Podcast Episodes

Episode 12: How to not be a dumb doofus when shopping for clothes

This week we try and ask the big  questions about how to shop in an ethical and informed way. It’s a hugely important part of being a good consumer – something that is a hard thing to do these days. Considerations like company transparency, environmental impact, labor abuses, price, quality, availability and intellectual property are things we try and touch upon to help you – and us – become more supportive in the way we think about and consume the fashion we all love so much.


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But first! Catch up with The Hags!

Evan is a busy body in the best sense – not only is he preparing his collection for a show at the end of the month, he has taken on an extra challenge for Eco Fashion Week here in Vancouver. It’s called Chic Sheets; Eco Fashion Week has teamed up with The Fairmont Waterfront Hotel creating a chance for local designers to make a dress inspired by Balmain out of white bed sheets. We are MUCH EXCITE to see what he comes up with. Stay tuned, a winner will be decided by popular vote so we will be sure to share the link when it’s available.
UPDATE!! The link is here to go and vote for Evan’s amazing gown! Check out the other Eco Fashion Week events while you’re at it!


Daaaaaaaaaaaamn Balmain!

Abby needs a legit, professional headshot and from the looks of her Instagram, it’s slim pickins!

headshot rejects

Katie made some sweet space pants – they are out of this world! Just in time for her trip to Mexico, LUCKEEEEEEEEE!

katie floral pants


And now – to the meat of the matter! Let’s start the conversation about being an ethical and “woke” shopper.

Now, right off the bat you’ll need to check out THE TRUE COST – available on iTunes, Netflix, Amazon, DVD, Blueray. We’ve mentioned it before and we can’t stress how impactful this movie has been for us. It’s an eye opening doc about the current state of textile and garment manufacturing. NO EXCUSES! WATCH THIS SHIT ASAP!


Abby mentions this brand – VON BON – if you are looking for great, well made gifts for kids, this is the place to go.

This article outlines what Same Sky calls the “Soulful Economy”, and admittedly it sounds pretty great. But we also realize that price and availability of sustainable clothing options are a huge obstacle to overcome for many. But it’s definitely something to think about.

soulful vs utilitarian

This story from Vice shows a new, often unknown facet of the problem, the connection between sex trafficking and the garment industry. Yikes.


John Oliver had a great segment on Last Week Tonight about this story, worth your time as well. And offers some laughs on a pretty depressing subject so thanks for that, Mr. Oliver.


If the “Rana Plaza Collapse” doesn’t ring any bells, please learn about it here. It’s one of the worst disasters in the history of the garment industry but it has also been a huge catalyst for change on a global level.

Rana Plaza building in Dhaka.

Over 1000 dead, 25000 injured in Dhaka, Bangladesh in April 2013.


One of the companies making changes is Patagonia – read the article Katie references here. Be sure to check out Groundswell for more information on a variety of topics too, they do good work.

Their series on Fast Fashion brands like H&M, Zara and Forever 21 is a great read, parts 1, 2 3.

Here is an article showing how other brands are making the “Made in China” label greener – there is HOPE!

And for our American listeners, they have created a list of brands that are made in the USA – check them out!

Here is the book “French Women Don’t Get Fat” by Mireille Guiliano that Katie talks about. Damn the French and their impeccable style!

Click here for The Good Trade, a resource for finding companies that are in line with your morals and who actively try and address your concerns. Lots of options, categories and price points for you to choose from.

After all that info and seriousness watch SNL do a spoof on H&M. You’re welcome!


The CFDA is working with the National Resource Defence Council on their “Clean by Design” initiative – this little video outlines their mission.


We don’t mention this expressly but Planet Money did a great series about how their t-shirts get made from cotton plant to your doorstep – very informative.

The Corporate Knights‘ index of the Global 100 most sustainable corporations in the world is worth checking out, their list of criteria for the companies on the list is a great way to learn about how corporations operate and how they can improve.

CUTE BREAK  – baby Margot in her Monchhichi Adidas sweatshirt.

Screen shot 2016-04-05 at 10.29.46 PM


Evan’s colleague and Eco Fashion Week creator Miriam Laroche helps people find their personal “Eco Recipe”. Here is the outline of the concept; have a look and see what matters to you and  how you can implement changes to your  life.

And remember – DON’T THROW OUT YOUR CLOTHES! This is the video Abby could remember, from Grist.org

We are by no means professionals and/or experts on this subject so we just started googling for info. You should too.

Bonus links!






Evan discovers Everlane, an online retailer dedicated to “Radical Transparency”. Not only do they have great looking stuff, their mission is a noble one.


Abby is enchanted and terrified by Lylexox and his insanely beautiful mixed media make up looks. Talk about reduce, reuse, recycle…IMG_3120

And Katie has a cute-induced mental breakdown when she sees “Pomsky” dogs. Can you blame her?!



Are you trying to be more conscious with your money? What resources and information have you found helpful – please share with the class if you can. We all need to get our asses and wardrobes in gear to avert the coming apocalypse, so every choice and $$$ counts.

You can follow us on:


Twitter @fashionhagspod

Facebook at Fashion Hags Podcast.


Follow Abby on Instagram @abbyshumka

Follow Katie on Instagram @redbirdsuite and check out her blog http://www.redbirdsuite.com

Follow Evan on Instagram @evanducharmestudio & @evndchrm, also check out his website at http://www.evanducharme.com

Remember: keep your pants on, it’s only fashion.


2 thoughts on “Episode 12: How to not be a dumb doofus when shopping for clothes

  1. Pingback: #FastFashion – Confident Beginner

  2. Pingback: Episode 64: How Not To Be a Dumb Doofus Check-in | The Fashion Hags Podcast

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