In today’s episode of Women In Supply Chain, I’m joined by Tara St James: a fashion designer, sustainable design strategist and responsible supply chain consultant all rolled into one.
Tara has spent the last 20 years designing and producing collections for both men and women; and she’s overseen development, production and design procedures at factories across the globe. This extensive experience in product development, sourcing, textile research and development, led her to dive deeper into sustainability and supply chain, and she’s never looked back.
Tara established her own sustainable womenswear brand in 2009, successfully running it for over 11 years, and went on to found Re:Source(d), a consultancy and education platform looking to demystify the world of sustainable fashion and textile sourcing. She’s an instructor at the Fashion Institute of Technology, as well as holding leadership roles at a sustainable fashion brand and fashion collaboration platform.
Today Tara will be talking to us about her career so far, her love for fashion; her dedication to sustainability and shaping the future of ethical fashion; and she’ll be sharing her experiences as a woman in the industry, and her words of advice for all of those women following in her footsteps.
Apex Logistics are proud to sponsor Let’s Talk Supply Chain’s Women in Supply Chain podcast and blog series. Our leadership team actively works to empower an industry as diverse as our workforce with a focus on inclusion, and we’re passionate about promoting the voices of women leaders to drive visibility around their achievements. Find out more over on the Apex Logistics website.
IN THIS EPISODE WE DISCUSS:
[06.02] How Tara’s interest in fashion started at just five years old, her career journey and how fashion has changed.
“I’m really grateful that there’s now more and more focus on supply chain and manufacturing, and the hands that are making the clothes – not just the people that are designing them.”
[08.43] The two key ‘a-ha!’ moments in Tara’s career that pushed her towards a passion for sustainability and a more ethical supply chain.
“I had to either leave the industry altogether and stop polluting unknowingly, as I had been, or try to make change. That was the first pivot towards sustainability.”
[13.28] How and why Tara established her own sustainable womenswear brand, Study NY, as well as her consultancy, Re:Source(d), and what she learned along the way.
“Sustainability isn’t a series of checkboxes, you can’t do everything.”
[20.34] How packaging and technology ties into sustainability.
“I see packaging as low hanging fruit for brands who want to start on their sustainability story… it’s the first touchpoint that most customers have with their product.”
[26.25] The damaging impact of fast fashion, and why change is on the way.
“Government and industry are starting to take the fashion industry more seriously. It’s flown under the radar for a while because people think its frivolous – but it’s not!”
[30.00] How Tara manages her busy schedule and multiple roles and responsibilities.
[32.19] The increasingly inclusive and collaborative mindset that Tara has experienced as a woman working across the worlds of fashion, supply chain and sustainability.
[34.36] Tara’s ongoing journey of finding her voice.
[36.56] What the future holds for Tara.
[39.46] Tara’s words of advice to all of the women following in her footsteps.
RESOURCES AND LINKS MENTIONED:
You can connect with Tara over on LinkedIn.