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A collage of a pile of discarded clothes surrounded by Instagram likes.

Slowing Down Fast Fashion

with Aja Barber, Moderated by Jan Fran

10 March 2024

When we get dressed every morning, it's hard to think about the political reality of jeggings and cotton t-shirts. Activist Aja Barber demystifies the structural inequality embedded in the global fashion industry, and shows us how we can make it better.  

Co-curated by Clementine Ford

Aja Barber has singlehandedly challenged and changed my approach to consumerism and fast fashion.

Clementine Ford

Colonialism, climate change and buying (another!) little black dress

The fashion industry has a whole lot to answer for: tons of waste every year, worker exploitation across the globe, and it's responsible for 10% of humanity’s carbon emissions. But how much of that do we have to answer for? Aja Barber takes a hard look at fast fashion and the consumerist culture that keeps it going strong, year after year. 

Most of us are sort of aware of the dismal conditions of the industry - but what’s driving us to buy, buy, buy? And can our individual choices make a difference? We sit down with Aja to talk about racism, inequality and the textile industry. Don't miss this conversation with the inspiring activist about the link between our social media-driven consumerism, climate change, labour rights, and responsible global citizenship.

Presented by Sydney Opera House


Aja Barber (she/her)

Aja Barber is a writer, stylist and consultant focusing on the intersections of sustainability, fashion, and the textile industry. Her work explores the traditions of privilege, wealth inequality, racism, feminism, colonialism, and how these systems of power affect our buying habits.

Consumed is her debut book, a treatise on the state of fashion, climate change, and social justice. The book reveals the endemic injustices in our consumer industries, the uncomfortable history of the textile industry, and how these oppressive systems help create a lack of diversity and equality in the fashion industry.

Independent booksellers across the UK and Ireland voted to include Consumed on the Non-Fiction shortlist for the Indie Book Awards 2023.

Jan Fran (she/her) Moderator

Jan Fran is a Walkley-award-winning journalist, TV Presenter, and social commentator. She is the co-host of ABC's Question Everything and is well known for her work on Channel 10's The Project and SBS's The Feed. She also hosts Listnr's flagship news podcast, The Briefing.

Jan is the creator, writer, and presenter of the online opinion segment, The Frant, which has been viewed more than 25 million times on social media and which earned Jan a 2019 Walkley award for Best Commentary, Analysis, Opinion, and Critique.

She has shot and produced documentaries from all over the world. She’s lived in Lebanon, France, Bangladesh, and Uganda and speaks three languages.

Jan Fran is an ambassador for Plan International Australia where she advocates for women and girls, and her strong reporting on women’s issues earned her a 2018 Walkley nomination for Women’s Leadership in Media.

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