Social justice in fashion – Lavinia Muth

Lavinia Muth social justice in fashion
Lavinia Muth social justice in fashion

Today we are learning from Lavinia Muth.

Lavinia has 15 years of experience in sustainability in fashion, having transitioned from roles rooted in compliance and auditing. She has grappled with her own challenges, recognizing the limitations of the traditional sustainability narrative.

Lavinia has also witnessed the pitfalls of engaging in what she refers to as “stewardship superiority” during her years of advising textile factories, fashion brands, and retailers worldwide.

Through her personal journey, Lavinia has come to understand the importance of social justice and environmental justice, embarking on a journey of questioning power structures and understanding post-growth within sustainability.

She now works as a freelancer, dedicated to diverse projects on social justice issues in the textile sector while contributing to decarbonization, circularity, and material efforts for carefully selected clients.

Let’s get started…

In this conversation with Lavinia I learned:

  • ArmedAngles – founded in 2007 and started their business model on purpose.
  • They produce and sell almost 100% traceable and transparent supply chains – organic cotton, organic wool, and more.
  • Implemented an open costing scheme.
  • She founded their own organic farmer association in India, organizing 700 small-scale farmer families.
  • It’s impossible to get 100% fair-trade cotton.
  • Cotton is actually a desert crop, the original cotton doesn’t need a lot of water. Genetically modified cotton and bad agriculture use more water. Also, the fossil-fuel lobby is spreading fake news on the sustainability of cotton.
  • Sustainability actions depend on the location.
  • There is no business case for organic cotton because the premium is 3-5% and the yield is just 50% of the genetic cotton.
  • The local people know what to do for regenerative agriculture.
  • The fair-trade premium is insufficient to guarantee a more decent life and a better income for farmers.
  • Textiles have a history of a globalized world, the industrialized production is the problem. It started with decolonization and later the slaves.
  • Implementing sustainability on a company level, like traceability and transparency is not costly, also higher cost of materials and production is not more than 20%.
  • We can all do better on business ethics in private, family, and small and medium-sized companies.
  • A couple of sustainable textile startups have been purchased by big corporates in the last 18 months.
  • In the Western world, we need to reduce radically and we don’t know how. She is pro-eco-dictatorship from the government.
  • De-growth is the trending buzzword at this moment.
  • As a company, you can calculate the social and ecological impact of all the products you produce and then use something like the Paris Agreement to determine how much you are allowed to produce per year.
  • This limit on production growth will make companies more creative to look for other revenue streams once the production limit has been reached.
  • The fashion industry is not the most industry.
  • Hope is a privilege.
  • Listening to people to find common ground where you can meet on ideas.
  • It is more than a mind shift, more than a system shift, it is a culture shift.
  • Love the idea of the OPEN MISTRESS CLASS – because who is master in anything.

More about Lavinia Muth:

Other resources:

Video van het gesprek met Lavinia Muth

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Door Erno Hannink

Erno is de businesscoach die ondernemers helpt om de lange termijn doelen sneller te realiseren. Ondernemers die het beter willen doen voor de planeet, maatschappij en zichzelf. Met zijn ondersteuning en tips helpt hij je dagelijkse doelen te kiezen zodat je de lange termijn doelen eindelijk gaat realiseren. Test zijn coaching een week lang gratis uit met deze code ERNOHANNINKWEEK op dit platform -> ga naar Sluit je aan bij de community van ondernemers die iets bijzonders doen.

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