Woven with stories, critical questions, and a down-to-earth approach to process, the Mindful Consuming podcast intends to encourage us all to dive deeper as we more fully recognize our impacts as consumers. Hosted by Ruth True, these conversations will feature community members and businesses of all backgrounds in hopes of shedding light on our varied journeys and the roles we can all play in building our collective mindfulness. The MC series exists to strengthen our resolve, positively nudge us in the right direction, and be a support to a growing community of conscious consumers. We look forward to engaging with you, learning together, peeling back the layers to see where we are, and identifying where we need to go next.

Currently available on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Amazon Music and Pocket Casts.


Episode 20: John Goods

John Goods is a chemist and inventor who is interested in the ways humans interact with energy and materials and how the unseen chemical world around us influences our experience.  He is currently the co-founder and Chief Technology Officer at Ravel, a startup that is working to make synthetic textile recycling a commercial reality.

John talks with Ruth about his initial interests in chemistry, the power of mindfulness in his life, the nuances of critical decision making, and the role that technology can potentially play as we push toward a more sustainable way of living.  They discuss the ongoing environmental crisis related to clothing waste, highlighting that the USA has the largest textile waste footprint in the world by far.  John and Ruth are excited about Ravel’s pursuits in tackling the difficult challenges of recycling blended fabrics and have hope that their efforts toward textile circularity will help transform the culture of fashion and provide viable options for recycled materials in the marketplace.
Episode 19: Kristen Albrecht

Kristen Albrecht’s most recent venture was running Nube, a local sustainable apparel business.  Nube partnered with artists to help create their designs, focusing on recycled materials and being fully US-made.  She recently graduated from Presidio Graduate School with an MBA in sustainable solutions and is now starting a new role heading up sustainability and operations at a textile recycling startup called Ravel. Outside of work, Kristen lives on a small family farm on Whidbey Island caring for pigs, chickens, and her pup Scuppers.  She is passionate about US-manufacturing, the circular economy, and trying to live a life aligned with her values.

In the wake of the recent decision to close/pause Nube (for now), Kristen and Ruth talk about the challenges they have faced as a small business within the sustainable apparel marketplace.  They discuss how they had to define their own principles of sustainability, the phases and vast lessons they learned through the Nube journey, and the deep desire to positively impact textile infrastructure through circularity.  This conversation gives the listener a vulnerable look into their ongoing emotional processing of Nube’s closure and the hope they have for the future with their next collaborative project, Ravel.
Episode 18: Jude O'Reilley

Jude O'Reilley is the CEO of VolunteerMatch, a non-profit platform matching inspired people with inspiring causes.  He has a lifetime of experience as a volunteer and more than 25 years of experience in technology, leadership and entrepreneurship in the private sector and in the world of social change.  A seasoned organizational leader in social innovation, he has launched more than 100 consumer and enterprise products.

Before joining VolunteerMatch, Jude was responsible for the Skoll Award for Social Entrepreneurship and funding within the Skoll Foundation community.  In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, he led his team to quadruple grant making in one year in 2020, sustained those high levels in 2021, and redesigned and launched their flagship Award program.

Jude talks with us about his journey into social entrepreneurship, starting with the incredible influence that his resolute mother had in helping him think differently at a young age.  He shares statistical insights into the decrease of social connection the last twenty years, with volunteer participation also being on the decline.  Jude hopes to see these numbers reverse, stating that volunteering has a regenerative power to bring “greater feelings of self-efficacy, purposefulness, a sense of connection to community, and overall happiness.”   He has hope for the future, as studies have shown that both Gen Z and Milennials have demonstrated an increased desire to volunteer for social connection.  Jude also discusses the battle against performativism, the positive potential for building more robust corporate volunteer programs, and the power in pairing volunteers with a program that best fits their skillsets.
Episode 17: Pele Bennett

Pele Bennett has dedicated over a decade to philanthropic endeavors and fostering positive change in underserved communities, particularly among Pacific Islander and Indigenous peoples. With a strong commitment to breaking systemic barriers, Pele has recently embarked on a transformative journey, focusing on fostering systems thinking and empowering marginalized communities.

Through her work, hosting charitable events, she’s launched two groundbreaking platforms, Tupu Times and Vā Beauty. These digital publications unapologetically center on Pasifika life, Indigenous storytelling and showcasing all aspects of people's lives, including culture, dancing, design, rooted health beliefs, and overall wellness. Pele aims to educate people from around the world about Polynesian customs and culture, ensuring that their rich heritage is celebrated and understood.

To further her contribution to challenging the status quo by bringing her Pacific Islander heritage to the forefront, Pele is developing her own beauty brand, Minoi, dedicated to celebrating natural beauty and bringing power to those whose hair was once considered unmanageable and unruly. She coined the phrase “T.H.I.C.,” which stands for Texture-rich, Hydrated, Individualistic, Curves or “The Hair In-betweenCurves.” She’s on a mission to address all aspects of hair care, focused on treatment, hydration, quality ingredients, proper cleansing, and empowering customers with knowledge to own their crown of curls.

Pele resides in Hawaii with her husband, Michael Bennett, and her 3 daughters. She is currently furthering her career as a beauty entrepreneur and spreading her knowledge and power of her Polynesian culture.

Pele sits down with us to talk about her inspirations, the power that gratitude has in her life, and the sense of community she felt on her recent trip to reconnect with family in Samoa.  She shares about the current direction of her projects, as well as the passion she has for holding spaces that foster conversation among women.
Episode 16: Dave Ferris

Dave Ferris is an academic in philosophy, a restless dabbler, and a native of Vashon Island who has recently returned after a couple decades bouncing around the east coast from school to school and project to project.  As an undergraduate in Social Studies at Harvard he threw himself into activism with the Harvard Fair Trade Initiative, then worked with a radical political economist in Washington, DC.  While completing a masters in Humanities and Social Thought at NYU, Dave found himself living in a Brooklyn cooperative and starting up a cooperatively owned and run bed and breakfast.  He went on to pursue a PhD in philosophy at Emory University, teaching courses from symbolic logic to philosophy of law for undergraduates there and at Agnes Scott College, as well as women incarcerated in north Georgia.  He is finishing up his dissertation on how we should understand, value, and embody humility in our character in order to cultivate a democratic society.

Dave joins Mindful Consuming to chat about his paths within academia, the practices that support him on his journey, and how the DIY self-sufficiency of his Vashon upbringing nurtured his spirit of mutual care and collective local action.  He sees great potential in harnessing the correctively healing power of appropriate and humble judgments as we all fight to cultivate a better world for the future.  We were happy to pick up some of the conversations we’ve had since his return to the island and are excited to open up new threads of dialogue and new schemes for organizing together.
Episode 15: Curiosity & Consumption feat. Martellus Bennett, Mich Stevenson & Kristen Albrecht

Curiosity & Consumption is the second panel discussion hosted by Michael and Ruth at the Seattle Design Festival.   In this conversation Martellus Bennett, Mich Stevenson, and Kristen Albrecht share about the many ways curiosity guides them on their respective paths.  Martellus explores the arenas of imaginative play and representation in both his artwork and the stories he tells, Kristen talks about her ongoing pursuits of building an independent sustainable apparel brand, and Mich reflects on a number of impactful projects he is helping lead and support — particularly his ongoing project with Houston’s historic Freedmen’s Town.  This panel’s dialogue demonstrates that it is vital that we all keep asking questions and exploring how we can make a positive impact, as we all have our parts to play in facilitating progress for our communities.

About the panel…

Martellus Bennett is the founder and Chief Creative Officer at TOMONOSH! i + d LAB.  He has a diverse background spanning film, animation, television, music, and furniture design and seamlessly blends play, design, research, art, and technology into his multi-disciplinary artistic endeavors.

Mich Stevenson is a Houston-based artist, curator and creative entrepreneur.  Stevenson’s expertise spans several fields, including sculpture, outdoor product design, manufacturing, community organizing, and art-related project management.  His creative practice utilizes public art, site-specific installations, technical drawing, design, photography, and writing.  His sculptural works were featured in Ruby City’s presentation of the 2021 Texas Biennial, Houston Airport Systems’ permanent collection of Houston Mayor’s Office of Cultural Affairs, Contemporary Arts Museum Houston, and Project Row Houses.  Additionally, he manages the multi-year partnership with the City of Houston, Houston Freedmen's Town Conservancy, Houston African American History & Research Center, Freedmen's Town Association, Rebuild Foundation and Studio KER dedicated to rebirth of Historic Houston Freedmen's Town.

Kristen Albrecht is the President and Co-Founder of Nube, a sustainable apparel brand.  She is also the Chief Sustainability Officer & Co-Founder of Ravel, a textile-to-textile recycling startup.  Kristen has an MBA in Sustainable Solutions from Presidio Graduate School and her work focuses on sustainable apparel, local manufacturing and sourcing, intentional business strategy, and the circular economy.
Episode 14: CLT, The Present & Potential feat. Susan Jones, Rico Quirindongo & Ethan Martin

CLT, The Present & Potential is the first panel discussion that Ruth and Michael hosted during the Seattle Design Festival.  Featured guests were Susan Jones, Rico Quirindongo, and Ethan Martin and the conversation includes insight into each of their design journeys.  The panel discusses the work that has been done so far around CLT, while providing some ideas about the direction we can all go for the future.  Topics included building lifespan comparisons, the medical benefits of being exposed to natural materials, the power and privilege of education, access disparities, the necessity of pursuing equity in design teaching, and more.

About the panel…

Susan Jones, FAIA, is a renowned CLT architect and national leader in the mass timber community.  Susan is the founder of architecture and urban design firm Atelier Jones, which entwines design, research, and community engagement to create projects of urban reclamation of sites, buildings, materials, waste, and ways of living.  Jones’s work has been recognized by numerous national, regional, and local design awards, including an AIA National Honor Award.

Rico Quirindongo is the Director of Seattle’s Office of Planning & Community Development and his work often closes the gap between urban development and community needs.  He is a past president of the American Institute of Architects Seattle Chapter, former mayoral appointee to the Historic Seattle Council, and founding member of the National Organization of Minority Architects Northwest Chapter.  Needless to say, Rico is a relentless advocate for empowering communities to have a positive influence through design.

Ethan Martin, PE, is an engineer with DCI Engineers, Associate Principal & Director of Sustainability & Mass Timber Portland, and co-founder of the International Mass Timber Conference with Forest Business Network in Portland (now one of the leading mass timber conferences in the world). Having helped develop CLT in the US, Ethan assists general contractors with mass timber constructibility and works with architects on construction types and acoustics to create exciting projects for clients. Ethan also collaborated with state officials in Oregon to set up the permitting process for tall mass timber buildings, which helped develop the prototype buildings creating the Type IV-A, IV-B, and IV-C construction types that allowed for mass timber up to 18 stories.
Episode 13: April Pride

An entrepreneur and a visionary as well as an advocate for women who make unorthodox choices, April Pride is making her mark for good in the cannabis world.  Her first cannabis brand, Van der Pop, published 2017’s Women & Weed survey — the industry’s first comprehensive report on the thoughts, feelings, beliefs, and behaviors of 1,500 North American women.  The success of Van der Pop led to the company being acquired by Canopy Growth (NYSE: CGC) in 2018.  

Upon her exit from Canopy in 2019, she created, co-founded, and served as the inaugural host of How to Do the Pot podcast. Today, April is the creator & host of The High Guide, a podcast about women changing their lives thanks to altered states. Concurrent with her work at The High Guide, she is the CEO/Founder at Of Like Minds, a portfolio of women-founded companies in which she’s invested and advises.  April is also included on the High Times Female 50 inaugural list.  Before her formal pursuits in the cannabis world, April had a career as an interior and product designer.

On this episode of Mindful Consuming, April talks to us about her journey, breaks down the power of effectively using THC and CBD together, and discusses the continually growing potential for psychedelics to positively impact our lives.  Her overall approach to openness is inspiring, encouraging us all to broaden our approach to healing and leisure.
Episode 12: Becca Stevens

Becca Stevens is a speaker, justice entrepreneur, author, priest, and founder and President of Thistle Farms.  Starting in 1997 with a single home for survivors of trafficking and addiction, Thistle Farms is now a global movement for women’s freedom. Today the Nashville flagship includes a residential program that serves as a national model for women’s recovery, and three justice social enterprises that provide jobs to survivors — amounting to $4M in earned income last year. Stevens developed the Thistle National Network to provide tools, workshops, and conferences to support young organizations wanting to follow its holistic recovery model and there are now 92 organizations providing over 500 beds to survivors in its network. She also created Thistle Farms Global Shared Trade which supports 1,400 artisan survivors through 39 partners in 21 countries.

Becca has been featured on PBS NewsHour, The Today Show, CNN, ABC World News, was named a CNN Hero and White House Champion of Change, holds five honorary doctorates, and raised over $75M in funding for justice initiatives. Drawn from 25 years of leadership in mission-driven work, Becca leads important conversations across the country with an inspiring message that love is the strongest force for change in the world.

Becca joins Mindful Consuming to talk about her passionate journey and the boundless potential for healing, especially within the supply chain — of course, with love being the anchor every step of the way.
Episode 11: Sister Love feat. Molly Van Nostrand
Most of my few podcasts start with a pretty standard bio so you can get to know my guest. This one is different. This is my sister. While she’s owned a frame shop and a printing store and worked for many large and small companies, her relevant bio here is kicking my ass growing up!  Yes, the big sister… smarter, taller, prettier, funnier… until these silly er’s meant nothing.  For most of our life, she’s been the supportive, banter-loving side kick I could not imagine living without.  Molly is also the amazing mother of my ass-kicking nieces Jenny and Hannah (although Hannah has yet to listen to one of the podcasts because it’s my voice…hmmmm).  I wanted to do a family recording to give you some insight into our impacts as family members… and have some fun while doing it with Negronis in hand.  As a bonus, my lovely niece Jenny was able to pop in to add her perspective on family dynamics and how she navigates decisions that support her values.  Cheers!
Episode 10: Matt Dillon
Matt Dillon is a farmer, timber framer, chef and former restaurant owner living with his family and working on a small island in the Puget Sound southwest of Seattle, WA.  He opened his first restaurant, Sitka & Spruce in 2006, and followed it with The Corson Building, Bar Ferdinand, Bar Sajor, The London Plane and Copal.  Matt has been nominated multiple times by the James Beard Foundation, winning for Best Chef NW in 2012.  In addition, he raises animals and vegetables on his terrestrial farm property, The Old Chaser Farm, as well as shellfish on his aquatic farm “Little Otter” on Colvos Passage, Vashon Island.
Episode 9: Seth Grizzle
Seth Grizzle is an architect turned furniture and lighting designer and conceptual artist. His award-winning conceptual design studio, graypants, creates products, architecture, and custom installations, among other things, working in various mediums as well as discarded/reclaimed materials.
Episode 8: Crystal C. Hall
Crystal C. Hall is an associate professor of public policy and governance and adjunct associate professor of psychology at the University of Washington.  Her research pursues the integration of psychology into the design and implementation of social policy.
Episode 7: Dominic Muren
Dominic Muren is founder and principal of The Humblefactory, a design laboratory in Seattle, Washington which develops tools and technologies that increase the capabilities of Makers around the world.
Episode 6: Joe Whinney
Joe Whinney, the Founder and former CEO of Theo Chocolate (North America’s first organic and fair-trade chocolate maker), joins this episode to share his story and how his passion for building ethical business began.
Episode 5: Michael Bennett
Seahawks legend, social activist, and aspiring architecture graduate Michael Bennett (@mosesbread72) graciously takes time out of his busy finals week for this episode.
Episode 4: C.J. Emmons & Jeff Miller
Los Angeles musician friends @cj_emmons and @jeffmillerla visit Vashon for an island getaway to connect and chat about their evolving views of consumption.
Episode 3: Leslie Mackie
Leslie Mackie, founder of @macrinabakery, joins to talk about her entrepreneurial journey over the last 30 years.
Episode 2: Music Consumption Feat. Lauren McShane & Dave Dederer
For this episode, Lauren McShane (Portland Cello Project) and Dave Dederer (Presidents of the United States of America) — musicians from different backgrounds and eras — join to discuss their thoughts on modern music consumption.
Episode 1 with Margo Tantau
Ruth starts her new podcast series by sitting down to chat with her friend and fellow Vashon Island resident Margo Tantau of Tantau Studio and the lovely @windowsillchats podcast.
Episode 0: Introduction to Mindful Consuming