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Ep. 80: Dirty Secrets of the Fast Fashion Industry with Kristi Soomer, Founder of Encircled

In this episode Kristi discusses how she got into creating comfy, ethical clothing, her journey as an entrepreneur, and the differences between fast and slow fashion.
Oct 18, 2022 | Joy McCarthy

This week, Joy chats with Kristi Soomer, ​​the founder and CEO of Encircled, a Canadian-made line of versatile, sustainable clothing that helps women streamline their wardrobes. Encircled was born out of her love of travel and dislike of checking a bag–her first dress was created on the floor of her condo in 2012! Since then she has grown Encircled into a seven-figure business that was named a certified B-corp in 2018. She is committed to meeting high ethical standards in all aspects of her company, from using fabrics that honour the environment to providing good working environments and fair wages to all her employees.

Fast fashion and ethical clothing

In this episode Kristi discusses how she got into creating comfy, ethical clothing, her journey as an entrepreneur, and the differences between fast and slow fashion. She shares some of the most sustainable fabrics to look for when shopping and which ones should be avoided when possible. After listening to this episode you will feel ready to start asking questions about where your clothes come from so that you can make the healthiest possible choices for yourself and the planet.

If you’ve been looking to learn more about the fashion industry and its impact on your health and the health of the planet then you won’t want to miss this episode! So grab your favourite cup of tea, settle in with your notebook, and get ready to be inspired to start building your sustainable wardrobe!


Episode Highlights:

  • How Kristi was inspired to start her slow fashion brand by traveling 100 000km/year!
  • Her transition from a career in consulting to running a slow fashion line, with no previous fashion experience!
  • The importance of testing things, making mistakes, and learning as she went.
  • How she faced her fear and quit her job to start her own business.
  • Where she found the strength to face her doubts and keep going!
  • The difference between slow fashion and fast fashion brands.
  • What azo dyes are and why we should be concerned about them in fast fashion clothes.
  • How to tell if your clothes contain these dyes by using Blue Sign or OEKO-Tex certifications.
  • Why certain clothes are sprayed with chemicals prior to shipping overseas.
  • How companies use many chemicals that aren’t regulated and can be disruptive to hormonal health.
  • The impact of these chemicals on hormonal health.
  • How to look for ethically produced garments from around the world.
  • The exploitation of women in the garment supply chain.
  • How to shop ethically on a budget.
  • The best way to sustainably shop for kid’s clothing.
  • Why perfect shouldn’t be the goal and what you should aim for instead.
  • Documentaries Kristi recommends to learn more about fast fashion & denim.
  • The importance of learning more to make better choices for clothing.
  • The most sustainable fabrics Kristi recommends looking for when shopping.
  • Fabrics Kristi recommends avoiding if possible for the health of the planet.
  • Why shopping ethically is a continuum.
  • The best way to dispose of clothing you no longer wear.
  • Kristi’s can’t live without clothing item from her Encircled line.
  • Her customers' all-time favourite product!
  • Why focusing on timeless pieces that don’t go out of style is a sustainable way to shop.
  • Kristi’s opinion on big brands’ “conscious” or “ethical” clothing lines.
  • The connection between microplastics and recycled polyester clothing.
  • Kristi’s hopes for the future of the fashion industry.

toxic chemicals in fast fashion clothing


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