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The fashion industry is built from a hundred individual specialties: manufacturers of trim, buttons, and fabric; designers of niche lines for outerwear, footwear, neckties, jeans, lingerie, swimwear; and retailers built around those same niche markets. But the latter two categories wouldn’t exist without the first, so on today’s show, we’ll hear from Benita Singh, co-founder of a speciality textile website Source4Style. Source4Style exists as a virtual marketplace, connecting textile suppliers with designers, and ensuring responsible production and fair trade in the process. With this weekend’s tragic factory fire in Bangladesh, the importance of transparency in the production chain is underscored, and Source4Style is fulfilling an essential role within the industry by offering designers the opportunity to purchase with ethical confidence. On today’s show, Benita will talk about how she and her colleagues met and began Source4Style, some of their global partnerships, a few educational initiatives they offer, and some details about their selection of fabrics. Plus, I have the latest in articles and news coverage on the Bangladesh factory fire, as well as some all-too-infrequent good news from the headlines of the ethical fashion industry. And I’ve got a great playlist prepared, featuring two new acts from the UK, more Sufjan-style Christmas, and even a clip from comedian Tig Notaro. Another hour of style + substance coming your way, on BTR!
This week on Sew & Tell, I bring you an interview that I’ve wanted to feature for a while. The IOU Project is a forward-thinking model of sustainable fashion production and retail, offering consumers the opportunity to make personal connections on an incredibly unique level. Through IOU, you can purchase a beautifully made, thoroughly contemporary, timelessly artisanal garment, and follow the names of those people who created it… from start to finish. You can learn the names of the weavers who created the fabric, where they live, and who their families are. Then you can follow the story to where the fabric traveled next, in order to be made into the garment that is uniquely yours, and whose hands created the deft seams and detail work. IOU offers craftsmen the opportunity to remain masters of craft: to take pride in the work they create, and receive recognition. And it turns the colorful plaid shirt hanging in your closet, into names, faces, and gratitude. On today’s show, I am excited and honored to bring you an interview with IOU’s founder and driving force, Kavita Parmar. Kavita is a passionate, articulate woman who has worked in fashion since the age of 15, and gained the knowledge, contacts, and faith necessary to create real change. In this interview, Kavita will tell the story that led to IOU’s creation, how they tell others’ stories with their garments, and a few exciting new projects on the horizon for IOU. All that, plus some amazing new music on the playlist – first original Cat Power in over six years (!!), new Alberta Cross, Post War Years, and an introduction to the UK’s next big siren of song: Bebe Black. So tune in, turn it up, and get ready to rock in style on BreakThru Radio!
“Despite how glamorous fashion looks on the outside, beneath it is a terribly polluting industry that devastates wildlife, pollutes water sources, and has considerable impacts on the livelihoods of people… Buying a t-shirt isn’t just buying a t-shirt.” – Jasmin Malik Chua On this week’s Sew & Tell, Jasmin Malik Chua, the Managing Editor of the online eco-fashion publication Ecouterre, talks about the industry’s biggest environmental struggles, and the ways in which some large corporations, like Nike, Levi’s, and H&M, are beginning the road to recovery. Plus, the latest music from Miike Snow, Dinosaur Feathers, Choir of Young Believers, Yann Tiersen and more! Get stylishly responsible with DJ Marie on BTR…
It’s the first week of 2012, and what better time to focus on nutrition? And not just dietary – nutrition in every area of our lives. On today’s Sew & Tell, we’ll hear from someone who’s helping to keep the fashion industry healthy through an exciting new website. Benita Singh, along with Summer Rayne Oakes and Elizabeth Cloyd, recently launched Source4Style, an online marketplace for sustainable textiles that serves both suppliers and designers. Source4Style is also an incredible educational resource, and on today’s show, Benita shares some about the company, the fabrics they currently offer, the future of sustainable textiles, and some exciting new design initiatives that exhibit the changing face of global fashion. Plus, I have a very “cool” playlist today, dedicated to winter. You’ll hear tracks from The Loom, Wintersleep, The Subjects, Say Hi, The Bees, and even a song featuring guest vocals by Feist. An action-packed show gets your year off to a great start, here on BTR!

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