Episode 6

full
Published on:

2nd Apr 2024

How to Spot Greenwashing: Insider Tips From a Slow Fashion Designer

If you think "greenwashing" is a new kind of laundry hack, well, we've got news for you (and it isn't good). We're delving into the murky waters of sustainable fashion, offering actionable insights to navigate the deceptive world of greenwashing. Sustainable fashion designer Abbie James explains what it is, why it's so bad, and shares some practical tips to help us discern real eco-facts from fast fashion fiction.

Guest bio:

A passionate campaigner against the fast fashion industry, environmentalist and fashion designer, Abbie James is changing the fashion industry from the inside out. 

With the fashion industry in crisis, Abbie knew she needed to use her skills to make a change. Offering transparency and accountability in an industry that is anything but honest, Abbie is looking towards a future where clothing is loved and cherished and craftsmanship is honoured over cheap labour. 

Connect with Abbie:

Abbie's Website

@abbiejames.official on Instagram

Abbie's Facebook page

Mentioned in this episode:

About the show:

This is ´╗┐Reloved Radio: Sustainable Fashion Stories, the fortnightly show that brings you inspiring stories from guests who are making a positive impact in the sustainable fashion space.

Want to know the BEST places to shop secondhand online in Australia? Download this EPIC list for free!

Join the Reloved conversation on Instagram.

Credits:

Music: 'Old Leather Sneakers' by PineAppleMusic

Transcript
Abbie:

Fifty-nine percent of green claims are misleading.

2

:

That's a statistic in the UK.

3

:

And I know, and 68 percent of

companies in the USA have confirmed

4

:

that they have greenwashed.

5

:

So when a company is saying,

"We're a green company", don't

6

:

just take it at face value.

7

:

You need to have a look on their website

and see how they're backing them up.

8

:

Chryssius: Hey, Relovers,

welcome to Reloved Radio.

9

:

Today, I have Abbie James on the show to

talk about greenwashing - what it is, why

10

:

it's so bad, and what can we do about it?

11

:

Abbie isn't your typical fashion designer.

12

:

- she's combined her love for fabrics and

design with a commitment to environmental

13

:

sustainability and as such, has

carved out a niche for herself in the

14

:

world of luxury, sustainable fashion.

15

:

Abbie challenges the fashion

industry's norms, and I'm totally

16

:

on board with her vision of a

future where clothing is treasured,

17

:

craftsmanship is revered, and ethical

practices prevail over cheap labour.

18

:

Welcome to the show, Abbie!

19

:

Abbie: Thank you very much for

having me and what an important topic

20

:

we're going to talk about today.

21

:

Chryssius: It is, and I want

to start with what greenwashing

22

:

actually is, because I'll

tell you a really quick story.

23

:

We were having a conversation in

our lunchroom the other day, and

24

:

I had mentioned "greenwashing" and

nobody at the table knew what it was.

25

:

And most of them actually thought that

it had something to do with laundry.

26

:

So, can you give us, a bit of

a rundown of what greenwashing

27

:

actually means in the fashion world?

28

:

Abbie: Yes, I can.

29

:

And it's absolutely rampant in the

fashion industry, but not only the

30

:

fashion industry, every single industry

that, uh, we are dealing with at the

31

:

moment is greenwashing because we

are, as a consumer, so focused on

32

:

environmental issues and sustainability

that the companies are grabbing

33

:

onto this and they realise that

"green" things, "eco" things sell.

34

:

And so they are trying to make their

products as green as, or to seem as

35

:

green as possible to us so we buy them.

36

:

The problem is greenwashing is when

it isn't a sustainable product,

37

:

but they're greenwashing us to make

us think that it's sustainable.

38

:

People say, oh, certified green,

but they've certified it themselves.

39

:

So you've got to be really

careful of all those words.

40

:

But any word, sustainable, green,

eco, it's all just these buzzwords.

41

:

And it's actually really hard for

consumers because there are people out

42

:

there that are doing the right thing.

43

:

And what words do they use?

44

:

Because they don't want to

sound like they're greenwashing.

45

:

But it's really confusing for consumers.

46

:

Chryssius: So how can we spot when

a brand is trying to greenwash us?

47

:

Are we just looking for those

words or what are we looking for?

48

:

Abbie: You're looking

for No, you know what?

49

:

You're not just looking for those words.

50

:

You're looking for backup of those words.

51

:

And it does mean as a consumer,

you need to research a little bit.

52

:

So when a company is saying,

we're a green company, don't

53

:

just take it as at face value.

54

:

You need to have a look on their website

and see how they're backing them up.

55

:

Because if someone, if a brand is

sustainable, is eco-friendly, they

56

:

are going to back up their claims

because financially it's a really smart

57

:

thing to do because it makes sense.

58

:

But if it's not backed up,

then it's greenwashing.

59

:

Another thing to do, and I was

given this tip from another podcast

60

:

called Clotheshorse Podcast.

61

:

I interviewed her on my website

and, if you type in the company

62

:

into Google the company's name

and then the word "greenwashing",

63

:

have a look at what comes up.

64

:

And if they have had a lot of

greenwashing claims in the past,

65

:

that'll come up and, you know,

it'll just give you some red flag.

66

:

Chryssius: That's a great tip, I'm

definitely going to try that one.

67

:

I hadn't even thought of

doing that, to be honest.

68

:

Abbie: works.

69

:

works.

70

:

Chryssius: Can you give us some

examples of the tactics that brands use?

71

:

You know, more of the sneaky tactics

they're using to make themselves seem

72

:

more eco-friendly than they actually are?

73

:

Abbie: Yeah.

74

:

H& M at one point, they, you know,

they had their Conscious Collection.

75

:

I'm pretty sure they don't

have that collection anymore.

76

:

I'm not really into H& M, so I'm

not really following them, but they

77

:

promote their collection as being

sustainable because, say they're using

78

:

a natural fibre like linen or, you

know, recycled poly, whether that's

79

:

sustainable or not is another story,

but they're looking at one particular

80

:

thing that is a sustainable claim.

81

:

But then if you look at

everything else they're doing.

82

:

It is completely unsustainable.

83

:

Say they've got a lot of micro

seasons, a lot, you know, maybe

84

:

they have one season a week, which

is really normal for fast fashion.

85

:

They have a huge amount of

pieces coming out each year.

86

:

It is so cheap.

87

:

So ethically the, uh, the manufacturers

and the makers are not getting a living

88

:

wage, even though it is the minimum wage.

89

:

It needs to be looked at holistically

rather than just looking at one piece.

90

:

And so one piece of the puzzle does not

make a whole puzzle, but greenwashing

91

:

makes you just focus on one single

piece and they hang on to that.

92

:

And you as a consumer need to go,

hang on, that is saying it's linen,

93

:

but, they're doing all these other

things that are really unsustainable.

94

:

So are they actually sustainable?

95

:

It's like I said before, it's all about

just delving just under the surface

96

:

and you'll see what they're on about.

97

:

Chryssius: So it's very similar

to reading the labels on your food

98

:

packages and that sort of thing.

99

:

Abbie: got it!

100

:

That's right.

101

:

Chryssius: Some great tips there.

102

:

There's been quite a bit of negative press

in recent times, particularly around that

103

:

Conscious Collection that they called it?

104

:

Abbie: Yep.

105

:

Yeah,

106

:

Chryssius: And there are a

few others out there as well.

107

:

There was one that I saw the other day

that was a very, very high end brand.

108

:

And there was some type of fibre that

was apparently softer than cashmere

109

:

and they were selling them for these

ridiculous prices just crazy crazy prices

110

:

and the people in this one particular

place, I think it may have been Peru,

111

:

weren't even getting paid at all.

112

:

Abbie: Oh, I saw that.

113

:

That was on, on some form of social media.

114

:

I did see that.

115

:

Yes.

116

:

Yes.

117

:

That's it.

118

:

Look, and it's really confusing for

consumers as well because in the industry,

119

:

we've got sustainable practices, but then

we also have ethical practices and ethics.

120

:

are a little bit different to sustainable.

121

:

So a sustainable brand will be,

"Oh, we're using sustainable fibres.

122

:

We're using, um, organic

farming", but ethics are not

123

:

about the sustainable fibres.

124

:

It's more about the people and the animals

that, that are being either misused or,

125

:

you know, used in the, in the industry.

126

:

So that's a really confusing thing

as well, because personally, I would

127

:

love to see ethics and sustainability

be as I said before, holistic.

128

:

I like things to be holistic,

but at the moment it's not.

129

:

So you think about, okay, there is,

I'm not going to name names, but

130

:

there is a particular Australian

brand that is incredibly popular

131

:

that does vegan handbags and they

are calling themselves sustainable

132

:

because they don't use animal products.

133

:

But - and ethical of course - but they are

using virgin plastic instead of leather.

134

:

So it's really, I feel misleading because

virgin plastic isn't very sustainable.

135

:

Chryssius: It's very confusing.

136

:

There's so much noise out there.

137

:

And with all that, it makes it really

hard for people to know if they're

138

:

making a, sustainable fashion choice.

139

:

So do you have any tips there?

140

:

Obviously doing the research,

is there anything else?

141

:

Abbie: It's really important

to know what your values are.

142

:

Some people value, it is very

important that ethics around animal

143

:

cruelty and not using leather or

fur, that's really important to them.

144

:

For other people, it

is very environmental.

145

:

Say, I mean, I'm, I'm a vegetarian, but

I'm a vegetarian for different reasons

146

:

to my daughter who's also a vegetarian,

I'm for environmental reasons, she's

147

:

for ethical reasons for animals.

148

:

So that just really hone in on what

your values are and what you're

149

:

looking for in sustainability

because everyone is different.

150

:

It's not a "one-size-fits-all" and then

look into the brands that you're wanting

151

:

to purchase and really, really be aware

that especially fast fashion brands, they

152

:

have marketing companies working for them

that know so much about human nature.

153

:

They know what drives us.

154

:

They know everything about psychology.

155

:

They know how to manipulate you SO WELL.

156

:

So if you know this and you have the

knowledge, knowledge is power when it

157

:

comes to greenwashing and to sustainable

fashion, just know that you could be

158

:

being greenwashed and look into it.

159

:

And, if it is fast fashion and they're

saying they're sustainable, you are being

160

:

greenwashed because there is no way the

fast fashion model could be sustainable

161

:

in any way, shape or form because you

can't make that many items so cheaply

162

:

and it be or sustainable or ethical.

163

:

Chryssius: Yeah, that's right.

164

:

And exactly as you mentioned

these micro seasons, it's crazy.

165

:

There's no way that

that can be sustainable.

166

:

There's just no way.

167

:

Abbie: No, and, and look it is the way we

have been going with, you know, just the

168

:

way we are in general as a community.

169

:

I know when I had my boutique, when you

had something new, people were interested.

170

:

As soon as something was a week

old, they were not interested.

171

:

So I get why fast fashion is, really

doing a lot of micro seasons every

172

:

single year, but as a community and as a

consumer, we need to rethink what we want

173

:

in fashion and it's up to us to dictate

that you know what we're not going to buy

174

:

into all of these micro seasons, we're not

going to buy into this over-consumerism

175

:

and we are going to shop our wardrobe

a lot more than shopping these fast

176

:

fashion chains and and I'm honing in

on the fast fashion chains because

177

:

they're the ones that are doing the main

greenwashing because they have the money

178

:

to really hone into our psychology.

179

:

Chryssius: And it becomes a bit

of a vicious circle as well.

180

:

You know, they're putting it out there.

181

:

We're buying it, which means that they're

going there, you know, they're going to

182

:

create more and we're going to buy more.

183

:

So you're right.

184

:

It

185

:

Abbie: That's exactly

186

:

Chryssius: Yeah.

187

:

At a, at a community level

where we have to say, "Does this

188

:

really align with my values?

189

:

Is this what I want?"

190

:

Yeah.

191

:

Abbie: And, and it's really important to

know as a consumer, you have the power.

192

:

And we think these fast

fashion giants have the power.

193

:

They're putting the

clothes into the shops.

194

:

They're telling us, as far as, you

know, we may think, they're telling

195

:

us what is fashionable, what's on

trend, what colours we need to buy.

196

:

But we need to take the power back

because you are voting with your dollar.

197

:

And every time you spend something,

at a shop, spend your money,

198

:

you are condoning the practices

of that shop of that company.

199

:

And trust me, the people that

own fast fashion companies do not

200

:

care a fig about fashion at all.

201

:

They are just in it for the money,

but they have such amazing marketers

202

:

working for them that just are kind

of, I'm going to say brainwashing us to

203

:

think that we really need them to feel

whole, to feel okay, to be accepted.

204

:

Chryssius: Yep.

205

:

And I mean, brainwashing and greenwashing.

206

:

Abbie: It's so similar, you could kind

of confuse the words, couldn't you?

207

:

Chryssius: How big of a deal

is transparency when it comes

208

:

to fighting greenwashing,

particularly in the fashion space?

209

:

Abbie: Yeah, transparency is everything.

210

:

I've got a collection coming

out next month, in April.

211

:

And I'm focusing on being transparent

as possible to give my customer and my

212

:

community the respect that they deserve

to actually know exactly what is going

213

:

into their garment, even down to where

I purchased the thread from, where

214

:

the fabric comes from, the company.

215

:

People don't like to be transparent

because they're also worried

216

:

about people stealing, you know.

217

:

their manufacturers and things like that.

218

:

But I mean, seriously,

we're all in this together.

219

:

And you know, I lift other designers up.

220

:

I'm not in competition with them.

221

:

So I'm happy to help someone

be as sustainable as they can

222

:

be if they're wanting to do

the same thing that I'm doing.

223

:

So yeah, transparency is really rewarded.

224

:

I feel if there's another brand out

there that's thinking about being more

225

:

transparent and they're listening to

your podcast, then I say go for it and

226

:

if you are a consumer and you see a

brand being transparent, that's being

227

:

really vulnerable and you should put a

lot of respect into that brand because

228

:

they're making themselves really

vulnerable, they're making themselves

229

:

really open and That is to be respected.

230

:

So yeah, transparency is key because

what you're doing is putting the

231

:

onus back onto the consumer to say,

this is everything that my brand is.

232

:

Now you choose if it

aligns with your values.

233

:

Chryssius: When we're talking about

transparency are there any, like, seals

234

:

of approval or certifications that we

as consumers can trust, that's going to

235

:

show that a brand is actually, walking

the talk when it comes to sustainability?

236

:

Abbie: Yeah.

237

:

Look, It's, I mean, there are some

certifications, but it's very, very

238

:

hard for a small brand to get them.

239

:

And so the small brands are actually

leading the way with transparency and

240

:

with sustainability because they are

the ones that are able to say deadstock

241

:

fabric, which is a remnant fabric, which,

you know, it still can be a little bit

242

:

hazy whether it's authentic dead stock.

243

:

That is another podcast for you

244

:

But the small brands are actually

leading the way in sustainability,

245

:

which is really really exciting.

246

:

So you're not going to see those small

brands get the certifications because

247

:

it's a lot of money, but it's also

easier to delve into the small brands

248

:

and see where they're coming from.

249

:

And because it's written everywhere on

their website, because they're celebrating

250

:

this sustainability that they're doing.

251

:

But you've got B Corp certifications.

252

:

There are some brands,

but they are bigger.

253

:

So I feel if you've got a B-Corp

cert, then, you know, that is

254

:

showing a lot of integrity.

255

:

I mean, you've got something like

the BCI, which is their Better Cotton

256

:

Initiative; that is a certification, but

I kind of take it with a grain of salt.

257

:

Target and a lot of fast fashion brands

do get cotton from BCI and I have

258

:

spoken to manufacturers of cotton who

say it's a bit of a load of hogwash

259

:

but I'm not educated in it so I'm

not really going to go into that.

260

:

You've got Fairtrade certifications,

you've got the GOTS which is the Global

261

:

Organic Textile you know so that means 70

percent of the fibre has to be organic.

262

:

You've got the Ecotex which certifies

against harmful substances, so it doesn't

263

:

mean it's natural, it doesn't mean it's

not synthetic, but that is, I suppose,

264

:

better than not, if that makes sense.

265

:

Chryssius: So how does all the

greenwashing affect the good guys?

266

:

So the brands that are out there

genuinely trying to make a difference

267

:

with their sustainable fashion,

how are they being affected by

268

:

greenwashing by the bigger brands?

269

:

Abbie: Oh that is such a good

conversation, because it makes it really,

270

:

really hard for us, because people don't

know if they're being greenwashed or not.

271

:

And so some people just assume they're

being greenwashed and they're just hearing

272

:

these buzzwords over and over again.

273

:

"Sustainability", "conscious" - I

mean no one wants to use the word

274

:

"conscious" anymore because of

H&M and how they overused it.

275

:

Yeah, and look Fifty-nine percent

of green claims are misleading.

276

:

That, that's a statistic

in the, in, in the UK.

277

:

And I know, and 68 percent of

companies in the USA have confirmed

278

:

that they have greenwashed.

279

:

Chryssius: They've admitted it.

280

:

Abbie: Yeah, they've admitted it.

281

:

Yeah.

282

:

So maybe, you know, without, I

don't know how they've admitted that

283

:

without, you know, going to court.

284

:

But, um, what I'm saying is everyone

is greenwashing the consumers.

285

:

And so the consumers are

just so freaking wary now.

286

:

And I put a poll out on

my Instagram community.

287

:

And the, one of the number one things

that they are concerned about in the

288

:

sustainable fashion arena is how do they

know if they're being greenwashed or not?

289

:

And, and so, yeah, it does really

affect us as a smaller, sustainable

290

:

brand, because, how do people

know if we're telling the truth?

291

:

If they don't listen to a podcast like

yours, where we say, you know what,

292

:

just delve into it a bit more, do that.

293

:

They just, they don't know.

294

:

So yeah, it has really affected

us, but you know what we're just...

295

:

that's what my job is.

296

:

I've got a really strong

community on social media.

297

:

I've got an extra strong

community in my newsletter.

298

:

And we talk about this all the time.

299

:

And so being part of a community like that

really helps just knowing who to trust.

300

:

Chryssius: From what you're saying,

it's just seems like there's two camps

301

:

as consumers, because on one end of the

scale, it at face value that someone is

302

:

saying that their product is sustainable.

303

:

So, you know, you're believing it, but

then end of the scale as you said, people

304

:

don't know whether or not to believe,

you know, an honest claim, so...

305

:

So confusing.

306

:

Abbie: Yeah, and look, it's, it's like

that old saying ignorance is bliss...

307

:

until it's not.

308

:

Wouldn't it be so nice to just believe

everything everyone was saying?

309

:

Chryssius: be nice.

310

:

Abbie: so simple, but it's not like that.

311

:

You have the power as the consumer,

like I said, before, to vote with

312

:

your dollar and that's a huge power.

313

:

And it's something that

you shouldn't take lightly.

314

:

Chryssius: Hmm.

315

:

Absolutely.

316

:

And my next question was actually

going to be, is there anything that

317

:

we can do as consumers to make brands

own up to their greenwashing habits?

318

:

And as you said, voting with

your dollars is a big one.

319

:

Is there anything else

that you'd add to that?

320

:

Abbie: Yeah.

321

:

Ask questions.

322

:

When I had my boutique and it's

in quite a, an alternative area, it

323

:

was on Brunswick street in Fitzroy.

324

:

And it's where I launched

the Abbie James brand.

325

:

And now the Abbie James brand is online.

326

:

I had so many people coming up to me

and asking me, "How am I sustainable?"

327

:

And they were putting me to the

test and they were just asking a

328

:

lot of hard questions, which I had

so much respect for those people.

329

:

Asking questions, asking the awkward

questions because it can be really hard

330

:

to ask those questions, but ask shop

owners because that gets passed on to

331

:

brands, ask brands, send them emails,

especially if it's a smaller brand.

332

:

Ask them, are you having

this made locally?

333

:

There's a lot of questions

that you can ask.

334

:

Have a voice.

335

:

Speak out against greenwashing.

336

:

Tell people about it.

337

:

Say, "Hey, they said

this, but it wasn't true.

338

:

I think you should know about this."

339

:

And then more people know about it.

340

:

Chryssius: What about for your brand?

341

:

Have you faced any bumps in the

road when you've tried to push

342

:

back against the greenwashing?

343

:

Abbie: I have faced bumps in the road

in regards to manufacturing and when I

344

:

was, so my first collection was designed

during lockdown and I had a local

345

:

manufacturer lined up in Sydney, I'm in

Melbourne, and they went out of business.

346

:

They had a family member pass away

from COVID and they just stopped, they

347

:

just closed their, their business.

348

:

And so I was like, I put

so much work into this.

349

:

It's kind of like, I'm going to stop

or I have to pivot really quickly.

350

:

And so with the help of another

company just to give me,

351

:

contacts, I had it made overseas.

352

:

Now I didn't know as much as I do now.

353

:

And I'm not getting my next

collection made overseas.

354

:

It's from lovely, lovely makers

who are self employed in Melbourne.

355

:

But I used a certified company.

356

:

I used a certified factory.

357

:

They paid, you know, the minimum wage.

358

:

They did everything correctly.

359

:

But as a designer, that is still,

not a very sustainable option that

360

:

I chose and I'll admit that and

I love to admit that because it

361

:

shows that companies can change.

362

:

Because the minimum wage isn't a living

wage and it's been proven that it's not

363

:

over, you know overseas And so a brand

can be, you know told we've got these

364

:

certifications, we've got this, we've

got that and they can go into this with

365

:

their kind of blinkers on thinking they're

doing the right thing, but it's up to the

366

:

brand to really do their research, too.

367

:

You know, we, we might think that fabric

made in Bali is good because it's done

368

:

by local, communities, but there is a

river in Bali and just off the top of my

369

:

head, I can't remember the name of it,

but I wrote a blog piece on it and it

370

:

is the most polluted river in the world.

371

:

And it is because of the fashion

industry and the textile industry.

372

:

So these things brands don't know, and

they're trying thing, but as a consumer

373

:

you need to educate yourself and as a

brand you need to also educate yourself

374

:

and go deeper than what you're being told.

375

:

Chryssius: Yeah, that is such good advice.

376

:

And I will link that in the show

notes as well for you, Abbie.

377

:

Do you have any hints about what is

coming up next in the fashion world?

378

:

Do you think things are going

to get better or worse when

379

:

it comes to greenwashing?

380

:

Abbie: That's such a good question.

381

:

Things are getting better in

the fashion industry in general.

382

:

As far as greenwashing goes, that's a

really tough one because in my arena,

383

:

I feel it's getting better because

people are educating themselves,

384

:

but I feel there are a lot of people

who don't have it on their radar.

385

:

who are just believing what

these companies are saying.

386

:

So it's not on their radar.

387

:

So you know what?

388

:

I think it can only get better,

but it really depends on if

389

:

people are interested enough.

390

:

Chryssius: Yeah.

391

:

And do you think that it

is a generational thing?

392

:

Abbie: Well...

393

:

generational because the older

generations are not as interested

394

:

as the younger generations.

395

:

That would definitely say that the

future is looking a lot better because

396

:

the 20s, 30 year olds are definitely a

lot more interested and a lot more aware

397

:

of sustainable fashion and they are

making us in the industry accountable.

398

:

Whereas the 60 plus men and

women statistically, aren't,

399

:

it's not on their radar as much.

400

:

So yeah, generational,

that's a huge thing.

401

:

Definitely.

402

:

Chryssius: There's going to be people

that will listen to this and they're

403

:

going to want to know more, naturally.

404

:

So do you have any recommendations

for books or documentaries, websites

405

:

or blog posts, that sort of thing?

406

:

Abbie: Yeah, definitely.

407

:

You can look at my blog on my website.

408

:

Books are a huge thing for me.

409

:

I actually have a few here with

me, next to me because I wanted to

410

:

share what I personally have read.

411

:

The most amazing book which is

about colonialism and climate change

412

:

and consumerism is "Consumed".

413

:

It's by Aja Barber.

414

:

Amazing, amazing book, but I

really like "The Psychology of

415

:

Fashion" as well by Carolyn Mair.

416

:

I do feel that may be

more industry related.

417

:

I think that's something

that you would love to read.

418

:

"How to Break Up with Fast

Fashion" by Lauren Bravo is

419

:

a really great one as well.

420

:

And "To Die For" by Lucy Siegle.

421

:

That's a really good one.

422

:

"Is fashion wearing out the world?"

423

:

There are a lot of great books.

424

:

There's some amazing

documentaries as well.

425

:

Oh, what was that one?

426

:

I watched one about the denim industry.

427

:

Can I give it to you and you

put it in the show notes?

428

:

Yeah.

429

:

Look, I really feel it really helps

if you are on social media and

430

:

all credit to you if you're not.

431

:

But if you are on social media, find

communities that are aligned with your

432

:

values that build you up rather than

make you feel less than you should.

433

:

There are a lot of influencers now

that are promoting sustainable fashion

434

:

but promoting it in a way where it's,

slow fashion, vintage fashion, shop in

435

:

your closet and really there's a lot

of stylists out there that are helping

436

:

people style clothes they already have.

437

:

Like the old days, you know, when you had

a wedding maybe you look what's in your

438

:

wardrobe rather than going to a shop.

439

:

So find a community.

440

:

I have a really strong community

on my Instagram and Facebook and

441

:

we really connect with each other

away from that with my newsletter.

442

:

I, get people emailing me and asking

me for advice, and then I answer it.

443

:

And so finding people that you trust

and finding your community because

444

:

they will keep it on your radar.

445

:

Chryssius: I love that.

446

:

Abbie: Yeah.

447

:

Chryssius: What's your top piece of advice

for anyone who wants to shop ethically

448

:

and avoid falling for greenwashing?

449

:

Abbie: Okay, so my top advice

is it is not sustainable to

450

:

overshop sustainable products.

451

:

Just remember that first.

452

:

I'm talking about that on my social

media this week, because that's something

453

:

that I did when I first discovered

sustainability back in the day.

454

:

And really know your values and know

that your worth is not dictated by

455

:

trends, by what other people are wearing.

456

:

You are an individual and you don't need

whatever those fast fashion companies

457

:

are trying to tell you you need.

458

:

You don't need that to be a whole person.

459

:

So, just do your education but know that

you are enough without buying new clothes.

460

:

Chryssius: I need to write

that on a post it note stick it

461

:

everywhere just as a reminder!

462

:

Abbie: See, I'm the fashion designer that

tells people to stop buying clothing.

463

:

I don't, I don't know if

anyone else is doing that.

464

:

And, and I know it sounds really odd

to be doing that, but I know I'm going

465

:

to sell enough clothing, even when

I'm telling people to just hold off on

466

:

all of those new purchases, because so

many people are still buying clothes.

467

:

But I just remember the old days when your

grandparents or your great grandparents

468

:

and they bought a jacket and that jacket

was super, super special and they were

469

:

going to keep that jacket for years and

years and years to come, and they were

470

:

going to hand it down to their children

and it was going to be generational.

471

:

That jacket had a story.

472

:

Let our clothes live long

enough to tell stories.

473

:

Chryssius: Yes, yes, I

love stories about clothes.

474

:

Hence the podcast!

475

:

Abbie: Yes, I know, that's right.

476

:

Chryssius: I love it.

477

:

So just before we go, do you have a

Best Bargain Brag you can share with us?

478

:

Abbie: Well, it's a story, and

I don't know if this breaks the

479

:

rules because I didn't buy it.

480

:

But my mum owned a maxi

skirt that was a kilt.

481

:

It was a traditional kilt but it goes

all the way to your ankles and she

482

:

kept it and she kept all of our kilts.

483

:

We, we were, we went to church, my dad was

a minister so we dressed up a lot and to

484

:

keep up with appearances, but this kilt

I discovered last year in a box and I've

485

:

been wearing it a lot and styling it.

486

:

And I'm getting a lot

of inspiration about it.

487

:

And this kilt is amazing.

488

:

It has such a story for me

and I'm holding onto it.

489

:

So I'm classing it as secondhand, because

yes, it is from my Mum, but It was free.

490

:

Chryssius: It absolutely is.

491

:

Yeah, that's perfect.

492

:

It's got history,

493

:

Abbie: yeah, yeah, I have a lot

of, a lot of clothes that have

494

:

history and I love them all.

495

:

Chryssius: Well, I can't wait to

see it, and for anyone else who

496

:

wants to see it, I will pop it up

on our Reloved Radio highlights

497

:

and you'll be able to see it there.

498

:

Lovely.

499

:

And also quite important, how

can people get in touch with you?

500

:

Abbie: Well, there's two ways.

501

:

You can get onto social media,

you can get onto Instagram

502

:

and, it's @abbiejames.official.

503

:

Or you can jump onto my

newsletter community because

504

:

that is where I really dive deep.

505

:

And you know what, I'm quite honest,

I'm quite raw, I'm very very unfiltered

506

:

there, and that's on my website, which

I'm sure you'll have in the show notes.

507

:

It's abbie-james.com.

508

:

Remember my name is spelt A

double B I E, not like the church.

509

:

Chryssius: Thank you.

510

:

That's excellent.

511

:

And I do have that all linked

for you in the show notes.

512

:

Thank so much!

513

:

Abbie: Thank you.

514

:

It's been such a pleasure chatting to

you, and I just want to say thank you

515

:

so much for bringing this subject to

light because the more the merrier.

516

:

I think the more podcasts that

are championing slow fashion,

517

:

sustainable fashion, the better.

518

:

So well done.

519

:

You are being a part of

the change for better.

Show artwork for Reloved Radio: Sustainable Fashion Stories

About the Podcast

Reloved Radio: Sustainable Fashion Stories
Be inspired by the individuals who are not only transforming wardrobes but also paving the way for a planet-friendly fashion revolution. Tune in every second Tuesday to discover how these incredible stories of secondhand style, sustainable fashion, upcycling, rewearing and reselling are reshaping the narrative of our closets... and, in turn, our world.

About your host

Profile picture for Chryssius Dunn

Chryssius Dunn

Wife. Mother. Op-shops. Re-wearing. Anti-fast fashion. Decaf coffee. Cat videos. Train surfing. Nude skydiving. What? Oh, I was just listing words.