With the growing awareness around how our food and clothing are made and where it comes from, our curiosity and desire to deepen our understanding of the fiber systems that undergird our lives and the communities impacted by them grow with it.
Black Material Geographies is a collection of conversations and stories using Blackness and textile material culture to explore how we can create more sustainable systems and processes amid global climate crises and lifestyles deeply entrenched in global capitalism. This show projects “Blackness” into the past to understand the material cultures of our present and the possibilities for a more sustainable future. We will explore what Black futures could be made of and who gets to make them.
Black Material Geographies is part of Whetstone Radio Collective. Whetstone Radio Collective creates storytelling dedicated to food origins and culture, with original content centering the perspectives of global majority populations and diasporas.
You can learn more about this podcast at whetstoneradio.com, on Twitter @whetstoneradio, on TikTok and Instagram @whetstonemedia and subscribe to our Spotify and YouTube channel, Whetstone Media, for more podcast content. You can learn more about all things happening at Whetstone at WhetstoneMedia.com.
Imagining Regional Fiber Initiatives
This is the final episode of Season 1, where we explore the question: What would it look like if regional fiber initiatives became the norm? In last week's episode we started to explore how material supply chains impact our system and how to rethink them. Today, the fashion industry is experiencing a resurgence of interest in regional clothing fibers. The globalization of the fashion industry has prompted designers to look beyond the traditional suppliers of their materials and explore regional textile production. As regional producers hone their craft and grow their businesses, new regional clothing fiber opportunities are emerging that allow apparel makers to produce garments with a lower environmental impact and greater local sourcing. This week Teju gets more granular to show us why they are important, as well as what's possible with them. As the fashion industry and consumers began to prioritize the ethics and sustainability of their clothing purchases, designers need to look beyond conventional sources and explore emerging regional textile production. There are brilliant people changing the way clothes are made so that our environment benefits from it, and local economies thrive too. Learn more about this episode of Black Material Geographies at www.whetstoneradio.com, on IG at @whetstoneradio, Twitter at @whetstone_radio, and YouTube at WhetstoneRadio.
Read the full transcript here: https://www.whetstonemagazine.com/black-material-geographies-ep10-transcript
Redesigning Supply Chains
In the final episodes of this season of Black Material Geographies, Teju sharpens her focus on regenerative textile and fiber systems and looks at how and why redesigning our supply chains can create a more efficient and sustainable fashion industry that doesn’t rely on unsustainable and destructive practices. Redesigning supply chains starts with recognizing how they currently ignore the people who make our products and the environments they come from. Redesigning the supply chain can be a challenge, but it’s also an opportunity. She talks with her guests about creating new paths and processes with a creative mindset and an open mind. Learn more about this episode of Black Material Geographies at www.whetstoneradio.com, on IG at @whetstoneradio, Twitter at @whetstone_radio, and YouTube at WhetstoneRadio.
Read the full transcript here: https://www.whetstonemagazine.com/black-material-geographies-ep9-transcript
All of us have our own relationship with cotton and the way it fits into our lives. The history of cotton cultivation in the Americas is deeply linked to the history of Black people in this region. Throughout the history of the United States, cotton and the ingenuity and creativity of Black people have played a crucial role in its development as one of the most powerful countries in the world. This week on Black Material Geographies, Teju explores the relationship between humankind and the cotton plant. Learn more about this episode of Black Material Geographies at www.whetstoneradio.com, on IG at @whetstoneradio, on Twitter at @whetstone_radio, and on YouTube at WhetstoneRadio.
Read the full transcript here: https://www.whetstonemagazine.com/black-material-geographies-ep8
Natural Dyeing & Oakland Youth
During this week's episode, Teju Adisa-Farrar discusses Oakland, natural dyeing, art, and urban farming. Fiber and plants are integral to not just the Black diaspora's history, but also human history more broadly. It is a granular exploration of the broader topic of regenerative production practices. Historically, most human products were created with local natural materials. It was a practical matter. Humans have been producing fiber and dyeing textiles in ways that we now consider "regenerative" throughout Asia, Africa and the Americas for centuries. Learn more about this episode of Black Material Geographies at www.whetstoneradio.com, on IG at @whetstoneradio, on Twitter at @whetstone_radio, and on YouTube at WhetstoneRadio.
Read the full transcript here: https://www.whetstonemagazine.com/black-material-geographies-ep7-transcript
Colonialism's Afterlife & Upcyling Fashion, Pt. 2 | Textile Waste
Western imperialism was and still is a force to be reckoned with. Today in the fashion world, colonialism has left its mark on what we wear, how clothes are made, and who makes them. The ways that clothes are made, the aesthetics of each garment, and even the pricing can be traced back to colonial-era trade routes. Teju Adisa-Farrar continues the conversation she began last week about the afterlife of colonialism, how the modern fashion industry has been shaped by it, and how this generation of designers is working to transform their production methods in order to create more sustainable fashion systems. Learn more about this episode of Black Material Geographies at www.whetstoneradio.com, on IG at @whetstoneradio, on Twitter at @whetstone_radio, and on YouTube at WhetstoneRadio.
Colonialism's Afterlife & Upcyling Fashion, Pt. 1
How much has the world changed since the days when colonialism ruled the planet? There have been advances toward achieving global equality among the once-colonized nations; however, many of the structures and customs that characterized colonialism remain. There is an opportunity for every industry to transform the systems that underpin our lives. This week we look at colonialism's afterlife and delve deeper into the topic, exploring its colonial origins and its afterlives in the contemporary fashion industry. Fashion is one of the largest polluting industries on our planet and creates vast amounts of textile waste, which usually ends up in countries in tropical Africa and the Caribbean, but there are opportunities for transformation. It will take a variety of solutions to solve this issue. One way designers are addressing the issue of textile waste and fashion pollution in countries outside of the West is by reusing, also known as upcycling fashion. Learn more about this episode of Black Material Geographies at www.whetstoneradio.com, on IG at @whetstoneradio, on Twitter at @whetstone_radio, and on YouTube at WhetstoneRadio.
Read the full transcript here: https://www.whetstonemagazine.com/bmgep5-transcript
I’m so glad I came across this podcast so informative.
Needed & Nourishing Perspective
How do we embody empowerment through fashioning our reality (without oppressing the earth & other people) ? The answer is different for everyone .
Teju is my favorite scholar because she shares informative herstories in a way that helps to break problems down to equip ourselves with the tools & inspiration to build an intersectional industry for all - in whatever way we see fit ;) for ourselves. Grazie Mille, Teju!!!! Bravo, bravo, encore!!!
Insightful and can’t wait for more!
This episode alone addressed issues of displacement, colonialism, Black consciousness, textile geographies, agriculture, fast and slow fashion, space and power. . . And literally so much more.
So insightful and addresses many gaps within the field of geography. As someone who just finished their geography degree with a focus on mutual aid and radical care geographies this podcast was exciting for accesible geographical thinking! Can’t wait to hear more!