66: The Mavericks Repairing & Revamping Patagonia, Prana & Other Ethical Apparel Brands with Nicole Bassett of The Renewal Workshop

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Why would a seasoned, respected sustainability expert who’s held enviable gigs at well-known ethical apparel brands such as Patagonia and Prana exit-stage-left in favor of building a business aiming to do something incredibly difficult and as-yet completely unproven? Passion, definitely. Knowledge that creating true sustainability in the apparel world will require more than just ethical manufacturing, yes, that for sure. Confidence mixed with a dash of bravado, insider industry access and a willingness to work one’s ass off to create a new way to deal with apparel waste, so much of this, oh yeah.

You are going to love this week’s guest, Nicole Bassett, co-founder of The Renewal Workshop.

You’re also going to love what she’s aiming to build alongside co-founder Jeff Denby, who also has serious cred in the ethical fashion biz thanks to his years co-founding and building the PACT apparel label. Putting their industry ties to work, they’ve brought in partners such as Ibex, PrAna and Indigenous to create a product path for flawed, imperfect and secondhand clothing and accessories. As Nicole says in our conversation, there’s currently no standardized way for apparel companies to responsibly dispose of clothing they can’t sell. Likewise, there’s no clear path for collecting worn-out apparel from consumers and revamping it so it can be resold to brand fans. From their Oregon-based workspace, Nicole and Jeff are growing a team to solve these problems for big brands – and hoping to fill a serious void in an industry that heavily contributes to the estimated 12.7 million tons of textiles that end up in landfills each year.

This episode brought to you with support from the FEST-ive folks at Betabrand. Save 20% off when you shop and use code SPIRIT20. But wait, there’s more below!

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Listen to Nicole’s story for the inside scoop on launching a new company when you arguably already have a pretty sweet job in sustainable business and stellar advice for dealing when you know you really don’t know how to do the things you know your business really needs.

Linkage:

The Renewal Workshop: www.therenewalworkshop.com

Instagram: @renewalworkshop

The Renewal Workshop Launches at Sustainable Brands Conference to Redefine Waste in the Apparel Industry

Patagonia

Prana

Tersus

Evrnu

PACT Apparel

T-shirt motto: “The best way out is always through,” by Robert Frost

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