to discuss a wide range of topics in recent interview.

43 minutes and 21 seconds

Dr. Lea Esterhuizen, an expert in gathering sensitive data from scared populations, believes we are unwittingly eating and wearing products that have likely been made or assembled using forced labor. Typically the apparel industry has used the “social audit” to address this problem. But social audits provide an incomplete picture of the situation.

13 minutes and 33 seconds

Mike had the unique opportunity to sit down with an impact investor and a vertical manufacturer to share their real world views on what it takes to accelerate the uptake of sustainable apparel technologies in the apparel supply chain.

47 minutes and 2 seconds

Between 2014 and 2016, an increasing number of journalists began reporting on disturbing new research showing that microfibers from synthetic garments were making their way from our washing machines into fish and other aquatic animals. Since then the textile industry has been scrambling to understand the extent of the problem and what our industry should do about it. It’s now 2019, so what more have we learned since researchers first sounded the alarm? And what is our industry currently doing to address the challenge? Mike sat down with Sophie Mather from The Microfibre Consortium to get updated.

46 minutes and 7 seconds

The United States Military is required to make their clothing in the United States. But because very little clothing is produced in the United States today the U.S. Military needed to find alternative solutions. Enter Pete Santora, who launched SoftWear Automation 13 years ago to respond to this challenge. 

17 minutes and 42 seconds

At Planet Textiles, Mike Schragger spoke with two of his favorite chemical and textiles experts, Phil Patterson and Linda Greer, about the state of the industry regarding chemical management in textiles today.

56 minutes and 8 seconds

The founders of Tyton BioSciences are not personally interested in fashion, but that won’t stop them from using subcritical water to help solve the current textile-recycling conundrum. Mike Schragger talks to Luke Henning, CFO of Tyton, about their unique process for separating cellulose from polyester in blended materials.

14 minutes and 21 seconds

Nearly 6 million tons of leftover textiles - the equivalent 18 million new clothes - are wasted in South East Asia and China alone. If we could remanufacture these textiles and reuse them, or ensure we only produce what we need when we need it, we may be able to significantly reduce the environmental impacts of clothing production and support the transition to a circular fashion system.

34 minutes and 28 seconds

And what can the H&M group’s journey teach us about the larger challenges and opportunities facing the industry overall? In a refreshingly candid and constructive interview, Mike spoke with the H&M group’s Kim Hällström about what has happened since the company first made their important public climate commitment and what we can learn from the H&M group’s insights and experiences in order to help the entire apparel industry reduce its emissions in line with a 1,5 degree warming pathway.

49 minutes and 19 seconds