S02 Episode 102 | MELANIN & SUSTAINABLE STYLE + ETHICAL FASHION AS A PRIVILEGED WHITE GIRL THING
In episode 102, Kestrel welcomes Dominique Drakeford, the founder of Melanin & Sustainable Style, to the show. A platform that is bringing melanin to the forefront of sustainable fashion, beauty and living, MelaninASS is helping to give the ethical industry an authentic and culturally relevant voice.
"This whole community is about 'let's talk about what's wrong' - we talk about what's wrong from an environmental point of view, we talk about fast fashion and we point fingers at H&M and we do all this ... but let's look at ourselves and let's talk about some real issues that are wrong because honestly, sustainability is founded on culture - the essence of sustainability is rooted in culture and we don't talk about it."
-Dominique Drakeford, Founder of Melanin & Sustainable Style
DOMINIQUE DRAKEFORD + MELANIN & SUSTAINABLE STYLE
In this episode, Dominique shares a bit of her background and the eclectic experiences that have led her into the sustainable style conversation.
Kestrel and Dominique also discuss the layers behind two notable articles written by Dominique: "Who The Hell Wants To See Only White Women In Sustainable Fashion" and "Why I Think Ethical Fashion Is A Privileged White Girl Thing". Dominique highlights several of the disconnects in the sustainable fashion conversation - from representation to discrimination to tokenism to appropriation to privilege - and how historical relevance and institutional racism are being left out of the discourse.
They talk about the reality of how the ethical fashion space has been dominated by white women, and how privilege and race relations need to play a larger role in our approach to this conversation.
Also, Dominique shares her inspiration behind the Vanguard Series, a project she developed on her platform to highlight "true visionaries and cultural influencers who are creating a positive impact in the fashion, beauty and/or the sustainable lifestyle industry."
The below thoughts, ideas + organizations were brought up in this chat:
- The GreenShows, a company Dominique worked with in the past
- Donna Karan Urban Zen, a company Dominique worked with in the past
- "You're not really going to create change until you make people uncomfortable."
- "Who The Hell Wants To See Only White Women In Sustainable Fashion" by Dominique
- "Why I Think Ethical Fashion Is A Privileged White Girl Thing" by Dominique
- Food apartheid, as explained in this article ("a relentless social construct that devalues human beings and assumes that people are unworthy of having access to nutritious food")
- Studio 189, one of Dominique's favorite brands, which she also worked with in Ghana
- Chan + Krys, one of Dominique's favorite brands
- Susana Colina, one of Dominique's favorite brands
- Remuse, one of Dominique's favorite brands
- Voz, one of Dominique's favorite brands
- Kowtow, one of Dominique's favorite brands
- Grammar, one of Dominique's favorite brands
- Vanguards Series on Melanin & Sustainable Style
- Dominique's 'Conscious Closets'
- Dominique's YouTube Channel
Suggested Reading From The Show Intro
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