Episode 194: The Question-sode

Amanda answers questions from members of the Clotheshorse community.
Here are just a few of the things covered in this episode:
  • How do we avoid overconsumption at the thrift store?
  • How can we simultaneously take control of our finances and reduce our consumption?
  • How do we find our personal style in a sea of “kinda garbage” clothes?
  • Why is it so difficult to find clothing in larger sizes? And why are so few brands offering extended sizing?
  • What changes does Amanda wish the industry had made a long time ago to be more ethical and sustainable?
  • What is Amanda’s vision for a circular fashion industry?
  • How much worse could clothing get?
  • How can we talk to others about slow fashion without being shame-y or annoying?

And so much more!

Also in this episode: Amanda reveals some exciting news about episode 200 (happening in April)!

Read this: “This fabric recycling company was going to change fashion. Why did it suddenly go bankrupt?”  Adele Peters, Fast Company.

Be the first to hear all of the details about where, when, and how Episode 200 is happening: join the mailing list.

If you want to share your opinion/additional thoughts on the subjects we cover in each episode, feel free to email, whether it’s a typed out message or an audio recording:  [email protected]


Thanks to Alden for spending some time with us and sharing so much helpful (albeit scary) information with us. Please read her book To Dye For: How Toxic Fashion Is Making Us Sick–and How We Can Fight Back. I plan on reading it as soon as I’m done with my job in another week. You can also find more of Alden’s writing (and a lot of helpful information) at ecocult.com. I’ll share a link to that in the show notes.

Ultimately we talk about some scary and depressing stuff around here. And Alden’s findings on the chemicals in our clothing definitely can be described by both of those adjectives. But that doesn’t mean we have the luxury of pretending that we didn’t hear any of this, right? Because once again, we can see how the clothing industry is having a negative impact on every single person in this world. It’s not–as some of us might have once believed–a problem that is far away, happening somewhere we’ll probably never visit. In fact, the repercussions of the fashion industry are playing out in every one of our closets, within our bodies, and in the world around us.

It scares the shit out of me. It makes me so angry. And it makes me so sad.

It’s easy to feel those feelings and kinda shut down. Because sometimes it just feels like life is too big and too hard already, why add more fear and anger to the mix?

But we can’t ignore it. We have to receive the information, process it, grieve the implications of it all –including grieving the realization that big business has been intentionally misleading you for a long time, or at the very least, lying by omission–grieve all of that. Grieve the horrific truth about how our clothes are made and how it impacts the planet and its people. Grieve the fact that we are being sold clothing that is making us sick. Grieve the knowledge that garment workers are paid pennies and work under terrible conditions. Grieve the fact that 85% of our unwanted, barely worn clothes end up in a landfill. And grieve the impact all of that fast fashion has on our planet, its people, and its animals when we are done with it.

It’s okay to be sad and angry. But what are you going to do with that? That’s the big thing! That’s the important thing!

It’s easy to give up, to say I’m one person, I can never have an impact on the world. But that’s not true. Operating alone, yeah, you won’t have much of an impact. But when you’re working with other people, a community like ours that is turning into a movement…big change can happen!

When I hear people say…oh, Amazon has such a bigger impact on the world and there’s nothing I can do about it…that’s just permission to give up. Because the reality is that we have been letting Amazon (and every other company) do whatever the heck they want for years now…and it turns out that we can’t trust them to do the right thing. They aren’t going to change without us. We have to demand it. And we have to do it together!!!

We have a major opportunity to demand change from brands, from our governments, and from ourselves. And we can do that together by learning the facts, unifying, sharing our knowledge and experience, supporting one another, welcoming others into the movement, and educating those around us.

I know we can do that! Who’s in?

Want to Support Amanda's Work on Clotheshorse?

If you want to share your opinion/additional thoughts on the subjects we cover in each episode, feel free to email, whether it’s a typed out message or an audio recording:  [email protected]

Clotheshorse is brought to you with support from the following sustainable small businesses:

Thumbprint is Detroit’s only fair trade marketplace, located in the historic Eastern Market.  Our small business specializes in products handmade by empowered women in South Africa making a living wage creating things they love like hand painted candles and ceramics! We also carry a curated assortment of  sustainable/natural locally made goods. Thumbprint is a great gift destination for both the special people in your life and for yourself! Browse our online store at thumbprintdetroit.com and find us on instagram @thumbprintdetroit.

Picnicwear:  a slow fashion brand, ethically made by hand from vintage and deadstock materials – most notably, vintage towels! Founder, Dani, has worked in the industry as a fashion designer for over 10 years, but started Picnicwear in response to her dissatisfaction with the industry’s shortcomings. Picnicwear recently moved to rural North Carolina where all their clothing and accessories are now designed and cut, but the majority of their sewing is done by skilled garment workers in NYC. Their customers take comfort in knowing that all their sewists are paid well above NYC minimum wage. Picnicwear offers minimal waste and maximum authenticity: Future Vintage over future garbage.

Shift Clothing, out of beautiful Astoria, Oregon, with a focus on natural fibers, simple hardworking designs, and putting fat people first.  Discover more at shiftwheeler.com

High Energy Vintage is a fun and funky vintage shop located in Somerville, MA, just a few minutes away from downtown Boston. They offer a highly curated selection of bright and colorful clothing and accessories from the 1940s-1990s for people of all genders. Husband-and-wife duo Wiley & Jessamy handpick each piece for quality and style, with a focus on pieces that transcend trends and will find a home in your closet for many years to come! In addition to clothing, the shop also features a large selection of vintage vinyl and old school video games. Find them on instagram @ highenergyvintage, online at highenergyvintage.com, and at markets in and around Boston.

St. Evens is an NYC-based vintage shop that is dedicated to bringing you those special pieces you’ll reach for again and again. More than just a store, St. Evens is dedicated to sharing the stories and history behind the garments. 10% of all sales are donated to a different charitable organization each month.  New vintage is released every Thursday at wearStEvens.com, with previews of new pieces and more brought to you on Instagram at @wear_st.evens.

Deco Denim is a startup based out of San Francisco, selling clothing and accessories that are sustainable, gender fluid, size inclusive and high quality–made to last for years to come. Deco Denim is trying to change the way you think about buying clothes. Founder Sarah Mattes wants to empower people to ask important questions like, “Where was this made? Was this garment made ethically? Is this fabric made of plastic? Can this garment be upcycled and if not, can it be recycled?” Signup at decodenim.com to receive $20 off your first purchase. They promise not to spam you and send out no more than 3 emails a month, with 2 of them surrounding education or a personal note from the Founder. Find them on Instagram as @deco.denim.

The Pewter Thimble Is there a little bit of Italy in your soul? Are you an enthusiast of pre-loved decor and accessories? Bring vintage Italian style — and history — into your space with The Pewter Thimble (@thepewterthimble). We source useful and beautiful things, and mend them where needed. We also find gorgeous illustrations, and make them print-worthy. Tarot cards, tea towels and handpicked treasures, available to you from the comfort of your own home. Responsibly sourced from across Rome, lovingly renewed by fairly paid artists and artisans, with something for every budget. Discover more at thepewterthimble.com

Blank Cass, or Blanket Coats by Cass, is focused on restoring, renewing, and reviving the history held within vintage and heirloom textiles. By embodying and transferring the love, craft, and energy that is original to each vintage textile into a new garment, I hope we can reteach ourselves to care for and mend what we have and make it last. Blank Cass lives on Instagram @blank_cass and a website will be launched soon at blankcass.com.

Gabriela Antonas is a visual artist, an upcycler, and a fashion designer, but Gabriela Antonas is also a feminist micro business with radical ideals. She’s the one woman band, trying to help you understand, why slow fashion is what the earth needs. If you find your self in New Orleans, LA, you may buy her ready-to-wear upcycled garments in person at the store “Slow Down” (2855 Magazine St). Slow Down Nola only sells vintage and slow fashion from local designers. Gabriela’s garments are guaranteed to be in stock in person, but they also have a website so you may support this women owned and run business from wherever you are! If you are interested in Gabriela making a one of a kind garment for you DM her on Instagram at @slowfashiongabriela to book a consultation.

Vagabond Vintage DTLV is a vintage clothing, accessories & decor reselling business based in Downtown Las Vegas. Not only do we sell in Las Vegas, but we are also located throughout resale markets in San Francisco as well as at a curated boutique called Lux and Ivy located in Indianapolis, Indiana. Jessica, the founder & owner of Vagabond Vintage DTLV, recently opened the first IRL location located in the Arts District of Downtown Las Vegas on August 5th. The shop has a strong emphasis on 60s & 70s garments, single stitch tee shirts & dreamy loungewear. Follow them on instagram, @vagabondvintage.dtlv and keep an eye out for their website coming fall of 2022.

Country Feedback is a mom & pop record shop in Tarboro, North Carolina. They specialize in used rock, country, and soul and offer affordable vintage clothing and housewares. Do you have used records you want to sell? Country Feedback wants to buy them! Find us on Instagram @countryfeedbackvintageandvinyl or head downeast and visit our brick and mortar. All are welcome at this inclusive and family-friendly record shop in the country!

Located in Whistler, Canada, Velvet Underground is a “velvet jungle” full of vintage and second-hand clothes, plants, a vegan cafe and lots of rad products from other small sustainable businesses. Our mission is to create a brand and community dedicated to promoting self-expression, as well as educating and inspiring a more sustainable and conscious lifestyle both for the people and the planet. Find us on Instagram @shop_velvetunderground or online at www.shopvelvetunderground.com

Selina Sanders, a social impact brand that specializes in up-cycled clothing, using only reclaimed, vintage or thrifted materials: from tea towels, linens, blankets and quilts.  Sustainably crafted in Los Angeles, each piece is designed to last in one’s closet for generations to come.  Maximum Style; Minimal Carbon Footprint.

Salt Hats:  purveyors of truly sustainable hats. Hand blocked, sewn and embellished in Detroit, Michigan.

Republica Unicornia Yarns: Hand-Dyed Yarn and notions for the color-obsessed. Made with love and some swearing in fabulous Atlanta, Georgia by Head Yarn Wench Kathleen. Get ready for rainbows with a side of Giving A Damn! Republica Unicornia is all about making your own magic using small-batch, responsibly sourced, hand-dyed yarns and thoughtfully made notions. Slow fashion all the way down and discover the joy of creating your very own beautiful hand knit, crocheted, or woven pieces. Find us on Instagram @republica_unicornia_yarns and at www.republicaunicornia.com.

Cute Little Ruin is an online shop dedicated to providing quality vintage and secondhand clothing, vinyl, and home items in a wide range of styles and price points.  If it’s ethical and legal, we try to find a new home for it!  Vintage style with progressive values.  Find us on Instagram at @CuteLittleRuin.