Friday, October 3, 2008

Interview with Kelly Sheenan

Kelley Sheenan, the talented and inspiring lady behind responsible fashion magazine Peppermint was interviewed over at Greenloop. She talks about sustainability in Australia, garment certification, local ethical fashion labels (with a lovely heidi and seek mention to boot. Thanks Kelley!), eco hot spots and the relationship between fashion and politics. Her opinion on positive ethical fashion change for the future is refreshing and exciting. Read the interview here.

Another interesting point the interviewer brought up was the contradiction in a eco-friendly print magazine (as opposed to electronic, which does not use paper). The mag is printed on recycled paper with soy-based inks, but it is still material consumption there when there is an alternative. Kelley brought up good points. Firstly, that it's more effective to be printed in order to compete with other print fashion magazines for consumers' attention. Secondly, to own and hold a magazine is special. I sometimes think along similar lines in my own work. Should I forfeit the design features that require me to buy new things (elastic and labels, for example?)

This issue reminds me of an interview I read with Wendell Berry, a pro-environment author from the States. In it, the interviewer asked him about the contradiction in travelling and relying on corporate machinery while advocating for local economies. His response: "There are contradictions in it, no doubt about that... But you have to live in the world the way it is. You can’t declare yourself too good for it and move away."

I read this a while ago and I still think about it. There's a lot of wisdom in those words. I now accept that there are going to be ethical sacrifices in most things we do. And there are contradictions in all eco-friendly movements. But it's not something to be ashamed of. It's realistic. One thing I do think is important is to try to save those sacrifices for things that are special. If we don't have the special, the unique, then what world are we fighting for?

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