I met Laura on Earth Day in 2016. She kindly invited me to an event at the Soho House in West Hollywood; it was a Friday night were curious minds could come together and hear from brands that were trying to change the world. I was talking about the safer beauty movement and new friends from Reformation and Apolis were by my side.
Laura Piety is a producer on the film The True Cost, content creator, and expert in the downsides to “fast fashion”. As I’m starting to transition my clothing wardrobe to more conscious clothing lines, I asked her to do an interview with me and she happily obliged!
Enjoy. ~ Lindsay
Interview with Laura Piety: Documentary Filmmaker of The True Cost
1) Give me three reasons we should watch The True Cost?
I believe everyone should watch The True Cost because we all wear clothes—putting on clothes is a daily habit and I believe we have a responsibility (much like we do with food) to be somewhat conscientious about what we’re wearing—whether that’s from an environmental or ethical standpoint. And our skin is our largest organ, so, similar to beauty products, it’s important to think about the fabric that touches us as well.
It also reminds us we that we all have a role to play and can be active consumers by being smart about where we spend our money and how we use our voice in culture.
Last, it’s life changing. I can’t tell you how many emails I got from people around the world saying they were starting businesses off the back of the film, or totally changing up their habits. If nothing else, it will give you a lot to think about!
2) Conscious clothing is the “final frontier” for many of us who have changed the food we eat and the products we buy. Which brands have nailed the intersection of fashionable and responsible?
I always say that there are a few different angles when it comes to this: a brand could be fashionable and really take care of its garment workers and artisans, or it could have great product and be making leaps when it comes to the environmental perspective (think sustainability, organic materials etc.).
Some of my favorite brands that are making strides in this space generally are Reformation, Everlane, Ryan Roche, Tome, Brother Vellies, Ulla Johnson, Diamond Foundry (for jewelry) and newcomer Maggie Marilyn who was snapped up by Net a Porter. Apolis and Outerknown for guys. Cuyana for accessories.
3) Right now conscious clothing often comes at a higher price point. Why should we spend more money on clothes?
I believe that if you invest in pieces that will last you’ll get far better value for money in the long run. You may have to save to buy an item, but when that purchase moment comes you’ll know you really love it! Aside from that, I honestly think it’s cooler to have a smaller closet that’s super edited and full of things you love and will look after. When I was younger I was an avid trend-driven fast fashion buyer. But to be honest, I didn’t care for those clothes well and they often ended up in a messy pile on my closet floor, simply because they weren’t an emotional investment for me.
More often than not, these items were a quick fix I barely thought about…and barely wore. However, I wouldn’t say that we should boycott all fast fashion, especially if your budget doesn’t stretch to higher price points. I would just make sure you don’t make a habit of it, always look for quality (irrespective of the price tag), think about the materials a piece is constructed from (tencel can be better), and ensure you love whatever you buy. That way it won’t end up in the trash and you’ll wear it over and over again.
4) And for those on a budget, what is your best advice to avoid the fast fashion trap?
See above! I would also say do your best search for alternatives where you can. Everlane for example has great basics that don’t break that bank. They also have a ‘pay what you can’ campaign for certain pieces. There’s always second hand options as well.
I’d also set a budget for what you can afford per season so you’re able plan out your spending. Maybe you can pick up some less expensive basics and splurge on one or two fashion-forward items that may cost more? Modular and capsule dressing is also taking hold, where you’re able to wear a piece a few different ways, or purchase a ‘capsule collection’ and get a multitude of different outfits out of it.
5) Tell us about your latest endeavor, Noble.
After seeing the response from the film I realized there was a huge gap in the marketing for meaningful content that spoke to people on a deep emotional level and also impacted their lives practically. It honestly didn’t seem to matter whether they were working at a fashion magazine promoting fast fashion, or a garment worker in Cambodia: the film elicited the same response. There seemed to be a need for a media platform that shepherded more of this kind of content, but didn’t compromise on the brand or creative (my background is also in luxury, so ‘look and feel’ were paramount to me).
In addition to that, my own newsfeeds were cluttered with so much junk and cheap gossip that after reading all of it I kind felt like I’d eaten 25 Big Macs. I didn’t need my content to be holier-than-thou, but I did want it to cut through the noise that my brain had become addicted to, but didn’t really want or need.
And so at Noble we’re focused on curating and creating content that we’ve called ‘intelligent entertainment’. The type of content that sparks creativity and is beautiful, but also digs deeper and carries conviction. We curate our fave lifestyle content from around the web on a weekly basis (we’re not news focused as that’s its own beast right now) and also create our own original content in the form of ‘series’ around cultural topics of interest.
Our first series—Clean Luxury—is launching next month and it’s focused on the fusion of luxury and responsibility in the fashion and beauty industry. We’ve got a whole host of amazing brands involved so feel free to subscribe on our site to stay in the loop!
Please take a moment to check out Noble HERE, and read through the ‘intelligent entertainment’ Laura has provided. And stay tuned for a deep dive on socially conscious clothing companies for every one in your life.
Join my mailing list and never miss a post.
More from my site