The Sound of Ethical Fashion

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Conscious Chatter Wakes Up The Digital Airwaves

Call us a teensy bit biased, but “Conscious Chatter” is one of the best podcasts ever to grace the virtual airwaves. The brainchild of former Ecouterre writer Kestrel Jenkins, who now challenges people to consider the ethics of their clothing at Awear World, “Conscious Chatter” offers an insider’s look at the global garment supply chain through interviews with some of the industry’s canniest minds, such as Fashion Revolution co-founder Orsola de Castro, designer Gretchen Jones, and Overdressed author Elizabeth Cline. A born environmentalist with a yen for social activism—her family created the Walnut Burger line of organic, meatless patties—Jenkins had exploited all mediums for her message save one: audio. Whether the oversight was intentional or not is hard to say—Jenkins simply never considered it. A chance conversation with a friend, however, soon remedied that.

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TALKING SHOP

“My good friend Matt brought it up to me one day,” Jenkins told Ecouterre. “He said, ‘Kes, what if you started a podcast to be able to dive further into the topics you share on Awear World?’ I instantly told myself there was no way I could pull that off. But, I couldn’t stop thinking about the idea. I started researching, reading blogs about podcasting and listening to podcasts about podcasting.”

An article about digital recordings in American Way, specifically a line that said audio offered a “particular insight that other methods of documentation just can’t capture,” was all the sign Jenkins needed to turn broadcaster.

“I’ve started a lot of small projects, blogs, and websites, but with ‘Conscious Chatter,’ I’ve received an entirely distinct response,” Jenkins told us. “I believe there’s something intrinsically accessible about audio. It’s easier to tap into a conversation without feeling like you really have to be ‘part of the movement.’ It’s easy to sit on the sidelines and just listen on your own time, without anybody knowing you are. And, that’s somehow more welcoming and less intimidating.”

And thanks to her preexisting connections, she’s already managed to chat with some of her personal heroes on the air. (She said that her “jaw was on the floor” after speaking with Tim Gunn of Project Runway fame.)

That’s not to say she doesn’t have a wish list of future guests. “A few of those include Livia Firth, Pharrell Williams and Bionic Yarn, and Emma Watson,” she said.

But here’s the big question: Can talking about sustainable fashion boost sustainable fashion?

“I hope that this medium can welcome more people around the world into this conversation, in an open and accessible way where we can all help each other influence change along the way,” Jenkins said. “I know it’s ridiculously idealistic, but that’s just who I am. I also hope that ‘Conscious Chatter’ provides a springboard for future sponsors and collaborations, so I can continue enhancing and building out the production value of the program.”

Testing, testing, 1, 2, 3…

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