Show #118: Textiles with environmental scientist Anne Foster, founder of Elkie & Ark


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And onto this week’s show!

In my show this week we go deep into some of the labels you’ll find on your clothes, bed linen and textiles in general. What does fair trade, made in XYZ country, made with organic cotton, GOTS certified and Ecotek all mean when it’s on the label? What are we NOT seeing on the label that is used in the farming and production process? How do we develop a healthier relationship with what we choose when it comes to textiles? How does the textiles industry impact climate change and what can we do about it? What are some of the hardest aspects of having an ethical, organic textiles business? It’s definitely a 2 cup-of-tea / 7K steps kind of podcast this week and I hope you love it as much as I loved picking Anne’s brain. She’s so considered in her thinking and exploring of the facts and by the end of the show you’ll want to buy less, source well and start supporting brands who do right by people and planet, as well as start challenging the ones you’ve loved perhaps in the past, to do better, by having the conversations that need to happen.


Anne’s bio:

Anne Foster is a passionate and prolific environmental scientist. Having begun her career as a Private Equity Manager and Investment Banker, she helped build world-class businesses within the renewable, water, sustainable, retail and health spaces. It was through this work that Anne realised the extent to which every one of us has the power to impact the environment and world by changing our daily habits and decisions. Also, she realised that the textile industry is the second most polluting in the world. Coupled with the exploitation that often goes on a long way behind the scenes she decided to attack the problems of environmental harm and poverty or even trafficking at the roots. So she created Elkie & Ark, where all products are hand-picked and sewn using 100% certified Global Organic Textile Standard and Fairtrade cotton, with all items created in fair trade certified factories. Every product can be traced right back to the farm (not just where it is ‘made’, but spun, woven and grown). “This is not charity” she says. She simply wants consumers, who seek beautiful, better made but perhaps organic and ethical goods, to have the best quality choices; to reflect their style – as well as their desire to make a change.


The questions I asked Anne:  

  1. Demystifying some of the terms on labels, their short comings, the loopholes and what the best, most certain labelling is to look out for and why?  (So here we can do “natural fibre / “dyed WITH natural colours / EcoTek / Fairtrade / Organic / GOTS – any others?

  2. Supply chain – You make the best sheets I know (and that’s no joke and this is not sponsored folks, they just are.) Talk us through all of the steps from the farm to the factory to the arrival in your customer’s homes, that have you sleep at night knowing you’ve done your absolute best by people and planet.

  3. Circular threads – What are some of the ways brands are closing the loop on fashion / textiles and creating truly regenerative brands?

  4. What’s coming up for Elkie Ark that you can let us in on?

You may think “Ah that’s going to be a quick show”, BUT it ain’t – we go deep into labelling, ethicals and supply chain challenges. Enjoy!


Other helpful links:

Find out more about Elkie & Ark here:

You can follow Elkie & Ark on Instagram @elkieark and on Facebook



Enjoy the show and thanks again for taking the time to rate and review the show on your app – it’s like tipping the bartender and it means the world.

Low Tox. Happy us. Happy planet

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