The Next Economy: the path to social and environmental justice with Teju Adisa-Farrar

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The equitable achievement of human and environmental rights is imperative for social justice and sustainability. The economy is the foundation that dictates how our societies function and also structures communities and cultures from the ground up. Transforming the economy is central to achieving social and environmental justice, but what needs to change? How can this be achieved?

To help us answer these questions is Teju Adisa-Farrar, a connector, environmental consultant, and geographer who is on a mission to change the fashion industry in a way that achieves social and environmental justice. Having lived in many different countries, she uses a transitional lens informed holistically by art, history, urbanism, and activism to create impact. She focuses her work on people, organizations, and companies helping grow the economy and communities by leveraging socially aware practices and sustainable technologies.

In our conversation, we learn about Teju’s background, what motivates her, and her journey to becoming an independent consultant. We then delve into what she is currently working on, the importance of mission-driven finance, how she is shaking up the exploitative fashion supply chain, and how she uses her podcast to empower people. She provides insights into sustainable textile production and the link to land, the circular approach to manufacturing, the shift occurring in the fashion industry, why we need to consume consciously, and much more. Tune in to discover the path to social and environmental justice with Teju Adisa-Farrar.

Key Points From This Episode:

  • Teju’s background, her upbringing, and her professional career journey. [0:01:26]

  • What Teju is currently working on and how she thinks it will make a difference. [0:05:05]

  • We discuss how communities and cultures are centered around food. [0:08:05]

  • Why she started her podcast and the concept of Black material geography. [0:08:54]

  • She explains what FiberShed is, the overall concept, and what it aims to achieve. [0:13:35]

  • How she sees the transition of the fashion economy occurring on a larger scale. [0:19:55]

  • Find out how colonization created narrow ways of thinking about economies. [0:24:13]

  • Her opinion on the higher price point of sustainable fashion and repurposing textiles. [0:25:27]

  • Hear about other brands and companies that are making a positive impact. [0:31:40]

  • The question she wished people asked, but never do, concerning her work. [0:34:00]


“The structure of the economy is really central in a lot of the social issues that I was seeing growing up and experiencing as well.” — Teju Adisa-Farrar [0:04:25]

“Simultaneously, we want to give consumers alternative options and also regenerate the destruction that the [fashion industry] has created.” — Teju Adisa-Farrar [0:07:03]

“It was really positive to hear that people felt a deeper connection to the [clothes] that they took for granted.” — Teju Adisa-Farrar [0:12:05]

“I think what is needed is a paradigm shift in how we value the material conditions of our life.” — Teju Adisa-Farrar [0:21:25]

“[Society] was not always this way so it does not always have to be.” — Teju Adisa-Farrar [0:23:58]

“If we make life better for Black people, I do believe it will be better for all people.” — Teju Adisa-Farrar [0:36:05]

Links Mentioned in Today’s Episode:

Teju Adisa-Farrar:

Teju Adisa-Farrar on Instagram:

Black Material Geographies:

Black Fiber & Textile Directory submission form:

Wesleyan University:

Network of Universities from the Capitals of Europe:


Sustainable Agriculture & Food Systems Funders:

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Next Economy Now is produced by LIFT Economy and highlights the leaders that are taking a regenerative, bio-regional, democratic, transparent, and whole-systems approach to using business as a force for good.