10 Must-Watch TED Talks About Fast Fashion

“Thanks for coming to my TED Talk”. A phrase that has dominated social media in recent years. TED Talks are wildly inspiring, informative, and discuss a broad spectrum of topics. There’s something for everyone, which is why they’re so popular to the masses. Not only that, but you can watch them for free on YouTube too. Accessibility is key.

I personally love a good TED Talk. They make for great background noise, and you can learn something at the same time. What’s not to love?

My favourite talks to watch are, of course, about fast fashion. Because (shock) it’s something I’m incredibly passionate about and spend a lot of my time talking about on the internet. So it’s important I stay educated and also take on board the opinions of industry experts.

So today’s post is going to be a little different from my usual content. Instead of feeding information through other media sources, I’m sending you straight to the horses mouth. Here are ten of my favourite TED Talks about fast fashion, all available on YouTube.

Auditorium - TED Talks

1 // Fast Fashion’s Effect on People, the Planet, & You – Patrick Woodyard

“Mindful business: while working for a microfinance firm in Trujillo, Peru, Patrick was introduced to the broken Peruvian footwear industry made up of over 100,000 shoemakers who possess remarkable talent yet lack access to consistent work, fair-wages, and brand access to established international markets… Patrick developed a vision to push the fashion industry in a new direction by serving as one of the first fashion brands to deliver a superior yet ethically-produced product to consumers.”

2 // How to Engage with Ethical Fashion – Clara Vuletich

“What do you know about the clothes in your wardrobe? About the clothes that you’re wearing right now? Clara Vuletich works with some of the biggest brands in the world to help them ask the right questions about where the clothes that we wear come from. Clara is a designer, researcher, educator, and consultant who has worked in the sustainable fashion space in the UK and Europe for ten years…”

3 // Why Recycling Our Clothes Won’t Save the World – Leslie Johnston

“Globally, our love of fashion generates one garbage truck full of textile waste every second. But we have the power to change this and disrupt how we think about buying, using, and reusing the clothes we wear. To do so, we need to get out of our comfort zones, embrace innovation, and not be afraid to try a bit of sustainable glitter now and then. Leslie Johnston joined C&A Foundation as it’s first Executive Director in August 2013 and brings over 20 years of management experience across multiple sectors…”

4 // The High Cost of Our Cheap Fashion – Maxine Bédat

“Do you know where your clothes come from? The apparel industry is one of the biggest violators of both the environment and human rights. In this compelling and information-packed talk, co-founder of Zady Maxine Bédat shows how you can take back the power of your wardrobe, and feel better in (and better about) your clothes.”

5 // The Wardrobe to Die For – Lucy Siegle

“…An expose on the fashion industry written by the Observer’s ‘Ethical Living’ columnist Lucy Siegle, examining the inhumane and environmentally devastating story behind the clothes we so casually buy and wear. Taking particular issue with our current mania for both big-name labels and cheap fashion, her talk sets an agenda for the urgent changes that can and need to be made by both the fashion industry and the consumer.”

Laptop Typing

6 // Conscious Consumerism’; Time to Shop & live Our Values – Diane Ridgway 

“Women control more than $20 trillion in spending globally, and with that spending power comes the opportunity – and, in fact, the responsibility – to wield that power wisely. To proactively support only those companies that align with our values and beliefs. To spend with purpose and passion.”

7 // Consumer Culture; The Day Your Baby’s Wardrobe Became Better Than Yours – Vigga Svensson

“The way we consume clothes and many other products today creates too many casualties and too few winners. Nonetheless, we have embraced the buy-and-throw-away society for years, as sustainable consumption was perceived by many as inconvenient and expensive. However, critical consumers and daring entrepreneurs have paved the way for a new consumption model, Sustainability 2.0: sustainable consumption without compromise.”

8 // Life in the Slow Lane: Sustainable Fashion 101

“Fashion, employing 1 in 100 people, truly is a global industry, but in a world where the cost of everything – education, housing, even lattes – is increasing, how is clothing becoming less expensive? This talk will introduce you to the environmental and social impacts of the fast fashion industry, and give you easy tips on how to live more sustainably. Tamara Jones is a student at Ryerson University with passions for environmental sustainability and social justice.”

9 // How to Change the World by Fashion Consumption – Jochen Strähle

“Consumers are not aware enough about the negative impact of sustainability within the fashion sector. It will become clear that the fashion industry needs a systematic change. Consumers are the key driver for this development. The presentation gives overall solutions and guidelines how each person can contribute to this change.”

10 // Circular Economy; Fashion and Behaviour – Mike Dongelmans 

“Mike Dongelmans’ talk focuses on changes within the fashion industry and the shift to sustainably produced clothing. ‘Mud Jeans’ produce and sell sustainable everyday fashion made of environmentally friendly, organic (GOTS certified), or recycled cotton with the goal to change the fashion industry to become circular, sustainable, and ethical.”

Since nobody is going to sit there and overload their brains with fast fashion facts in one sitting, I suggest bookmarking this post for later.

If you’ve already watched one or more of these TED Talks, let me know in the comments below!

7 comments so far.

7 responses to “10 Must-Watch TED Talks About Fast Fashion”

  1. Teresa says:

    Oooh, this is exactly what I needed right now! I llove TED Talks and this subject is super super interesting, so I’m gonna get straight into these. Thank you!

    Teresa Maria | Outlandish Blog

  2. Katie Yvonne says:

    I absolutely love TedTalks! I’ve watched a few of these but the rest that I haven’t watched will definitely be going on my list to watch. TedTalks really are so accessible and they’re invaluable when it comes to learning new things concerning just about anything.

    Thanks for writing this list up, El. I’m off to watch some of these now xx

  3. Lauren says:

    I haven’t listened to a ted talk before, these sound very interesting! Thank you for sharing this list!

  4. I love watching TED talks and educating myself, and these definitely seem like ones I need to watch. A few months ago I had absolutely NO idea about the damaging effects of fast fashion, so I’m keen to continue learning about it! Great post.

    – Charlotte / charlottesspace.com

    • That’s so great to hear! We all have to start somewhere, and I’d say TED talks are definitely a good place to learn some insightful stories about real life situations. Thanks so much for reading Charlotte!
      El xx

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I'm Elen Mai, the brains behind Welsh Wanderer and 20-something human biology student from (you guessed it) Wales! Welsh Wanderer is designed with the eco-conscious adventurer in mind. So stick around for tips & tricks on living sustainably.

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