Elizabeth Segran, Fast Company Magazine
💭 Thoughts on degrowth, reconnecting with old & new friends, and the Marlow parka.
Thought Enthusiast is an AdHoc Project where we chat with fascinating thought leaders across various facets of music, tech, and culture whose work we admire, simply asking “what’s on your mind?” and “why do you care?” 💭
Elizabeth Segran is a fashion journalist who has spent a decade reporting about the industry's impact on the environment and nudging companies to shift their practices to become more sustainable. Before she jumped into this career, she got a Ph.D. in classical Indian love poetry with a specialization in radical feminist theory from U.C. Berkeley. She also wrote a book called The Rocket Years, which is about how the big decisions you make in your twenties shape the rest of your life. It's an empowering book designed to help you craft a meaningful life.
Right now, I'm really interested in the idea of degrowth. That's a nerdy economics term for the idea that our environment cannot survive if we keep extracting raw materials from the earth at the same rate, so businesses need to find ways to reduce the volume of product they manufacture. The question is how companies can continue to thrive and grow financially, while making less. This comes down to coming up with new business models, like making money by selling secondhand products or repairing goods. Or maybe even coming up with entirely new revenue streams. For instance, the outdoor apparel retailer Orvis now makes money by selling fly fishing courses and tours. I really believe we can move towards a more ethical economy and this is one path forward.
My husband recently got me hooked on the indie pop band The Japanese House. [The music] is so soothing, which is nice because sometimes listening to the news and podcasts can get overwhelming.
🫂 Reconnecting with old & new friends
I have been really loving re-connecting with friends after the pandemic. I've started a book club with a single friend, Steve, and once a month we meet to have a long chat about the thing we're reading. (This month, it's Braiding Sweetgrass.) I love intergenerational friendships and have been enjoying long tea times with my friend Katie, who is in her 70s. And there are so many new acquaintances I want to get to know better. So every few months, we throw a little party at our house on a Sunday evening, where we buy some wine and cheese, and host a group of about 8 people that we think might get along. I have two kids, including a toddler, who just scoots around in the background. It all seems to work well.
I love what Mara Hoffman is doing. Her dresses are works of art, but she's also deeply focused on creating a more circular fashion world. She recently partnered with Circ, a brand that is making clothing from textile waste, which I believe can really transform the fashion industry.
😌 Calm App
I've been a big fan of the Calm App for many years, and I just adore the meditation teacher Jeff Warren. He's not woo-woo at all. Just very down to earth and human. He has a course on the app that has really changed my life and help me understand that your thoughts don't have to control you.
I love Guy Raz. His podcast, How I Built This, has created a new kind of business journalism. He interviews the world’s best-known entrepreneurs to learn how they built their iconic brands.
It gets very cold in Boston, and I can't live without my Canada Goose coat. I have the Marlow parka, which I love because it has a belt that creates a waistline. It can be dressed up or down. The brand is pricey, but the coats are very durable. I wear mine daily for months and it doesn't show any signs of wear and tear.
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