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You are what you wear: Christina Dean at TEDxHKBU

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Dr. Christina Dean is the Founder and CEO of Redress, an NGO with a mission to promote environmental sustainability in the fashion industry. Christina is a regular speaker at seminars and has received numerous recognitions for her work, including being listed by U.S. online magazine Coco Eco as one of '2010's Most Influential Women in Green' and by U.K. Vogue as one of the U.K.'s 'Top 30 Inspirational Women'. Prior to founding Redress, Christina was a journalist and a practicing dental surgeon. In the spirit of ideas worth spreading, TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. At a TEDx event, TEDTalks video and live speakers combine to spark deep discussion and connection in a small group. These local, self-organized events are branded TEDx, where x = independently organized TED event. The TED Conference provides general guidance for the TEDx program, but individual TEDx events are self-organized.* (*Subject to certain rules and regulations)
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Text Comments (222)
brensimm (9 hours ago)
Maybe people need to go back to the old way of thinking. I don't have a lot of clothes but when I have bought anything I ensure it's good quality. I wore a tweed jacket close to 20 years before I had to let it go. Mix and match clothing like jackets, skirts, pants and blouses can be mixed that it looks like you have a large wardrobe. I was taught that growing up and never throw things away. There were always family members or less fortunate that need it. Quality is hard to find today and if you find it you pay big time. So it's hard to find clothing that will last. Mass production has to go and instead good production. Ah, but companies are not making money that way. Make your own clothes? Where are the darn material shops. Spools of thread are so cheaply made that it breaks up while your sewing. Depressing.
Eleni Xx (12 days ago)
i just really want to fix the collar of her jacket
victor arregnelle (1 month ago)
Watching this as I shop for brand clothing. Must advertise for the big companies at my expense. Although they should pay me to wear their brand if anything 🤔 Just kidding I wear my uniform most days - generic shorts, tanktop and Crocs.
Minoan Light (2 months ago)
I wish we humans had fur like all other mammals, and everything would be easier.
John _laurens (2 months ago)
So I am sweatpants and a sweater
Tom Gwerzman (3 months ago)
*hugging all of my vintage clothes* I'm so happy I'm not a part of the problem 🙂
PiranhaJaw22 (4 months ago)
i wear rich, therefore i am rich
Anna Kravets (5 months ago)
Thumbs down because the name of the video doesn’t correlate to its idea.
Gray 1 (5 months ago)
Honestly, is so much more important the impact of animal industry, than this topic, please
Lisa Meyer (5 months ago)
I go to the Christian center which is clothes that people have given away I buy used clothes all the time!
V_Cheung (5 months ago)
Thank you! This is so inspired to me!
Lady Songbird (6 months ago)
This was really powerful! I never knew that buying cheap clothing could impact so much! I was raised to pinch pennies on my clothes and I agree that it doesn't last long. I would think that I got a good bargain but found my self-buying more and more clothes. I will invest in quality clothes and recycles the clothes I don't need. Great video!
Trev (6 months ago)
using basic Freudian psycology in the same way they did in the 1920s to promote their business/econamy
Olivera K (6 months ago)
To reduce the pollution, go back to old trends - two seasons per year and not 52
Funny Girl (6 months ago)
so true. well put
Joey Levenson (7 months ago)
I take care of my things the best I can. I also wash them and donate to Goodwill (did today, and have bought from there, too) as much as I can. Even some cheaper clothes can be given a second life. I do my best to avoid throwing anything usable away. No sense in 2018.
JUANJO (7 months ago)
Barsha (7 months ago)
The fashion industry is causing havoc effects on both financial and mental well being of a person. If a person is not into fashion or wearing variety of clothes, they are tagged as 'not being presentable'. To woo the eye of people looking at you, to make yourself ' presentable' one has to buy more of trendy clothes. And trend changes every single day. Celebrities are the worst examples in setting up these trends. C'mon people tend to imitate them and the fashion industry is serving this purpose quite well. None of them will endorse these topics because this won't generate any money to them.
JUANJO (8 months ago)
JUANJO (8 months ago)
that's a offence to me because i dont have any clothes you are saying me homless? :;v
JUANJO (8 months ago)
Marie Evans (8 months ago)
Not what I thought this would be about.
Jen Gable (9 months ago)
ok..when you have been backed into a financial corner and have had all your belongings destroyed let me know ! I have had to change my wardrobe due to the fact that I walk miles in the rain, sleet, snow etc ! To be honest with you, I do not care at this point what people think because they are NOT in my shoes !
Ann Oldham (9 months ago)
Certainly makes you think .😀
C'est le jour (10 months ago)
thrift and second-hand shops save lives
Malvavisco (11 months ago)
Cares about the environment but has three kids? Hmmm...
Roel Verjes (1 year ago)
OMG! Im proud of you..job done
zak edelman (1 year ago)
Karissa Schwartz (1 year ago)
Look up textile recycling near you for clothes/shoes in unusable/poor condition (wouldn’t sell at Goodwill). Also H&M & American Eagle recycle all brands of clothing in their stores...so if your clothes are in poor condition, drop them off at your local mall. ☺️
RedCarrot93 (1 year ago)
Very inspiring! Thank you.
Amazing presentation! I’m shocked that 3 years after still nobody talks about it. It’s a huge business and obviously it will take a long time until people will realize how much waste we produce. But least we can do is buying less and recycling the clothes.
normal woman (1 year ago)
I'm wearing nice, cool, well made yet sale items, b/c I'm a nice, cool and well made woman. Not for sale tho... lol
Bethwyn Malcolm (1 year ago)
you are not what you wear!
Bethwyn Malcolm (1 year ago)
fashion is a dying art
Jaydev Patil (1 year ago)
Thank you for telling us about clothing pollution
μοῖρα Lydløs (1 year ago)
Very tricky title you chose!
iluvubb247 (1 year ago)
I recently went to a clothes shop that buys used or unused but unwanted clothes and over heard them talking about how “so much clothes are being brought more and more every year and how they’ll only pick the fast fashion and designer goods only.” It was sad to hear that most of those clothes go straight to dumpster when no one wants them. And there is an increase in unwanted garments are more than ever before they don’t know what they’d do with them. It was eye opening enough for me so I don’t even wanna buy anything anymore. And I don’t know what I’d do with the ones i already own either. I’m picky and I always prefer quality over quantity.
Jillian lea (1 year ago)
i mainly shop used cothing. i think alot of people have , just more and more people are discovering our wasteful ways
Misty Mega2000 (1 year ago)
lol I havent bought new clothes in years, its not some new idea. thrift stores are awesome and cool!! its like urban outfitters but cheap!!
Sandra Gongora (1 year ago)
Love it!
Kaur Puneet (1 year ago)
We always give away our old and ill fitted clothes for donation , most people happily take away old clothes . Sometimes even in the family , used clothes are passed on to cousins , the clothes are in good condition but sometimes when they don't fit anymore , so we try to pass it on to someone who might like wearing them , but we never put them in dustbins :)
Jyotsna Gupta (1 year ago)
She's my hero.
America Bless God (1 year ago)
She is a great speaker and beautiful. But this has absolutely no point, maddam. It's stating the obvious and didn't serve any purpose or benefit.
Bytler (1 year ago)
What a waste of time. I was expecting to earn psychological knowledge, rather than moral and ethical guides.
Mariel S (1 year ago)
I care about the planet among others things. I do recycle I don't buy new clothes if they don't fit me anymore I loose weight. I love my clothes , Animals my planet.
dr blais (1 year ago)
funny no mention of cutting ceo wages to help pay the people who actually do the work
Dany Christian (1 year ago)
i've been thrifting for years.
Odalis Diaz (1 year ago)
Totally agree
Acme Twlm (1 year ago)
Interesting to say the least fast fwd
himanshu kapoor (1 year ago)
The clothes can be used to stitch bags that can replace plastic bags. Such experiments are underway in few urban pockets in some cities in India. I visited one showroom that uses bags made from old clothes for packaging the stuff they sell.
Yolanda Young (1 year ago)
THANK YOU FOR THIS NFO!!!!! I had no idea about this!!!! I will be Mindful of this situation as it affects the entire world!!! And by improving my self on it, I'm liv ni by example!!! ❤️💕😇🌺
ia marec (1 year ago)
I have started doing just that. Started a recycling circle with other girls and is working wonders!
Loved this so much! Eye opening and so so motivating! I haven't bought new clothes unless they're ethical in a year and this makes me feel like i need to spread the message. thank you
william moreno (1 year ago)
We must talk about such things more often... Thanks Dean... I've learned a lot from you.. Thumbs up!
Fatima Lobo (1 year ago)
Thank you so much for all that information that nobody talks about and keep buying what they don't need really.
Madronaxyz (1 year ago)
More true for women than men.
Amy (1 year ago)
Rad speak. Thank you lady.
Nisreen Hamid (1 year ago)
Very interesting n informative
Mornieluvya lastname (1 year ago)
Fashion styles these days, sadly are trashy not classy!
Bye Bye Belly (1 year ago)
I wear kmart clothes but I wear them for years at a time. I can't afford to buy organic expensive Australian made fashion labels when a jumper at kmart is $5 on special. Not ideal but some people just can't afford better. Salvos thrift store tries to sell tops for MORE than kmart does...
C'est le jour (10 months ago)
Bye Bye Belly and now imagine how people who work in creating this clothing get paid i dont blame anyone, but it's a pitiful situation with our garment industry
Wauuu MUST SEE video for everyone - please <3
Charlotte Fairchild (1 year ago)
Poncho Power humanitarian clothing.
lvforeverlv (1 year ago)
Tape on her cheek is hella distracting.
M P (1 year ago)
Bwahaha, our family must be really caring, or really poor. 90 percent of our belongings are recycled. That's just called hand me downs, though.
Maya (1 year ago)
Why dump clothes in landfills ??? DONATE them
Maya (1 year ago)
When u get second hand clothes u run a real risk of catching some shit skin disease and or bedbugs
Maya (1 year ago)
Guilty as charged I love clothes bc I find art in them ...having said that and since clothes are so polluting maybe we should walk around naked
VideoPromoVIP (1 year ago)
Love her!!! Awesome talk!
Chris Caine (1 year ago)
I am a great advocate for reuse, recycle and renew. I run a small market stall where I sell good, fashionable, up to date secondhand clothes. I hate the way people throw away perfectly good usable items so every week I buy used clothes from people and resell them. I make money, people are happy that they have saved money by purchasing used items at a fraction of the cost of new garments.So we are all winners. More importantly we are saving many things from going to landfill. ☺☺☺
Carolyn Smith (1 year ago)
The innovative idea is to buy higher quality, fewer pieces that last a decade or more.
Morana Roller (1 year ago)
Only clothes I actually get rid of are the ones that wouldn't fit me anymore because I lost or gained weight. I don't understand how people manage to ruin their clothes so they need to throw them or they are unwearable. What do you wash your t shirts on 90°C? Learn how to sew a button and fill a hole in your socks!
Biswadeep Auddy (1 year ago)
I am with you, Dr. Dean.
acajudi100 (1 year ago)
Hawaiian male shirts, and long dresses or pants.
Amanda Loxx (1 year ago)
im fighting it too!
sebastian jasso (1 year ago)
as a fashion designer am not offended because this is true because instead of fighting the situation we avoid it , we live in the 21 century and we can't solve this problem yet with all the technology available to us , yes majority of the companies that polluted are fast Fashion chains that produce super cheap clothing for the general public but cheap isn't always good I know we don't like paying high prices but I think we should be educated more on this these topics how to consume better as humans, buying good quality clothing is expensive depending on your income but good quality should be a investment save up and buy some few good unique clothing products.
Madhulica Seth (1 year ago)
I live in India and in my family we have been taught to take care of clothes. They are only handwashed and my grandmother has certain saris which are 38 years old. Since Saris are not size specific they are passed down through generations and now my mother wears my grandmother's saris. We get western clothes altered if they don't fit anymore and make bags out of old clothes. Since at least my family is not too materialistic we rarely shop and live a mostly zero waste life. My cousins living in the United States disgust me because of their excessive materialism and obsessive concern with appearance and clothes. They place more importance on looking fuckable than being comfortable.
hello2ability (1 year ago)
Madhulica Seth You said it. I had the same thoughts. Indian values and culture hold the secrets to a sustainable existence of every organism in the world, and not just humans. Western materialism and consumerism is fast pervading Indian psyche today. I fear if we Indians would end up forsaking our glorious culture to embrace western consumerism brought to us by MNCs and our own Indian corporations.
Peggy Sorrento (1 year ago)
she does wear rugs. Keep the rugs for yourself. Cheap thug.
Kindred Closets (1 year ago)
YES! This 14:58!!!! As someone who works in the fashion industry, I struggle with knowing how much damage we cause to society and the environment and I would LOVE to see this concept grow in the industry. I really hope that over time the rest of the world will agree and that this message will grow and become a standard for the next generation! <3
Tanya Oz (1 year ago)
Most people have no idea that I buy majority of my clothes from op shops :)
Louise Haley (1 year ago)
Cheap clothes also means sweatshop labor !
Louise Haley (1 year ago)
So true ! Recycle, repair, re-use ! I'm appalled people throw out good stuff that someone else could enjoy. They're just greedy and selfish.
Louise Haley (1 year ago)
A "good" dentist doesn't hurt people.
AbigailR84 (1 year ago)
Yikes! Luckily, I live somewhere with amazing thrift shops and rarely have to buy new things. Still, I can definitely cut back!
Dr M 105 (1 year ago)
Haahaa, dentist who doesn't want to hurt people. That's like a pilot who doesn't like to fly...
Inés E. (1 year ago)
Money as it is conceived today is what's really polluting us and the environment. In reality it's just a medium to get things that you *need* , not an end in itself, despite the many people who (consciously or not) believe it is. From what I've seen, a big part of the clothing industry is moved by how people want to *appear* —not to *feel* , unfortunately. Instagram thrives on those kinds of illusions. Some of the biggest fashion consumers I know of are actually not well-off economically, but they want to *look* as though they are, as if that actually meant that they are. In my books that's similar to taking a pain killer for a broken arm... I think a good idea, apart from changing the individual choices you make, would be to *better educate people on the value of money* (taking economics wasn't compulsory in my school!) and to *advise them to think of money as a medium that says nothing about your quality* as a person.
Clare Pitt (1 year ago)
I love charity shop shopping and my grandma is a professional seamstress- I'm all set 👌 unfortunately still gotta buy underwear, socks and some basics 😕
Grace D. (1 year ago)
and she didn't even get to addressing exploitation of workers... hats off to her
relief (1 year ago)
Thank you
nakkie wildvangst (1 year ago)
reduce reuse recycle #happyminimalist
Pristin KyulWoo (1 year ago)
My idea of collecting clothes/dresses has change because of this. :'(
tulika srivastava (1 year ago)
Sadly!We are polluting the environment just because we have societal pressure of flaunting new clothes every day!!
Mya Jones (1 year ago)
I love consignment/thrift shops. I'm not a big fashionista, so what is in my closet are items that I can wear for years to come. I don't follow trends. I wear what is comfortable.
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Aere Z (2 years ago)
Is it really necessary for so many speakers to move their hands when they talk. It's weird.
Adam Kunzun (2 years ago)
you have no moral right when you yourself are fashion crazy consumer. shut up ur fault mouth.
Anabiel (2 years ago)
I totally agree. I am the kind of person to buy a thing and wears it every week during ten years. I need clothes that are able to last ten years and not six months. I buy black sneakers only because I know the white ones are gonna be grey and wasted in 3 months. I don't buy a new coat, a new jacket every year (more like every three year) so I choose normal colors such as blue grey black, not yellow or red. You have to buy things that are not gonna be unfashion tomorrow. It doesn't mean having almost no clothes and being a bean. It's just being more reasonnable, more realistic and more adult with your consum habits. You have hard time doing it? throw your money away, I am sure it will make everything much more simple with almost no money.
Jasvinder Kaur Sidhu (2 years ago)
Salt water wells in my eyes.. My initial thoughts were that one is assisting the very poor make some money out of this trade..but really, if Mother earth suffers then really, it's not worth it.
salby torres (2 years ago)
been shopping at goodwill and yard sales since I started earning my own money at 16 years old. I feel very proud. I also don't buy cruelty makeup
Ishieka Morris (2 years ago)
But what about shoes?
sunflower (2 years ago)
Dry cleaners use harsh chemicals, use the dry cleaners that don't use chemicals, they are some, you just need to find them.Protect our beautiful earth ~ xo

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