S04 Episode 209 | THE ROOT | Episode 5 | Where Do We Go From Here?

The Root Episode 5: Where Do We Go From Here? is a unique compilation of all 17 guests from the previous 4 episodes sharing a proclamation statement of how we intentionally move the fashion industry forward. 

PART 1, Historical Analysis & Paradigm Shift  

MIKO UNDERWOOD

“The American fashion community was born from the inception of indigo farms in America. The enslaved labor of Black Americans grew the cotton industry and built America’s fashion economy … we are required to be culturally accountable and culturally responsible.”

ADITI MAYER

“The future of fashion is one that understands the history and oppression that it’s built upon … What we need is an interrogation of power exists, why it exists and how we can disassemble and redistribute it for true equity.”

NIKKI SANCHEZ

“My vision for the future of fashion is a complete decolonization of the industry. From design to material sourcing to brand and marketing structure. This would mean a 180 turn from appropriation, exploitation, extraction and fast fashion.”

PART 2, Systemic Awareness & Re-imagination

IBADA WADUD

“As we seek to restore equity, I feel we must look particularly to communities who have been historically oppressed. Unlearning biased knowledge within the sustainability sector which I refer to as the process of decolonizing our minds, is imperative in order to reimagine systems that are regenerative versus extractive.”

EMI ITO

“When power shifts from white people to people of the global majority, then we will be moving toward healing. When rights, lived experiences, creativity and joy of Black Indigenous and other people of color are honored, not appropriated and celebrated not surpassed - then we will be moving toward freedom in fashion.”

AJA BARBER

“Power shift, we need a shift in power in all systems and a lot of systems need to be rebuilt from the ground up.”

KIMBERLY JENKINS

“Black people are not a monolith — we are not charity either. What we demand and what we deserve is equal opportunities and resources to not be taken for granted and to not be exploited.”

RACHEL RICKETTS

“We need to address all forms of oppression and the ways in which they intersect - the ways in which fashion is one of the most egregious manifestations of oppression in terms of classism, fat phobia, homophobia, transphobia, colorism, ageism, ableism - all of the forms of oppression need to end.”  

PART 3, Labor Extraction & Accountability 

AYESHA BARENBLAT

“The only future of fashion which is truly just and resilient must center fashion’s most resilient garment makers and labor organizers. We need a worker centric view for the future of fashion which centers Black and Brown women.”   LISA BETTY

“The fashion industry needs to wake up to this extraction, to this brutality and to the environmental consequences of the industry within itself.”   ERICKA HART

“If your favorite brand is using prison labor - they have to go. We are out to abolish prisons so we don’t need modern day slaves creating Nike’s or whatever kind of garment that you like because you want it cheaper.”    WHITNEY MCGUIRE

“We’re birthing a new industry collectively. But what needs to happen so that this contraction is useful in opening up new pathways and not just unnecessarily painful - is accountability.”    BLAIR IMANI

“If you’re not willing to put your garments on your workers and have them model for you and compensate them that way — you shouldn’t be in this work. This work requires work, don’t lose sight of that.”  

PART 4, People, Power & Reclamation 

IFY IKE

“If there’s one thing that I want us to do is to really fall in love with everything that is around us, recognize our connection to those items and also make our lives matter to us more than those that are benefitting from our lives.”   DJ

“We’ve long been hamsters on the wheel of fashion’s exploitative trends and racist systems. It’s time for us to boldly jump from this proverbial wheel created by the old guards and explore a wholly new approach to fashion design and acquisition.”   TERUMI MURAO
“The future of fashion will be decentralized and democratized to reflect what all people want and need.”   AKILAH STEWART

“Reimagining the way that things always have been done and how things can be done in the future. Using creativity as a solution building tool.”

Thanks to this week's sponsor - NISOLO, a handmade shoe brand that’s passionate about driving systemic social and environmental change across the fashion industry. They are a B Corporation and Climate Neutral Certified brand committed to living wages and reversing climate change.

Nisolo hooked our show up with a discount code — use THEROOT for 20% off and for first purchases only.

Learn more at Nisolo.com/theroot.