THOUGHT LEADERSHIP: Sustainable investment expert Sasja Beslik thinks the fashion industry is a very poor performer and possibly a stranded asset. | Sustainable Fashion Academy

Big Closets Small Planet with Michael Schragger

THOUGHT LEADERSHIP: Sustainable investment expert Sasja Beslik thinks the fashion industry is a very poor performer and possibly a stranded asset.

Sasja Beslik, Head of Sustainable Finance Development at J Safra Sarasin, fled Bosnia when he was 18 to escape the war. He ended up in Sweden and today spends his time leveraging the power of the financial sector to improve the world. He is particularly interested in the fashion industry’s impact on people and has recently attracted attention for his calculations showing that a well-known fashion brand could afford to pay living wages to garment workers by increasing the prices on their clothes by only a few cents.

October 14th, 2020 56 minutes 58 seconds
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About this episode

Sasja Beslik, Head of Sustainable Finance Development at J Safra Sarasin, fled Bosnia when he was 18 to escape the war. He ended up in Sweden and today spends his time leveraging the power of the financial sector to improve the world. He is particularly interested in the fashion industry’s impact on people and has recently attracted attention for his calculations showing that a well-known fashion brand could afford to pay living wages to garment workers by increasing the prices on their clothes by only a few cents. In this interview Sasja weighs in on the apparel industry’s sustainability performance and - spoiler alert - he comes down very hard on the industry. Sasja and Mike cover a range of topics, including the strengths, weaknesses and greenwashing of the sustainable investment industry in general, why he thinks apparel brands should be more directly responsible for paying living wages to factory workers, why a t-shirt should be more expensive, and why, despite it all, the fashion industry is still worth investing in.

 

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About the host

Michael Schragger has been working at the intersection between sustainability, business, society and research for more than 25 years. He is an expert in analysing the impacts of environmental and social developments on business and society and mobilising stakeholders to achieve key sustainable development goals (SDGs). In 2009 Michael founded the Sustainable Fashion Academy (SFA) in order to dramatically improve environmental and human rights performance within the fashion and apparel industry. Michael participates as a senior advisor for a range of global sustainable apparel initiatives, ranging from finance to policy. He is a member of the steering group for The United Nation’s Climate Action in Fashion Charter. He also co-founded and directs The Swedish Textiles Initiative for Climate Action.

Michael currently lives in Stockholm, Sweden with his wife Erika and kids Oz and Blimah (who, unfortunately, refuse to listen to his podcasts…).