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Consumerism and Colonialism

In this latest edition of our monthly FashMash speaker series, we were joined by newly published-author Aja Barber to talk consumerism and colonialism.


With COP26 as our backdrop, the climate crisis and climate justice and how it pertains to the fashion industry were our focus.


In 60-minutes we touch on everything from how the colonialist mindset shows up in a cycle of exploitation between the Global North and South in areas of labour, trade and consumption, to the interconnected roles of citizens, big business and governments to make change, not to mention the cultural shift we all need to face. ⁣

Watch the full interview back via YouTube above, and read below for some of the highlights… ⁣

ON COLONIALISM ⁣

“Most of the consumer goods that we use in the Global North, whether it be the UK or the US, where I'm from, generally tend to originate from the Global South, and often it’s [these] countries that are resource rich, labour rich, economically poor, and I don't think that we've been questioning why it looks that way.”⁣

ON OVERCONSUMPTION⁣

“We cannot keep consuming at the rate that we have been in the last 20 years and expect our planet to go on. That is the problem. And that's what no one within big fashion really wants to address, is that the levels of consumption, which bring in the billions of dollars of profit, needs to stop.”⁣

ON DIVERSITY ⁣

“There are intersectional issues everywhere you look... If you look at the board of mass fashion companies, big luxury companies, show me the diversity there because that's lacking as well. I don't believe in trickle down politics, but [getting that sort of stuff right] has a real trickle down effect.”⁣

ON CITIZEN ACTION ⁣

“If you push back on what a corporation is saying or doing on social media, if you get enough of your friends in on that, it does actually get addressed behind closed doors. And if there's enough of that happening, they have to talk to shareholders about it. We can actually push change that way [...] Your voice has weight and it matters in this conversation.”⁣


The monthly FashMash speaker series is sponsored by Klaviyo.


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