Democratizing 'organic' in the fashion industry (interview with Brendan Synnott of Pact)
This is a conversation on Green Dreamer with Kamea Chayne, a podcast exploring environmental regeneration and intersectional sustainability from ideas to life. The preview highlighted has been edited for clarity. Subscribe to Green Dreamer on iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher, or any podcast app to stay informed and updated on our latest episodes.
Brendan Synnott is the CEO of PACT (@wearpact), where he's leading his team to disrupt the apparel industry for the better by using organic and fair-trade cotton as the foundation for addressing the labor and environmental issues that surround clothing.
On this podcast episode, Brendan sheds light on what it takes to shake up existing, extractive corporations to render them obsolete or hold them accountable to their social and environmental impacts; why fighting for more transparency within the fashion supply chain must be the first step to bringing about positive change in the industry; and more.
To start, get a glimpse below into the conversation between Brendan and Green Dreamer Podcast's host, Kamea Chayne.
On consumer awareness around consciously made apparel:
"At Pact, we’ve only used organic cotton, ever—it’s not that we just have a capsule collection [of organic cotton]. And we only use fair trade factories—it’s not like we have four out of one-thousand SKU's that are fair trade…
A lot of folks take credit for small advances that they’re making, and that sometimes confuses consumers.
At the end of the day, though, I believe it's a good thing that people are even having the awareness that they can buy sustainable apparel or can make ethical choices in terms of what they put on their bodies.
Over time, I believe consumers are going to find the solution for themselves that they believe in.”
On the connection between our fibers and food:
"Your clothing is grown just like your food is—most of what's in your closet is probably made of cotton.
Cotton grows in the fields right next to soybeans, peanuts, and other crops we buy.
In terms of where that fiber comes from that you’re wearing, that's covering your bed, or that you wipe your body down with a towel after a bath—all of that is cotton and all of that is grown."
On the importance of transparency in the apparel industry:
“It’s about getting transparency into the supply chain—the accountability only happens if there’s transparency of what is going into the product and what the standards are at the factories that are making it.
That, to me, was the stunning part of the apparel industry and why I got involved with it. [Apparel] is something that we put on our bodies everyday, I put on my kids, I sleep in, and that I touch all day, everyday, and yet I had no idea where it came from.”
Final words of wisdom:
“Instead of just dreaming, make sure that we do something everyday—even if it’s a small step.
It’s all about momentum and thinking about how we can do a little bit more each day so that the flywheel spins a little bit bigger and a little bit faster.
That’s what creates change.“
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