Why you are sustainable doesn’t have to matter. I am on my journey, not because I wanted to be a sustainability advocate (though I am now) but because I fell into this space.
I had a fire, I lost my stuff including my clothing collection (I used to design in a prior life), I got depressed, I stopped designing, I took a break and a year later picked up a notepad. I sketched a dress and won a contest called Red Carpet Green Dress 10 years ago which FORCED me to cram and learn about sustainability in 10 days and my journey started there. I was forced to become a student of sustainability to deliver my design.
Sustainability is more than one thing. Over the years, our Red Carpet Green Dress campaign has put a spotlight on sustainability through a number of different perspectives. These have included vintage, recycling, artisan, handmade, repurposing, vegan, quality over quantity, fairtrade, botanical solutions and zero-waste. Our incredible ambassadors and the fashion brands we have worked with represent many cultures and backgrounds (21 countries to be exact), and have connected with different elements of this movement too. Some with vintage, some with upcycling, others with plant-based solutions and others with a focus on quality. The common denominator has been their interest and willingness to put themselves out there and be part of making one small sustainable statement, sharing their platform to help us reach a wider audience, and engage with more people. When someone has made a small or big change in their lifestyle due to interacting with our campaign, it is a win for us.
We believe in going from moment to movement. The sustainable journey starts with one step. These different passions reflect the diverse landscape that sustainability truly is. It will never be just one thing, and no single cause owns the conversation. It’s time that we stop using sustainability as a way to out-green each other, or shame people out of the dialogue. We embrace our vintage enthusiasts, our plant-based advocates, our artisan community, our quality over quantity voices and all the other people working in the middle of, of the outskirts of, the sustainable fashion space. All of these voices make a difference and add value. So whilst we support the number of different ways sustainable can be expressed, we don’t support a ‘my way or the highway’ attitude. Let’s work together to show the ways sustainability can speak to a global audience and include, not exclude people. Let’s not erase voices, just because they come from someone whose eco-mission is not the same as ours. We can only shift the needle together, with our different perspectives adding value to the conversation.