Fashion and the environment in The Regeneration

by Grace Wang in September 2018
Fashion & style

The Regeneration is a magazine about the environment, and it speaks to artists, entrepreneurs and thinkers in the field to offer optimism and actionable knowledge for its readers. Their latest issue focuses on fashion, and it takes a sweeping look at the apparel industry, identifying key problems and profiling a new generation of sustainability-focused designers.

We talk to founder Kyle Calian about his reasons for starting The Regeneration, what obstacles he faces, and how to print an environment-friendly magazine.

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Why did you want to start The Regeneration?

I’ve always believed that individual actions can create rippling changes. The sheer scale of climate change is so immense that it’s hard to feel like your actions have an impact. Every decision we make has so many visible and invisible reactions, that to find regenerative solutions we must address problems rooted in a specific time and place. Our actions, and how we lead others in this world towards a better future is all we have. We live in a beautiful, profoundly interconnected world full of opportunities to make positive change.

I’ve also always been a creative person, inspired by the magic of nature and the people who do amazing things to change the way humanity perceives their relationship with the natural world. I’ve passionately studied works of literature, architecture, and design by people like Wendell Berry, Buckminster Fuller, and Frank Lloyd Wright. These people inspired monumental changes in our approach and perspectives on topics such as building community, our relationship with agriculture, the disconnect between modern economics on a finite planet, and more.

Why make a print magazine if you’re focusing on the environment?

The short story is that the internet, phones and computers still use a ton of energy. A print magazine like this will be like a book you’ll want to keep, share with friends, and dig into. We will be using FSC certified paper or possibly a rock-based paper and will be making the magazine 100% recyclable. We also plant a tree with TreeEra for each issue, which helps us offset our carbon by almost 5.5 times for each edition.

Issue three focuses on sustainable fashion – what prompted this theme?

Inspired by the fantastic work done by Fashion Revolution, we wanted to create an edition of The Regeneration that would not only encourage readers but also equip them with the tools to act. We’re all coming at this problem with different perspectives, from gender to style. There is so much potential for good to be created from a regenerative apparel and outfitters industry.

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What did you read in the making of this issue?

I started by reading Magnifeco: Your Head-to-Toe Guide to Ethical Fashion and Non-Toxic Beauty by Kate Black, and Fixing Fashion: Rethinking the Way We Make, Market and Buy Our Clothes by Michael Lavergne. Both of those books really set off my course on this topic. I was also really inspired by my friend and graduate school colleague Hannah Phang, who made a point of talking about sustainability and fashion whenever she was working on a project. Her thesis was an incredible deep dive into the world of fashion, akin to watching The True Cost.

What did you watch for inspiration?

At night to unwind these days I’ve been watching Anthony Bourdain’s Part’s Unknown. I’ll grab a sour beer from the fridge, preferably the Passionfruit Gose from Three Notch’d, head up to my room, watch Anthony go on an adventure, then wind down for the night with a book, stretch, and then tuck away to dreamland.

What did you lose sleep over while making this issue?

I lost a lot of sleep this time. With this last edition, we wanted to get a full understanding of the industry, so we had to listen to a lot of perspectives. We had some incredible interviews that were so long that it took almost two weeks to cut them down. We had some content that came in that wasn’t written so well, and we had to turn people away. I have a small team of editors who have full-time jobs, and when content comes in that isn’t polished it takes us a lot of time to organise it and get it cleaned up and situated.

What’s next for The Regeneration?

We’ll be opening up new offices in Bushwick, which will be our second on the east coast. We’re gearing up to produce our biggest and best issue yet, which will focus on Green Energy and Politics, but we’ll be taking more of a broad approach to this edition, with features on food, fashion, and leadership. We also just hired JOOC Funding to help us find some angel investors so that we can scale the print publication, diversify our streams of revenue and push full steam ahead producing and disseminating regenerative media. We’re looking into a video series as well as expanding our online portal to become more of a community platform, where climate activists, business owners and leaders alike can contribute research, articles, ideas and more. We’ll also have the content we produce available on a subscription basis so that we can continue to move the project forward.




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