Monthly Archives: November 2016

Ethical Fashion with Mel Tually

Ethical Fashion with Melinda Tually

One area of slow, intentional living that I’ve been thinking about a lot lately, is ethical fashion. As my personal philosophy has shifted towards one focused on sustainability, equality, social justice and humanity it’s become clear that the things we buy, the places we spend our money, the companies we support, matter. And they matter a great deal.

Recently someone told me that the fashion industry is second only to oil in terms of environmental pollution, and it floored me. All that for clothes? Clothes that almost all of us own too many of, buy without consideration, and donate without wearing more than a handful of times? Clothes that are, to us at least, cheap and disposable?

There is something fundamentally broken with that system, and while I think a lot of it could be eased by simply wanting and buying far less, there is still a massive disconnect between those of us who buy the clothes and those who make the clothes.

Child labour, substandard and blatantly unsafe work conditions, huge environmental impact, and we simply don’t think about it.

This is another deep-dive episode of the poggie, where I chat with Mel Tually, the co-ordinator of Fashion Revolution in Australia and NZ.

Fashion Revolution was started in response to the 2013 collapse of the Rana Plaza factory building in Bangladesh, where more than 1,100 garment workers perished. The tragedy shone a bright light on the garment industry and the substandard conditions many of the workers are forced to endure, in the name of cheap, fast fashion.

We talk about the importance of ethical fashion and the transparency that is starting to appear in many well-known labels around the world. But we also talk about the importance of being intentional with the choices we make, opting for quality over quantity (or brand name, for that matter) and simply buying less fashion.

Mel also has some fantastic advice for those of us who feel completely overwhelmed by the problems facing the fashion industry, and the inevitable paralysis by analysis when we begin to look a little deeper into the clothes we wear.

Thank you to everyone who submitted questions for this episode too. There were some incredible ones asked over on Facebook, and we have some super helpful and practical advice for you throughout this episode, including what red flags to look for, where to find ethical fashion and how to take care of the clothes we own in order to keep them for longer.

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Head over to iTunes to subscribe to the show and play the episode.

Or you can listen to the show directly, simply by hitting the Play button above. Enjoy!

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Show Notes:

Play #1

Play #1 - The Slow Home Experiment

A new month rings in a new Slow Home Experiment, and after the fairly heavy workload of last month’s decluttering experiment, in November we’re going for something more playful. In fact, as we explained in last week’s episode, we’re experimenting with daily play! (Or random silliness, playfulness, wonder, non-task-oriented things, call it what you will.)

Unsurprisingly, it’s been lots of fun this week, but Ben and I talk about the fact that he is much more naturally playful than I am, and that this week has been more challenging than I’d expected. We look at why that might be, plus how I’m choosing to remind myself to lighten up every day and rediscover my inner child.

One thing I wanted to make clear too, is that this experiment is definitely not just for those of us with kids at home. Everyone has the opportunity to be more playful, and while kids perhaps make it more obvious that play is available at every turn, play can be anything that’s just for fun. There are so many ways we can re-engage that sense of child-like wonder in our days, and Ben and I talk through some of them in today’s poggie.

    • Play games (board games, sports, random rumblings with pets)
    • Listen to great music and dance (like no-one’s watching!)
    • Give a playful answer where you might otherwise be serious
    • Listen to a funny podcast or watch a funny movie
  • Try and uncover the tasks that give you a real sense of lightness or silliness, and do them daily

This is another experiment that is open to everyone, and I’m really excited to see the #slowhomeexperiment posts popping up on Instagram! It’s never too late to join in, and feel free to tag your social media posts with #slowhomeexperiment.

In the meantime, have a cracker of a week.

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Head over to iTunes to subscribe to the show and play the episode.

Or you can listen to the show directly, simply by hitting the Play button above. Enjoy!

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Fermenting: A Thousand Year Old Food Trend with Jaimee Edwards

Fermenting - Episode 116 of The Slow Home Podcast

In today’s episode I chat with Jaimee Edwards, who, as a professional fermenter, has one of the coolest job titles ever.

Fermenting is having quite the resurgence in popular culture now – think kombucha, miso, kim-chi and sauerkraut – but in today’s chat Jaimee and I talk about food trends and why some disappear (I’m looking at you, Atkins Diet) while others grow and shift, becoming movements that appeal to a far greater audience than just the French-basket wielding, farmer’s market crew.

We also talk at length about her shift from academia, as a Phd in English Literature, to in-house fermenter at Sydney’s Cornersmith, and what life is like when lived elbow-deep in good bacteria. Jaimee talks about her experience in bottling 100 kilograms (yes, kilograms!) of tomatoes one afternoon and how it proved to be a turning point in not only her career, but also her relationship with food.

There is so much renewed interest in traditional home skills, and we spend time talking about why that is, as well as explore the unexpected benefits of fermenting food – aside from taste and preservation, Jaimee’s ferments have taught her life lessons and the value of time.

As a beginner, I ask specifically about the fear of getting it wrong and poisoning everyone, and Jaimee talks me down by explaining that of the thousands of bacteria that exist in our homes, only a tiny percentage have the potential to harm us, which makes me feel a lot better!

I’d like to start doing more episodes where I get to talk about a specific slow living concept in depth, so I’d love to know from you – what specific topics do you want to know more about?

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Head over to iTunes to subscribe to the show and play the episode.

Or you can listen to the show directly, simply by hitting the Play button above. Enjoy!

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Show Notes: