We wanted to share our Founder, Roberta Lee’s motivation for setting up the Going Green in 2018 online summit on the 24th April 2018 to why her journey from fast-fashion junkie to ethical living advocate has been such an important factor. Ahead of the event we wanted to share her views on the green issues we face today.
Why did you set up the Going Green in 2018 Online Summit?
Because I want to inspire people to take action, to live, act and shop more consciously. The Going Green Online Summit is a great example of how the Ethical Brand Directory is more than just a website, it’s a network reaching far and wide. The environmental damage caused by human behaviour is endangering the future of our planet, it’s a real issue that is facing us all. Online summits are not only eco-friendly but they have an incredible reach and the topic of going green doesn’t belong to a ‘niche’ it’s not just a concern for environmentalists or hippies, it’s something for us all. We all have a chance to contribute and this conference has been designed to inspire and uplift people’s spirits and encourage them to take positive action.
I will be partnering up with 7 other speakers who will be sharing their ‘going green’ experiences as well as shining the spotlight on the fashion Industry’s role in saving the planet. This summit will tackle the issues we face and what we can do make a positive change, not just in our wardrobe but in everyday life.
What issues are you most concerned with right now regarding the future of our planet?
It’s no secret that human behaviour has been impacting the planet, we’ve known for a long time that our actions have consequences. But never before has the seriousness felt so real, just look at the influence Blue Planet 2 and David Attenborough has had on us all, this documentary has brought the issue of plastic pollution in our oceans and the future of our planet to the mainstream attention, his closing words were “the future of all life now depends on us,” in the final episode…and it’s left us all thinking, so what now? There is a consciousness forming – but we need more action.
I started my journey into sustainability many years ago and whilst I was keen to recycle and identify ways that businesses could operate more sustainably, it never occurred to me explore the way I lived in more detail. Since learning about the fashion Industry I have re-emerged with a passion since learning about the environmental damage caused by the insanely fast production of clothes with a life-span just longer than a Happy Meal.
For me, there are a many very serious issues we need to address one that spans across every-day life from throw-away fashion to the plastic epidemic, in our homes, in our beauty products, in the fibres of our clothes – it’s everywhere and for the most part, non-compostable, so it’s going to stick around for 100’s upon 100’s of years.
Our mass consumption and throw away culture has hit overload. We chuck so much stuff away, but where is away? That’s not something many people think about. All we do is move our clutter and waste from our homes, into another space. From fast-fashion to plastic bottles – it’s just got to a point of total saturation. We’ve lost touch with reality and convenience has become the new metric for how we live our lives.
When I think about the future, I think about my god-children and what kind of future they’ll have if the human race continues to consume our planets resources and throw away things.
It just breaks my heart to think that we could be destroying the opportunity for a healthy happy home on planet earth for others, not just people, but for all creatures great and small. I think humans sometimes forget we share this earth. It’s not ours to abuse.
What are the most challenging aspects of going green and being more eco-friendly for you?
I actually think going green is challenging if you try and take on too much too soon. It’s best to start small and stay focused on the areas that matter most to you. tackling too many issues at the same time can cause overwhelm and guilt – and then procrastination which prevents you from taking action. We’ve all been there. I felt like at every turn there was a barrier, cost, convenience, my confidence – it felt difficult and not always worth the trade off. Not really appreciating the impact of my actions, that every little thing adds ups, was on some days enough to slip back into old habits. I didn’t really feel like what I was doing was going to make a difference, not in the grand scheme of things. Being around people who didn’t care about it either, didn’t help. Finding the right motivation and the right influencers to be around is key, either in person or online. For me Livia Firth has been such an inspiration.
I had hit a mass saturation point with retail therapy before I realised, I just couldn’t go on living that way. My love for fashion had turned my home into a nightmare, and getting ready into the biggest stress. I had more clothes and shoes than I could ever wear, my wardrobe was brimming at the seams. I had no real identity as my style just morphed into whatever was the latest trend – although I tried to be ‘sustainable’ and not throw things away, I ended up with way too much stuff. My belongings were weighing me down and stopping me from living a stress-free life.
My first step to going green was tackling my fast fashion addiction, after a 12-month fast-fashion detox, I soon realised how important knowing my values and personal style was. Once I figured that out – all other components of my life and going-green in the kitchen, bathroom, beauty products etc, started to feel more natural. Keeping a journal is really useful as it helps you gain insight into your unconscious behaviours.
Knowing your personal style is so important, as well as constantly discovering new tips for going green.
You can find out more about why collaborations and partnerships are key to our success and why knowing your personal style can save the planet with Roberta on at our next event on Earth Day 2019. You can even book in for some 1:1 online styling – although VIP tickets are limited so don’t wait too long until you book!