Speaking to The College View the day after hosting a panel discussion on sustainable fashion at Electric Picnic, Molly Parsons was still buzzing off the events of the previous day.
To Molly’s delight, the panel discussion attracted a large crowd, with many festival-goers opting to listen to the podcaster speak about fast fashion, the industry where cheap clothing is produced by mass market retailers catering to ever-changing trends. On the panel alongside Molly were two designers of whom discussed how fast fashion affects them in their work and the ways that people can save money while also buying high quality, second-hand clothing.
The fast fashion industry is a topic that Molly is well versed on, having engaged with the issue and its contribution to the climate emergency in October 2018, when she first began her podcast. “Just as I started doing my podcast, I did a no-buy month because I saw it online and it was just to see if I could do a podcast on it and it actually ended up being a real journey,” she said.
Having suffered with an eating disorder from a young age, Molly soon realised that she was using fast fashion as a tool to make herself feel better about her own body.
“I was realising that I was putting my obsessive eating disorder mind into fast fashion and it was kind of filling a hole, whenever I was feeling bad about my body I would purchase something online, and it was all about trying to make myself feel better.” she said.
Speaking about her podcast, Molly’s Minutes, Molly told The College View that she decided to start it last October after she deferred her degree in Film and Broadcasting. Despite thoroughly enjoying her college course and obtaining good grades, Molly struggled with the same obsessive brain patterns that she suffered with throughout her eating disorder.
“It kind of set me back into that mindset where I started to get obsessive brain patterns again, so I was like ok, how can I get where I want to get without this degree… so I decided that I’ll defer, I’ll work for a bit and I’ll try and start a little podcast” she said.
Having dreamt of becoming a presenter from a young age, Molly felt as though hosting her own podcast would be a step in the right direction towards fulfilling her dream.
“When I was little I wanted to be a woman on the news and then in secondary school when I was out sick I got obsessed with documentaries and that was when I was like okay, I literally want to be making one and there’s no way to just get into that,” she said.
In this season of Molly’s Minutes, Molly decided to highlight the abundance of strong, powerful, Irish females living in this country. “With the first season although I love a lot of the guests, I kind of strayed and got obsessed with what people were asking me to do versus what I wanted to do,” she said.
Molly said: “This season I’m just being inspired by incredible, brave females like Shawna from SexSiopa.ie, my friend Deana who spoke about her journey with alopecia and Natalya O’Flaherty who is a spoken word artist and they’re all just so different and you just can’t link them up in any way apart from they’re really strong powerful females.”
Molly is also inspired by a number of strong-minded and determined females in her own life.
“I really am inspired by Tara Stewart. She has become a friend of mine but also she is just absolutely fantastic, she changed career in her mid-twenties from a musician to wanting to be a presenter and just showed up and was seen every day even when she didn’t have a job.”
“I also really admire my boss Emma in Nine Crows Vintage… she’s just amazing, she brought us one of the biggest vintage companies in Ireland, and one of the most diverse modelling agencies and I just think she deserves all the credit for doing sustainability for ten years before it was even a thing.” she added.
Despite the fulfilment Molly gets from producing and hosting her own podcast, she told The College View that she has experienced some negative backlash. “I definitely have experienced a little bit of hate, and sometimes when I say I do podcasts I’m almost justifying it by saying I do podcasts but I don’t make any money off fast fashion. I don’t do Instagram ads, I’m not an influencer and that I try and do educational storytelling podcasts..” she explained.
“I just overexplain myself and I think that’s a result of the fact that I have got a little bit of hate and I have gotten some trolling as well but I just don’t post it, I don’t even answer it or anything like that, I don’t want to bring any attention to it but I have found that difficult definitely.”
Aside from producing her own podcast, Molly also established a non-fiction book club on Instagram. Every month followers of the page agree on a chosen book to read and write posts expressing their thoughts on it and how it impacted them.
“I hadn’t read in years, so I was like, okay, I’m going to start this book and how I’m going to keep myself accountable is I am going to start this little book club and it’s amazing, I have over one thousand members,” she said.
“I think non-fiction is a really amazing tool to learn about other cultures, to learn about historical events that you might not have heard of before and there’s just endless amounts of non-fiction.”
Looking to the future, Molly hopes one day to do a live podcast and is currently working away on a journalism course. “I do have a few articles coming out in magazines and things like that. So, I’m just tapping away trying to survive,” she added.
Image Credit: Dalkey Book Festival