Karmic Capitalist Conversations - businesses with purpose podcast

Fashion can be done ethically - Antonia Johnstone, CEO Sign of the Times

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When it comes to sustainability and human rights, Fashion has earned a terrible reputation. And mostly for very good reason.

But there are some shining examples who are showing what good can look like in the industry.

One of these is pre-owned luxury fashion retailer Sign of the times.

The original Chelsea shop was founded to media buzz in the 1970s. Antonia Johnstone trained there before founding her own shop in Berkshire.

And in a wonderfully circular story, some years later she went on to buy the Chelsea business and integrate the two together, keeping the feeling of high street chic while updating the business with a strong online presence.

It’s wonderful to talk in this episode of the Karmic Capitalist to Antonia. There's a strong values basis to her business, which originated Antonia's own beliefs on how people should be treated, then extended to her intent to democratise high-end fashion, and as she dived deeper, also became increasingly about minimising environmental impact not just through the reuse of fashion, but also in Sign of The Times's own supply and demand chain.

We discuss how her business has adopted a circular economy and human-centric approach to doing things. We also discuss where the values that drive the business come from, and how they surface in how Sign of the Times works.

And, for the geeks amongst us, there’s also an insight into how machine learning is used to prove a fashion item’s authenticity! I didn't know that!

Enjoy the episode. It's a wonderful journey that Antonia and Sign of the Times are on.


I host a weekly workshopping conversation with CEOs of SMEs (10 to 100 employees approx) about scaling up, allowing them to step back and do more strategic work, and doing this all in line with their values. Maximum 6 per session so we can have a real conversation.

If you'd like to join me for a conversation, find a date that works for you here.

Only CEOs / MDs as above. Peer-level conversation!

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