Going Green 2019 Online Summit: The Highlights

On the 22nd April, Earth Day 2019, a group of 11 inspiring experts from sustainable businesses and diverse backgrounds came together from across the UK, Europe and Canada to share their perspectives and insights on what we can do to Go Green in 2019. It followed on from the success of the Going Green Online Summit in 2018 and has positioned future Going Green summits as annual events not to be missed! 

Four key themes formed the focus of the event; these were Sustainable Fashion, Sustainable Business, Sharing, Collaborations and Partnerships, and Ethical Living. The message was simple and empowering, we can all do something regardless of our occupation, location or budget. The Going Green 2019 Online summit really did have something for everyone this year.

Sustainable Fashion Segment

Going Green 2019 Speakers
Roberta Lee, Sustainable Fashion Stylist | Marta Canga, Vegan fashion, beauty & lifestyle blogger | Georgina Wilson-Powell, Journalist and founder of pebble magazine

In the first session, we learnt from Roberta Lee how we can help save the planet by knowing and understanding our personal style and how we can make the transition to a sustainable wardrobe, without the overwhelm or eco-guilt. Building a sustainable wardrobe is a journey, not a quick shopping trip. It can take years to transition into. We must be patient and use more of what we’ve already got.

Roberta’s top 3 tips:
1. Focus on your personal style – stop buying things you wont wear #100times
2. Explore the pre-loved, rental and sharing market for clothes and other items you won’t use #100times
3. Get clear on your personal values – once you know them, it will be easier to shop them and support the brands that uphold them too.

We then heard about the rise of vegan fashion and how it’s possible to be both cruelty free and vegan at the same time, thanks to Marta Canga. She shared all kinds of information on new vegan materials, that were both cruelty free (vegan) and eco-friendly too.

Marta’s top 3 tips:
1. Buy reusable everyday objects: a coffee cup, a water bottle, reusable menstrual pads, tissues, cutlery, and even make up / skincare!
2. Buy second-hand first, sustainable fashion second. So many clothes go to landfill when there really is no need to!
3. Learn how to recycle: we can’t avoid waste at times so make sure you learn how to at least recycle properly so you can go to bed with some piece of mind.

Marta’s talk was then complimented Georgina Wilson-Powell sharing the latest sustainable materials hitting the market as well being given practical tips to help us conquer sustainable fashion. Key principles such as the Circular economy, End of life design, Zero waste manufacturing and B Corporation accreditation were also introduced, leaving participants fully equipped to put the spotlight on their future fashion purchases.

Georgina’s top 3 tips were:
1. Talk to people interested in the same eco issues you are for inspiration, community and guidance
2. Don’t be afraid to be an activist in your own life – #everydyactivism is about celebrating and supporting the stuff you can do every day to change the status quo
3. Focus on what you ‘can do’ from changing who you buy your clothes from, writing to your MP or just using less plastic.

Sustainable Business Segment

Going Green 2019 Speakers
Dr Robert Wylie, Founder of WHEB group and various impact investment companies | Frances Fay, Sustainability Expert | Akhil Sivanandan, sustainability & marketing data expert co-founder of Green Story

Next, Rob Wylie allowed us to take a closer look at how to affect change through the successful approach of impact investment firms; specifically via new startups investing in food and agritech, as well as private investment into initiatives that create value from food and agriculture waste.

Rob’s Top 3 Tips:
1. Be creative
2. Be cooperative
3. Don’t be scared of failure.

We were also lucky enough to hear first hand from one of the Climate Reality Leaders Frances Fay who attended Vice President Al Gore’s 40th Climate Reality Leadership Corp Training. Fran shared another perspective as an employee within a large organisation, how workplaces can create a culture of change, and how ’employees’ can be activists within their place of work too.

Fran’s Top 3 questions to ask ourselves:
1. Must we change?
2. Can we change?
3. Will we change?

We were then enlightened with the simple things businesses can do to be more sustainable with Akhil Sivanandan one of EBD’s Trusted Partners. Akhil shared insights of the impact of shipping goods by plane compared with the impact of shipping goods by boat. The miles that items travel add to your businesses carbon footprint and can transform a products eco-credentials significantly.

Akhil’s Top 3 Tips
1. Know the impact of your purchases
2. Buy to last
3. Learn to repair

Sharing, Partnerships & Collaborations Segment

Going Green 2019 Speakers
Benita Matofska, Speaker and author of Generation Share, founder of Global Sharing Week | Roberta Lee Sustainable stylist and founder of EthicalBrandDirectory.com | Dan Pontarlier, Sustainability Expert, Professor, model and Ethical Fashion Influencer

Keynote speaker Benita Matofska opened section three, taking us through the concept and the power of the Sharing Economy. She shared numerous insightful examples of change makers who are building a sharing economy, and saving lives in the process.

Benita’s Top 3 Tips:
1. Ask yourself each day – what can I share?
2. Share first before you do anything else
3. Consider people and planet before you act.

The importance of collaborations and partnerships in affecting positive change was also shared by Roberta Lee. She emphasised the unspoken but obvious rise of alter eco-ego. Wanted to be seen as ‘the’ thought-leader or influencer in the space is causing many missed opportunities. Roberta believes if we were more open to partnerships and collaborations, putting ego to the side, we could pool together our insights, energy, resources and passion for doing good – and we could expedite the action needed to make the changes we want to see in the world.

Roberta’s Top 3 Tips:
1. Be open to sharing
2. Look to build partnerships instead of doing everything alone
3. Use collaboration to discover new ideas and potential solutions

The final speaker of this segment Dan Pontarlier shared insights on the parallels between certain industries, demonstrating how to be more sustainable in the tourism and hospitality sector, whilst making the link back to sustainable fashion.

Dan’s Tops 3 Tips
1. Think about the transportation and the accommodation you use in your trips, take time to explore more sustainable options, like trains instead of planes and supporting eco-hotels and independent tour operators (not the budget ones)
2. If you have the place in your home, grow your own veggies and herbs so you can cut back on single use packaging
3. If you are ever about to buy a 2€ shirt, stop to think how much of that money the person who made that garment will have been paid and what conditions they must work in order for the store to sell it so cheap.

Ethical Living Segment

Going Green 2019 Speakers
Sian Conway, Eco-Influencer of the year 2018 and founder of Ethical Hour | Bel Jacobs, Journalist and founder of Beljacobs.com and HowNowMagazine | Dr Linda Thomas, Activist and Designer at Linda Thomas Eco Design

The final section drew on practical tips of how to make ethical living easy thanks to Sian Conway. Sian shared what eco-guilt and anxiety is and why so many of us suffer from it. The eco-journey isn’t always easy – we will make mistakes. She reminded us that we don’t need to be doing zero-waste perfectly, we just need as many people doing whatever they can ‘imperfectly’ – change has to start from somewhere.

Sian’s Top 3 Tips:
1. Consider your packaging and try and use alternatives to plastic
2. If you run a businesses think about your part in achieving the SDGs
3. Think about what small steps you can do to tackle climate change within your own home.

Bel Jacobs also explored the concept of kindness as an inherent quality in sustainability – a very emotional part of the event indeed! Bel’s words struck many chords and brought home how essential it is that we all start ‘caring’ more about people, planet and animals – and that kindness really is key for our future.

Bel’s Top 3 tips:
1. Learn
2. Care
3. Change.

Finally Linda Thomas delivered an emotional talk which paid tribute to the late Polly Higgins who has been campaigning for the law to recognise and punish those who destroy our planet. Linda also shared her experience being involved in the activist movement Extinction Rebellion.

Linda then went on to show us how upcycling can be used to transform ocean waste and other waste materials into valuable and enjoyable products for consumers.

Linda’s Top 3 Tips:
1. Educate yourself
2. Change your behaviour
3. Share the change

Sustainability for Everyone

The event had something for everyone, both individuals and business owners alike, encouraging a diverse group to come together and be inspired on how to live more sustainably

Not only was each section followed by a thought provoking Q&A, allowing us to take a deep-dive into some of the most pressing points raised by the speakers, we also had the chance to share our own views by responding to a series of poll questions asked throughout the event.

Each session was designed to inform and educate us on the different facets of sustainability and how to Go Green; to encourage an open mind about how we can live our lives more sustainably; and to offer practical tips on easy actions that they can incorporate into our daily lives.

A number of delegates from the live event, have already commented on the inspiration they have taken from the speakers at the Going Green Online Summit 2019 – taking us a step closer to facilitating change and helping to save our planet for generations to come.

Did you miss out on the live stream?

Watch the Going Green 2019 Replay Online

For a limited time only, you can get access to all the inspiring and insightful speaker footage from the main event. It’s easy to watch on a laptop, tablet or mobile phone.

Replay tickets available here until the end of June 2019.
10% of all ticket fees will be donated to our chosen charity: Young People’s Trust for the Environment.

Roberta Lee, sustainable stylist and founder of Ethical Brand Directory summarised the event perfectly:

“This year Going Green 2019 offered more speakers, more insight, more opportunities to take action and more emotion than I was expecting. To say it was an experience doesn’t do it justice.

The evening was everything the EBD Team and I had hoped for, and more. The content flowed seamlessly and I felt more empowered as the evening went on.

Events like Going Green are so important for raising awareness of the environmental crisis we are in. As far as events go, online summits are the least damaging to the planet, the most accessible (open to anyone with wifi access) and the most inclusive (enabling us to have speakers from around the world join us), plus the content can be experienced again and again.

I can’t wait to sit down with a bottle of responsibly sourced wine and watch the replay and enjoy all those magical moments again (and again”

The event highlights were written by Rachel Jagusch and Roberta Lee.

Rachel - EBD Trusted Partnerships Manager

Rachel Jagusch  is our Trusted Partnership Manager. She works closely with Roberta Lee to manage EBD’s Trusted Partners and help identify new partnerships, corporate sponsors and funding opportunities. 


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