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Wearing (and Being) Nature: Jeff Scult on PYP 495

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That second-hand fake fleece full zipper jacket I picked up for $5 at a PTA thrift store is me being ethically and ecologically responsible, right?

It's used, so I didn't add to demand for new ones. It's synthetic, so no animals were harmed in its manufacture. And it was cheap, so I didn't need to go out and exploit the proletariat to earn gobs of money to afford it.

Well, there's still a not-so-teeny problem. One that today's guest explains with great clarity, urgency, inspiration, and love.

Jeff Scult is founder and CEO of One Golden Thread, a regenerative clothing company seeking to improve the fashion industry, contribute to restoring planetary health and harmony, and inspire the wearers and beholders of its garb to remember that we are precious, worthy, and wonderful beings.

Our conversation began by examining the harms “fast fashion” is doing to our world. For example, how many new pieces of clothing do you estimate are manufactured every year? Take a moment and say a number. I'll wait.

Now, was your number higher or lower than 60 billion? That's right — every 12 months, the fashion industry makes over 7 new articles of clothing for every human being on the planet.

What percentage of those items will we dispose of within 18 months, either into a landfill or an incinerator?

You'd better be sitting down for this one.

87% of those new clothes will be trash or ash within a year and a half.

That fake fleece I bought? I've had it for about a decade and a half, so I'm not responsible for any problems, right?

Well, not so fast. According to Jeff, about 97% of new clothes contain polyester, which is actually a plastic material derived from petroleum. And when polyester breaks down, it ends up as microplastic.

38% of the microplastics in the sea come from polyester clothing. Fish eat the plastic. We eat the fish. And just like that, we're part plastic ourselves. And there's no universe in which those materials do anything other than cause shit for our biology.

And here's the thing about my 15 year old jacket. Every time I wear it, it's sloughing off plastic into the air and soil. Every time I wash it, even more microplastics end up in the water supply.

And eventually it all leaches into the ocean, where it toxifies marine life and threatens the entire web of life.

Jeff and I then turned our attention to how One Golden Thread is turning the fashion industry on its head. I admit to being pretty jaded about commercial solutions to ecological and spiritual problems, but Jeff quickly turned me into a raving fan.

A fan of his vision of clothing that returns to the earth.

A fan of the idea that we own many fewer pieces of higher quality clothing.

A fan of his design esthetic.

And a fan of the “Humanifesto” that informs every aspect of the business, from planting 108 trees for every tree they harvest to make their clothes, to paying not just a living wage, but a “benevolent wage” to the employees who make the clothes.

I hope you'll be as moved and excited by Jeff's spirit as I've been. If you have the means to spearhead the fashion revolution and purchase an item or two from their online store or their Los Angeles or Miami locations, you can use this link to save yourself 11% and support this podcast through the affiliate commission Jeff will donate to the show.

Links

One Golden Thread

Replant Capital

The Century of the Self documentary

Biet Simkin – meditation teacher

You CAN Change Other People!

Well, that's what Peter Bregman and I claim in our provocative book of that title.

What we really mean is, you can help the people around you make behavioral changes in their own best interests. If you think you're powerless to help people change, it's because you've been going about it the wrong way.

Discover our straightforward, replicable process here: You Can Change Other People.

Audiobook: Use the Weight to Lose the Weight

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It's $10, and Josh and I split it evenly 🙂

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Music

The Plant Yourself Podcast theme music, “Dance of Peace (Sabali Don),” is generously provided by Will Ridenour, a kora player from North Carolina who has trained with top Senegalese musicians.

It can be found on his first CD, titled Will Ridenour.

You can learn about Will, listen to more tracks, and buy music on his website, WillRidenour.com.

Gratitudes

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