Staff Picks: Must-Watch TED Talks on Sustainable Fashion

TED Talks are a great way to pick up helpful information and valuable perspectives on ever-evolving areas like sustainability in the fashion industry that garner a plethora of debate. We spoke to our team about their favourite TED Talks on sustainable fashion and got some exciting responses. Here are team ADIITTIIS's top 10 favourites curated, especially for our readers.

I. Fast Fashion’s Effect on People, The Planet, & You | Patrick Woodyard | TEDxUniversityofMississippi


Summary: Mindful business: While working for a microfinance firm in Trujillo, Peru, Patrick was introduced to the broken Peruvian footwear industry made up of over 100,000 shoemakers. These possess remarkable talent yet lack consistent work, fair-wages, and brand access to international markets. Having extensive exposure to such potential suffering scarcity of opportunity in other developing countries, Patrick developed a vision to push the footwear industry in a new direction. He decided to launch one of the first fashion brands to deliver a superior yet ethically-produced product to consumers.

Watch the TED Talk here.


II. You are what you wear: Christina Dean at TEDxHKBU


Summary: Redress founder Christina Dean presents her ‘You are what you wear’ opinion at a TEDx event. In this compelling talk, Christina inspires the audience about the importance of how they dress and turns the responsibility for change on consumers and not just the industry.

Watch the TED Talk here.


III. The ten-item wardrobe | Jennifer L. Scott | TEDxStGeorge


Summary: Jennifer discovered the ten-item wardrobe concept while living in Paris with Madame Chic and her family. In this talk, she shares her tips on how you can make a ten-item wardrobe work for you and why living with fewer clothes cannot only improve your style but change your life.

Watch the TED Talk here.

IV. Jessi Arrington: Wearing nothing new


Summary: Designer Jessi Arrington packed nothing for TED but 7 pairs of undies, buying the remainder of her clothes in thrift stores around LA. It is a meditation in conscious consumption, wrapped in a rainbow of colour and creativity.

Watch the TED Talk here.


V. Life in the Slow Lane: Sustainable Fashion 101 | Tamara Jones | TEDxRyersonU


Summary: Fashion employing 1 in 100 people is truly a global industry. In a world where the value of everything — education, housing, even coffee, is increasing, how is clothing becoming less expensive? This TED talk introduces you to the environmental and social impact of the fast fashion industry. Tamara also gives you easy tips on how to live more sustainably.

Watch the TED Talk here.


VI. The Wardrobe to Die For | Lucy Siegle | TEDxSalford


Summary: Taking issue with our current mania for both big-name labels and cheap fashion, this TED talk sets an agenda for the urgent changes which will need to be made by both the industry and the consumer. Far from outlining a way forward for drab, ethical clothing, Lucy Siegle believes that it is possible to be an ‘ethical fashionista’, just by being conscious of how and where (and by whom), our clothing is manufactured.

Watch the TED Talk here.


VII. I Broke Up with Fast Fashion and You Should Too | Gabriella Smith | TEDxWynwoodWomen


Summary: How many of us have a closet full of clothes and nothing to wear? Many of us buy fast fashion to keep up with trends, without thinking about the impact we have on the planet or the people. Gabriella Smith has made it her life’s work to raise awareness of the effects of fashion in our world, by utilizing creative ways to engage brands and consumers to rethink the way they design and shop.

Watch the TED Talk here.


VIII. How to Engage with Ethical Fashion | Clara Vuletich | TEDxSydney


Summary: What do you know about the garments in your wardrobe? About the clothes that you are wearing right now? Clara Vuletich works with some of the most important brands in the world and helps them ask the most important question - Where do the garments that we wear come from?

Watch the TED Talk here.


IX. Fashion’s Sustainable Revolution, and the Women Leading the Change | Dana Thomas | TEDxOxford


Summary: Dana Thomas is a fashion and culture journalist based in Paris. She has written New York Times bestsellers on topics like the luxury industry and famous designers, including Alexander McQueen. Thomas is a regular contributor to The New York Times Styles section and was contributing editor for five years. Her talk illustrates the recent advances in sustainable fashion made by innovative women.

Watch the TED Talk here.


X. Α future sustainable fashion system | Malin Viola Wennberg | TEDxThessaloniki


Summary: Malin Viola Wennberg advocates that if there is a future of the fashion industry, it will be a sustainable one. She draws our attention to the fact that 80% of a garment's climate impact happens before the garment even hits the store. So, how can we build a better process? What needs to change in the global supply chain system?

Watch the TED Talk here.

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