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Reimagining Fashion As Environmentally & Ethically Sound

By March 15, 2015January 18th, 202414 Comments

“Being morally correct rarely overcomes the perceived correctness of beauty.”

Joshua Katcher

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,


Listen & Subscribe on  iTunes  |  Soundcloud  |  Stitcher  |  TuneIn

Production, music & sound design by Tyler Piatt. Additional production by Chris Swan. Graphic art by Shawn Patterson. Thanks boys!


Connect With Joshua: Blog  | Twitter | Instagram | Facebook

Visit for Joshua’s high-end, sustainable and ethically-made future attire



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  • Tommy F says:

    Our over-industrialized culture has mindlessly separated us from the suffering endured, to produce the things we consume. In doing so, compassion has been throw by the way-side.

  • Trevor says:

    Can’t wait to listen to this, been a follower of The Discerning Brute for years, so cool he is finally on the show! The man is a prince among vegans!

    In a couple years I would deem him a king among vegans, like I deem you Rich!

  • Zachary says:

    I absorbed this episode so eagerly. You’re outdoing yourself, Rich.

  • richroll66 says:

    Thanks Zachary – so glad you enjoyed it

  • richroll66 says:

    Joshua is definitely a prince:)

  • Cara says:

    Amazing information & extended to us with pure eloquence, am so glad to learn about this & will only buy clothes from authentic ethical sources from this moment on. One of the best most transforming podcasts yet for me 🙂
    Can’t believe I missed vegfest NYC with Rich & Julie there aarrrg !

  • Tommy F says:

    Okay.. I have a dilemma. Tonight, I bought a couple of Perry Ellis shirts for work. I love their comfortable-casual styling and affordability. Looking at the tags, one of the shirts was made in Vietnam.. and the other in Indonisia. I’d love to know how “kind” these shirts were on everyone involved in their making. But there simply isn’t a way for me to know. They look perfectly harmless on the store hanger.. but after listening to Joshua on this podcast, I’m doubtful that no harm was inflicted along their way to the store. I’m wondering, am I being irresponsible for not being a bit more diligent in searching out brands which explisively state in their corporate charter, that the utmost humanity, eco-responsibility and animal kindness are core considerations in the manufacture of their products. Perry Ellis’ corporate website touts loudly about modern fashion.. but nothing about social responsibility. Perhaps as a mindful shopper, we all need to boycot the hip but socially unconscious brands, and support ONLY those who knit kindness and compassion into the very fabric of their companies’ corporate philosophy. Would love to know what others think… ✌️🌱

    -Namaste 🙏

  • Ann says:

    What a super guest, definitely one of the best. This issue is so relevant in our global, hyper-consumerist economy. I love how Josh mentions intersectionism, how all types of exploitation are connected. And his also being a kick-ass vegan cross-fitter was a cherry on a banana split! Per the issue of related documentaries, check out “China Blue,” PBS site has most info.

  • Graham Ross says:

    Thanks for the interview with Joshua and for contributing to the conversation about making our everyday clothes have a smaller impact on the planet. As Joshua says “There are these huge environmental, social and ethical problems that are not being dealt with, not only aren’t they being dealt with they are being worsened.”

    The opportunity is helping more people realise that they can actually contribute to reversing the imposing problem of climate change by simply changing what they wear. Through our range of sustainable fabrics, my company – Kusaga Athletic is committed to changing the way clothes are manufactured and having a positive impact on the planet as a result.

    Rich, let me know if you would like to try ‘The greenest run tee on the planet’. It’s 100% plant powered.

  • NateM says:

    Great episode! Super-guest for sure. Hopefully you two can do it again soon. Amazing insight into the fashion/textile/garment industry.

  • so glad to know about Kasuga! I’d love to find out more.

  • richroll66 says:

    Hey Graham – would love to try out the shirt! Luke T says so many nice things about you guys…

  • Graham Ross says:

    Hi Rich, Absolutely. Ping me your details via [email protected] – Great to hear Luke on your podcast.

  • Graham Ross says:

    Hey Joshua, it would be great to chat. You can get me via [email protected]

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