—Systemic change begins with personal change—

546: Maxine Bédat, part 2: Systemic Change Begins With Personal Change


Maxine shares her experience with her commitment across the country. She moved partly to enable living by her values. People often suggest it's easier for someone living in New York not to fly since I have access to so much culture here, but access to many cultures only matters if you value it. Not everyone does. I hope you live where you can access things you value. If you don't, no amount of travel will overcome that you live where you don't like. I mention this because Maxine could live by her values better not in New York. She sounds like she's still flying a bunch, she didn't commit to avoiding flying (yet). As we talk about in our conversation, we build up to bigger changes through smaller ones. Note how often she describes the discomfort that changing to acting on her values liberates her from. I believe we all feel that discomfort when we know we're acting against our values. We know when we're polluting. No amount of rationalization that "everyone else is doing it", "the plane was going to fly anyway", "what I do doesn't matter", and so on can quiet our consciences. I heard her composting commitment liberated her from feelings and behavior she didn't like. Not that she couldn't change any time, but the commitment from our conversation kick started a change. I expect she'll keep developing, maybe not monotonically, but steadily.

488: Maxine Bédat, part 1: Everything You’ve Always Wanted to Know About Fashion’s Sustainability (or lack thereof)


Maxine's book, Unraveled: The Life and Death of a Garment, traces how a pair of jeans comes into existence from it's raw beginnings and where it ends up at the end of its life. The book has been covered in the top levels of fashion media, for example Elle: Maxine Bédat Unravels The Lies of Greenwashing Vogue: Maxine Bédat Urges the Fashion Industry to Make a Change Now, Not in 2030 Financial Times: Unraveled by Maxine Bédat—cutting the cloth In our conversation, she shares the story behind the book: her history and motivation to write it, the story of her visiting people and places actually doing the work, the shocking sights the industry doesn't want us to know about. As she puts it, "the chemical industry is the fashion industry. The oil industry is the fashion industry." You might think, "I don't want to learn these things. I just want to enjoy my clothes without thinking about them." You'll feel the opposite when you hear. You'll wish you'd learned earlier. You'll want to tell people what you learn. You'll shop and dress differently, more mindfully.

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