Show #212 – Jane Milburn: Reducing Planet Impact from your Closet


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And on this week’s show!

Sometimes I have a guest on the show that makes me feel like I’ve had an hour-long hug and a cup of tea and all is just going to be fine in this topsy turvy world. Jane Milburn is such a guest. Author of Slow Clothing: Finding Meaning in What we wear. Her forever strategy is to use what you have to do what you can to ensure a resilient future. In today’s show I inched forward a few extra steps in my readiness to get more creative with turning old clothes into something new, although my husband is the one who’s handy with a sewing machine in our house. If you care about slow fashion, love repurposing things or perhaps feel a little lost as to how to get going doing better in this area, this show is very much for you.

The questions I asked Jane:

  1. How did the living with less journey unfold for you? 
  2. And more specifically, your love of natural fibres and extending their lives? 
  3. As a changemaker in this space, you say you’re not about ‘converting people’ and I couldn’t agree more with that: present what you’re learning/observing and people can take it or leave it: I’d love to hear why you feel that to be a more powerful approach too? 
  4. Something a lot of people are confused about is how to know if a second hand clothing store/charity bin is going to actually donate your clothes to people in need or if it’s going to go into some big textile bin in a far away country… when we really do want to part ways with certain pieces, what is the best avenue for this/how can we get savvy and connect to the best local resources for re-homing good clothes? 
  5. Is there anyway best to dispose of a piece of clothing if it’s ruined (I am still dirty at my husband for shrinking my favourite jumper in the wash 11 years ago. No grudges! hehe) 
  6. What are the stats on synthetic clothing fibres and their polluting power? 
  7. Buying old clothes/repairing clothes has a stigma to it. I remember hearing Justin Bieber claim he never wore a pair of undies twice and I guess that’s, to him, a success metric “I’m so successful, I don’t need to wear clothing twice” which feeds into our hyper capitalist ‘success’ picture culturally… BUT, how do we break this stigma? How do you feel the most effective way to help people feel cool, clever and switched on fashion-wise by op shopping/repairing and upcycling is? 
  8. You had an insight into language with teens when it came to op shop/second hand/upcycling clothes that was a reframe to make it appealing/cool to them – can you share that? 
  9. What is your top tip for people who want to upcycle their clothing? Where can people start at home? 
  10. What are a few essential sewing skills we should all know? 
  11. What could be a project we could all undertake this week to extend the life of one of our favourite old pieces? 

Other helpful links:

Know more about Jane and her advocacy here:

Join her on Instagram @textilebeat and Facebook

This week’s Show Sponsor

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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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