Overproduction, microplastics, chemicals and missing transparency and traceability are main topics of concern for the fashion and textile industry.
Tired Earth: An Interview with Valeria Meliadò, Founder of Talk-Act

This interview was conducted by Selva Ozelli

 

Tell us about Talk-Act.org and the vision that lead you to establish this organization.

I have been working in the fashion industry for over ten years.  

Since then, my aim has always been to work on trying to design a better, less impactful and respectful industry. In order to do that you need the involvement of all people around you. I realised talking to friends and colleagues that those topics were often already in their mind, sometimes may have even generated in them a sense of anxiety. I understood how often they wanted to make a change, act differently but they did not know how and what to do, where to find the right information. Sometimes we give too much for granted assuming people may be already informed. But people may not have the time and tools to find the right information they need, particularly while overwhelmed by sustainability concepts in such a short time. 

I found myself in the same position, so I started to ask experts, activists, and passionate people to share their tips, attend events I organised, and create any media content that could be accessed freely by everyone. I do believe strongly in the power of education and engagement as a way to empower people and I do think this should always be communicated easily. I really wanted to help my community and everyone.

Talk Act is a community that aims to share tips on how to live a less impactful life, with the aim to bring together people who are passionate about our planet, willing to talk and share acts that could be useful for others, through any form of media, video, articles and messages. Having fun spreading positivity for a real and possible change.

What are the general concerns, challenges in driving social and environmental impact for fashion brands to create meaningful and measurable change?

I do think we still miss the right regulations that can help to monitor the amount of product we produce and the impact that those products generate at the end of their life: overproduction, microplastics, chemicals and missing transparency and traceability are main topics of concern for the fashion and textile industry. We need to keep exploring solutions for a better eco-design of products and a real reduction of production. We need to educate consumers to become users of the product they purchase.

What projects concerning plastic pollution, recycled fibres is Talk-Act involved with?

Talk-Act as a free sharing information platform is always asking and talking to experts to gather as much information as possible related to those topics. Plastics and virgin fibres are main topics. We are in constant contact with experts to find the latest innovation in 4.0 digital technology that could be a solution for a better design, better and innovative recycling techniques and new research on producing bio- fibres which could perform as synthetic, but avoiding the releasing of microplastics. 

I am also a University teacher of Sustainable design strategies and this is something I always explore with my students.

What are your thoughts on the use of optical fibers — that carries light along its length — in a variety of smart clothing and technical textile applications? Will our clothes one day also generate renewable solar mobile energy? 

Innovation is fundamental in sustainability. I do think we should keep experimenting to find valuable alternatives that can help us to design a product with a positive impact rather than just a less bad one. Welcome clothes that can generate solar mobile energy. But first we should start from the basics and change the system we have now and what we produce and purchase. Once we set this I hope innovation and why not artificial intelligence can come together to help us on designing smart fashion solutions.

Tell us some easy tips that everyone can do in order to live a sustainable life concerning their attire.

  • Read the label of the product you buy, what the material is made of, does it come with any certifications?
  • Ask as many questions as possible, do not stop at the first answer. Ask and pretend from brands more traceability and transparency.
  • Buy less and better. Before buying something ask yourself how many times you will wear that garment and if you are happy to make a promise of love with it for a very long time.

Anything else you would like to add.

Every little change helps. Changes can happen when we kindly take care of us, others and the planet in the same way. We do have to act together.

How can people get in touch with you?

Get in contact with me on @valeria_meliado
Valeria.meliado1@gmail.com
www.talk-act.org
Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/valeriameliado/

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