What happens to our clothes once we get rid of them? Sustainability encourages that we ask *how* our clothes are made but few ask where they go at the end of their life cycle. Recorded at the University of Cincinnati, we sit down with former DAAP educator Elizabeth Ricketts about the clothing waste crisis, the invisible world of the second-hand clothing economy as seen in Accra, Ghana. 


  • (00:24) Learn more about The Indx
  • (00:57) Intro: Liz’s Back Ground
  • (02:02) Today’s Topic: The Afterlife of Clothing
  • (02:51) What is sustainability and what it's not
  • (05:08) We are past the point of conferences
  • (05:37) Extracting finite resources
  • (06:57) Start with Waste
  • (07:47) Dissonance: Clothing as Waste
  • (08:33) Waste: Assumed Part of the Business
  • (09:19) Abundance vs Excess (Grocery Store)
  • (11:42) Recycling New Savior
  • (13:15) Deficit Myth
  • (14:20) Not “Goodwill” Deficit Statistics
  • (16:30) Research in Ghana: Landfill or Donate?
  • (19:35) Went to Ghana with 3 Questions
  • (21:17) Kantamanto and Ghana’s independence
  • (24:40) The Value of Clothing Bails
  • (26:04) The Importers and the Retailers
  • (27:24) What are Selections?
  • (29:00) Waste-Streams in Ghana
  • (30:29) Asana’s story
  • (34:29) Why Katamanto represents the future of fashion.
  • (36:03) How do we get people to care?
  • (38:32) The future is local
  • (41:52) Knowledge is Experience - and how this applies to fashion
  • (45:03) Age and dissonance
  • (46:23) What you can do today to understand the waste crisis.
  • (50:12) Why single-use t-shirts are killing the industry.
  • (52:54) Connect with Liz: @theorispresent, @SFI_cincinnati, Dead White Man’s Clothes


Links & Resources: 

The Indx

The University of Cincinnati - DAAP School of Design

Burberry Clothing Fire

Cradle to Cradle by William McDonough

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