What is your personal advocacy?
Reducing fashion's waste and helping to implement fashion's circular economy.
What was the turning point that first got you interested in it?
I began my career as a dentist and then became a journalist when I moved to Hong Kong in 2005. I then travelled to far-flung areas in Asia to provide free dental care to those who could not afford it and these travels opened my eyes to terrible public health conditions and, whilst en-route, awful environmental destruction which was exacerbating people's ill-health and putting further strains on failing public health systems. As a journalist researching and then writing about these issues - of, for example, the textile industry's impact on polluting rivers and soil - that became the seed for my work as a sustainable fashion activist. So essentially, I became aware that nothing, or very little back in 2005/6, was being done to address fashion's negative environmental impact. All of this motivated me to start Redress, and later The R Collective.
How do you live it out daily?
Through my work with Redress and The R Collective, I live and breathe fashion's planetary impacts, for better or worse. At Redress, we work on educational programs to instill circular design practices in fashion, particularly focusing on fashion's designers and consumers. At The R Collective, we rescue and reuse other businesses' waste materials in our upcycled womenswear fashion brand.
Words to live by:
"Stick to your guns. It makes life worth living to do what you really believe in."
What's your personal definition of sustainability?
Living for today with your ethics on your sleeve and consideration for all the souls yet to enjoy this planet.
What are your tips for individuals who want to start adopting a more sustainable/conscious lifestyle?
Don't be afraid to start making small improvements to your life and don't aim for perfection when you get going!
Smile (on the outside or inside) every time you save energy, reduce food waste, or get more mileage from your closet with fewer washes!
Don't feel too small to make a difference. If we all succumb to this (understandable) feeling, we will collectively get nothing done!