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Big Closets Small Planet with Michael Schragger

THOUGHT LEADERSHIP: Femke Groothuis argues that tax reform is the best way to transform the apparel industry at the scale and pace required.

You’ve heard it before: The global environmental challenges we face are daunting and time sensitive. If we want to avoid catastrophic tipping points, we need to move quickly and ambitiously. If we want to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) we need to invest trillions of dollars. And so we scratch our heads and wonder if the actions we are currently taking are meaningful. We wonder if we must choose between economic development, job creation and the environment. And we cannot help but feel that even though our intentions are good, our actions amount to the equivalent of moving the deck chairs on a sinking ship. But what if there is a way to accelerate change at the pace we need, and create benefits for people and the planet? And what if the way to get there is by leveraging our tax system as a tool for transformative change?

June 24th, 2020 50 minutes 26 seconds

Previous Podcast Episodes

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

If we knew the specific climate impacts of each of our purchases, such as the greenhouse gas emissions of our favourite dress or shoes, would we make more climate friendly purchases? And would the companies who make fashion and apparel products – now knowing that we know the climate impacts of our clothing purchases - offer more climate friendly options? In other words, can consumption and effective climate action go hand-in-hand or are we kidding ourselves?

32 minutes and 6 seconds

Mike speaks with Edwin Keh, CEO of the Hong Kong Research Institute of Textiles & Apparel Limited, about his team’s pioneering and surprising breakthrough in the area of textile recycling, his deep conviction that to accelerate the development and uptake of sustainable solutions our industry needs to do R&D very differently, and why industry innovation - for its own sake - is misguided.

45 minutes and 28 seconds

Do you get excited when hearing about breakthrough sustainability apparel innovations - such as fibers made from fruit waste or blockchain technology being used to track and trace the origin and content of your clothing? Do you sometimes wonder if these breakthroughs are too good to be true? Greg Stillman and Rogier van Mazijk work with visionary entrepreneurs and impact investors every day.

45 minutes and 14 seconds

Jason Kibbey, CEO of the Sustainable Apparel Coalition (SAC), has been been leading one of the most important sustainability trade organizations in the apparel sector for the past 8 years.

1 hour, 1 minute and 38 seconds

Sustainable solutions are emerging but is there enough investment capital available to ensure they succeed? Mike Schragger talks with Fashion for Good’s Rogier van Mazijk about the innovation process, the exciting sustainable solutions that could save the fashion industry, and the need for billions, if not trillions of dollars to ensure these innovations can succeed. Investors, innovators, sustainability practitioners and nerds - you will love this, and Rogier is a joy to listen to!

48 minutes and 9 seconds

Linda Greer, Senior Scientist at the National Resources Defense Council (NRDC) joins Mike Schragger online from her office in Washington, D.C. to share her experiences working to improve the apparel sector, her initial ideas for creating a climate roadmap for apparel and her conviction that transparency as it is practiced today is not effective enough.

50 minutes and 42 seconds

Mike Schragger talks to the smart and savvy Akshay Sethi about the science behind polyester recycling, the rapid development of the his company Moral Fiber, the steep learning curve he has faced when starting a company directly after graduating from university, and his conviction that all of our clothes will be made by recycled materials by 2030.

28 minutes and 16 seconds

Then Cynthia Cummis & Michael Sadowski from the World Resources Institute think you should start by setting science-based targets for reducing your climate emissions. Cynthia & Michael join Mike Schragger online from their offices in Washington, D.C. and Portland, Oregon to discuss the apparel industry’s surprising impact on the climate, the Science-Based Targets Initiative they are leading for the apparel sector, and what they think needs to happen to transform the sector so it operates within a 2 degree Celsius warming pathway as outlined by the IPCC.

56 minutes and 42 seconds

What if customers could improve the environment and make money by renting out their clothes simultaneously? And whom do you trust to provide an honest assessment about the ethical and environmental performance of apparel products and the companies behind them? Mike Schragger talks to Lona Alia from Style Lend and Sandra Capponi from Good On You, two entrepreneurs who believe their solutions will empower customers and drive change.  

26 minutes and 7 seconds

If you are new to the field of sustainability and/or fashion and apparel and want to quickly up get up to speed, then this podcast is for you. Mike Schragger, the host of Big Closets Small Planet, explains why we need to completely transform how we produce, use and dispose of fashion and apparel - before it’s too late.

12 minutes and 57 seconds