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22 April 2024 - Faster, faster fashion

The place to go for conversations about the news

The place to go for conversations about the news

G’day Squizers. This week’s News Club podcast is an interview with Lauren Sams, fashion editor at the Australian Financial Review.

She’s all over the business of fashion and retail, and in our conversation, we chat about her pledge to avoid buying clothes for a year, the rise of ultra-fast fashion, and how businesses like Temu and Shein manage to offer such cheap clothes. You can listen here

We chose this topic because of the rise of e-commerce platforms, Temu and Shein. In Australia alone, they are on track to record more than $2 billion in sales this year. The two sites offer clothes and more at very low prices and they’re fast grabbing a huge chunk of market share both here and overseas. But with all their products coming directly from factories in China - there are plenty of questions about the ethics of what we’re buying from these sites and, in the case of Temu, the gamification of how we shop.

They’re companies worth knowing about, so to that end, our Club Picks this week are:

  1. Two videos from the Wall Street Journal - How Temu’s Explosive Growth Is Disrupting American E-Commerce and How Shein Built a $66B Fast-Fashion Empire- are less than 10 mins each and very informative. 

  2. A 2022 investigation by Wired, Fast, Cheap, and Out of Control: Inside Shein’s Sudden Rise, explores the problems facing the company. 

  3. This Money Talks podcast episode by The Economist called Why Amazon should be afraid of Temu

  4. And last, but not least, Lauren Sams recommended this book - Fashionopolis: The Price of Fast Fashion and the Future of Clothes. Lauren says, “It’s not preachy, it’s not holier than thou; it’s a well-investigated look inside an enormous industry designed to get us hooked on inexpensive garments and buying in a loop.”

And if you think this one might not be for you - that’s cool. But any excuse to leave you with a quote from this iconic clip in The Devil Wears Prada where Miranda Priestly explains why Andrea’s choice of sweater implicates her in the fashion industry whether she likes it or not: 

“That blue represents millions of dollars of countless jobs, and it’s sort of comical how you think that you’ve made a choice that exempts you from the fashion industry”. 

Your friend in news,
Kate Watson

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As part of News Club, each Saturday we host the Weekly Wrap podcast. It’s - as it says on the tin - a wrap of the week in news and a look at what's coming up. We reckon this review from one listener sums it up…

LOVE hearing Kate and Claire talk through the week in news. Smart conversations that I feel like I’m part of. Keep ‘em coming…”

cheListen here or on your fave podcast app (Apple and Spotify).

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