Talking Materials with The Unmaterial Girl: Leah Musch
Mercy Bass | On 04, Mar 2016
â€œI wasnâ€™t putting any consideration into the clothes I was buying, or asking any questions about where they were made or the impact they might have. I was ignoring a lot of questions, because I knew I couldnâ€™t get the answer â€“ I was just like, â€˜oh nobody knows, it is a mystery,â€™â€ says Leah Musch, writer and host of web series The Unmaterial Girl. Â
The Unmaterial Girl, produced by Brisbane-based media company Reel Feed, asks the questions regarding sustainable fashion and the issues that surround the fast fashion world that Leah once avoided. The series came to life after Leahâ€™s realisation that her love of fast fashion and the clothing produced by it was having a profoundly negative impact on the environment and factory workers.
â€œI kind of had a 180 flip when I went travelling – I went to Brazil and volunteered as part of a program called Social Starters, and I learnt a lot about how we can do things a lot better than we are doing them now. That completely captivated me and I wanted to explore it,â€ says Leah.
â€œWhen I got back, having only lived out of a suitcase for two months and being completely fine â€“ I felt really heavy and suffocated by all these things. I had the time, I didnâ€™t have a job, so I was like this is it â€“ I went through everything I owned, advertised a garage sale on Gumtree and sold it all.â€
Inspired by the documentary The True Cost, and Courtney Carverâ€™s Project 333, The Unmaterial Girl is released online every second Monday.
â€œThe episodes look at how to be more sustainable, ways to do it so you donâ€™t feel like you are always wearing things that look sustainable â€“ how to find that middle ground. Because for me, I still love a lot of the looks of the fast fashion stores, but I want to find alternatives so that part of me is still satisfied. I donâ€™t know if thereâ€™s a perfect way to do it yet, but that is what the show explores how we should start.â€
Before The Unmaterial Girl, Leah founded and owned The Happy Cabin, a women and menâ€™s fashion boutique in Brisbaneâ€™s West End. After running the Brisbane shop for three years herself, Leah sold the shop to two friends.
â€œSince I sold the store I felt I was a bit lost and trying to figure out what my whole purpose is. I feel like Iâ€™m very driven by purpose and when I donâ€™t have that it can be really hard,â€ says Leah. â€œI absolutely love fashion and I also love people, so the idea of being able to help people through fashion or fixing issues that people are having in the fashion industry is really what I am interested in.â€