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Dec 21, 2022

Call the fashion police! In this special holiday edition of What About Water? we dive into the apparel industry’s dirty secret: its water use. Behind oil and gas, fashion is the single most polluting industry on the planet. It accounts for 8 per cent of all carbon emissions and 20 per cent of global wastewater.

We start by catching up with shoppers at the Picker’s Hullabaloo Flea Market in Charleston, South Carolina. They tell us about the clothes on their wish lists this year and why they choose to shop second-hand.

Jay talks water overuse and about changes for garment designers and manufacturers with Andrea Kennedy, Vice-President of Sustainability for Material Exchange. From Shein to Patagonia, Jay and Andrea dive into the pollution “fast fashion” creates, as well as the certifications and brands you can look out for when you’re trying to shop more sustainably.

Charleston vendor Madeline of Gaia’s Hearth shares the secrets to her natural dyeing process: backyard plants, recycled water and a giant lobster pot. We also turn to two technologies that are paving the way for sustainable textile production at-scale. 


Ernst Siewers, Chief Technology Officer of DyeCoo, tells us about his groundbreaking invention - the world’s first waterless textile dyeing machine. We also hear from Shahriare Mahmood, Chief Sustainability Officer for Spinnova. This Finnish company is harnessing the secrets of spiders to spin natural textile fibres out of wood pulp without using any harmful chemicals. This process uses minimal water and creates zero waste. 

That’s it from us at What About Water? for 2022! We’re taking a holiday break, but we’ll be back January 18 with some exciting news and a brand new episode for you. Got ideas for the show?  Something you’d like to ask Jay? Write to us or send a voice memo to