“Being morally correct rarely overcomes the perceived correctness of beauty.”
We talk quite often about food on this podcast — particularly the health, environmental and ethical implications our collective dietary choices and the global impact of the industrialized food industry on the same.
But you might be less consciously aware of the massive extent to which the garment industry impacts a wide range of concerns from global climate change to animal welfare to ethics and beyond.
Fashion is a world that desperately needs an environmentally conscious, sustainability-focused and ethically driven facelift. A world I wanted to know more about. Irrespective of whether you are an avid reader of Vogue or favor dad jeans, this is a world that merits our attention.
To learn more, I sat down with professor, fashion designer, and blogger Joshua Katcher– the founder & creative director behind the sustainable, ethically conscious high-end fashion line Brave GentleMan and the founder of The Discerning Brute – a men’s lifestyle website that focuses on fashion, food, etiquette and ethics profiling creative-influencers who want to redesign the world, redefine success, and look good doing it. Joshua is also a public lecturer and adjunct professor of fashion at Parsons The New School, where his research focuses on sustainability and ethics in fashion production.
This conversation offers a quite revealing and at times uncomfortable look at the truth behind exactly how most clothes are manufactured, distributed and marketed to drive consumer purchasing trends. It’s not pretty. But there is a solution. Joshua and his work is part of that solution — leveraging forward-thinking, modern textiles and progressive, business practices that embrace fashion and aesthetics to bring consumers beautiful, better and quite honestly, more ethically imagined and manufactured garments for us to enjoy.
This is a really interesting talk about:
- the complex intersection of ethics, aesthetics and fashion;
- the social norms and parameters that define masculinity;
- why fur is the furthest thing from cool;
- what really goes into creating garments from wool;
- the environmental impact of raising animals for clothing;
- the advent of more sustainable and ethically manufactured materials for garments; and
- the realities behind what it takes to be a successful entrepreneur in the garment industry.
Highly intelligent, hyper-articulate and of course always bespoke, Joshua is an outstanding ambassador and aesthete of modern fashion modalities, not to mention badass at CrossFit to boot. It’s my honor to share my friend Joshua’s message and experience with you and my hope is that you will come away from this conversation more enlightened and educated when it comes to aligning your consumerism with your values. I did.
Even if fashion is not your thing, trust me. This compelling exchange just might surprise you. I sincerely hope you enjoy the offering.
Peace + Plants,
Production, music & sound design by Tyler Piatt. Additional production by Chris Swan. Graphic art by Shawn Patterson. Thanks boys!
Visit bravegentleman.com for Joshua’s high-end, sustainable and ethically-made future attire
- Fur is Simply Bad Design by Joshua Katcher (Huffington Post)
- Check out this controversial article ‘I Wear Real Fur—and I’m Not Ashamed’ by Jasmine Garnsworthy (stylecaster.com)
- Unilever Drops Mayo Lawsuit Against Egg-Replacing Startup Hampton Creek (Forbes.com)
- Toxic dyes, lethal logos, cotton drenched in formaldehyde… How your clothes could poison you by Rebecca Ley (dailymail.com)
- Brave GentleMan : Joshua’s menswear line
- TheDiscerningBrute : fashion, food & etiquette for the ethically handsome man
- Try replacing animal protein with plant protein at Beyondmeat.com
- Healthy mayonnaise alternative Just Mayo from Hamptoncreek.com
- Check out John Carpenter’s sci-fi film They Live *
- Stitched Up: The Anti-Capitalist Book of Fashion * by Tansy E. Hoskins
- Brutal: Manhood and the Exploitation of Animals * by Brian Luke
- Documentary film Cowspiracy * by Kip Andersen and Keegan Kuhn
- Documentary film The Ghosts In Our Machine * by Jonathan Blacombe
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