What is your personal advocacy?
Equality and empowerment across gender, race, culture and socio-economics.
What was the turning point that first got you interested in it?
I grew up in a UK working class steel town that still to this day receives a bad reception from people when you mention it. People from other towns would always judge me, assume my predicted path in life was drugs, school failure and/or teenage pregnancy. Or worse, be shocked when I would speak of traveling the world, attending university and attaining a career. I learnt very early on that simply your hometown is enough for people to be prejudice, judgmental and lack any belief in you.
I decided to use my love for academia mixed with a dash of street savvy to achieve what I wanted and ensure that in doing so I created opportunities for others to join me. This became naturally ingrained in my professional life.
How do you live it out daily?
The things I advocate for are embedded in my life and work - there is no divide for me. I ask the quietest person in the room if they have an opinion or ideas to share, I give the most unlikely candidate on paper a chance and encourage women to be bold. I shop from independents, support emerging talents and make sure I am learning from people from different regions, cultures and upbringings.
I am a social entrepreneur, event producer and strategic advisor spearheading global fashion, retail and media public-private partnerships that advocate for sustainable development. I curate purpose-driven activations, initiatives and content to amplify economic, social and environmental innovations. I am the founder of the Conscious Fashion Campaign, an initiative in collaboration with the United Nations Office for Partnerships that engages leading global fashion industry events to accelerate collective action in support of the Sustainable Development Goals.
I am also a founding member of the SDG Media Zone in partnership with the United Nations Department of Global Communications and the PVBLIC Foundation. Since 2016, the SDG Media Zone has been one of the main features of the United Nations General Assembly high-level week, bringing together UN Member States, advocates, world leaders and media to highlight solutions in support of the Sustainable Development Goals.
The SDG Media Zone went virtual this UNGA, what were some of the highlights?
SDG Media Zone: United Nations General Assembly 75 took take place from 17-29 September 2020 focused on science, solutions and solidarity to transform our world. The discussions are available post event as on-demand content.
This General Assembly, as the United Nations marked its 75th anniversary as well as 5 years since the adoption of the Sustainable Development Goals and the Paris Agreement for Climate Change, the SDG Media Zone, a prominent feature and platform for progress and action during major international conferences, focused on the power of science, solutions and solidarity - as seen through the vision of global leaders and experts at the forefront of global crises and efforts to build back better.
As the world responds and recovers from the COVID-19 crisis, the SDG Media Zone, which took place throughout the high-level period, looked at some of the most defining issues today - the impact of COVID-19 on people's lives and livelihoods, the development and availability of vaccine/s against the virus, misinformation and myths about science and medicine, gender equality since the adoption of the landmark Beijing Declaration and the Platform for Action, and the urgent need to protect the world's diminishing biodiversity.
The SDG Media Zone is organised by the UN Department of Global Communications, in collaboration with the PVBLIC Foundation.
Discussions can be viewed here.
Words to live by:
John Donne's poem No Man Is an Island
No man is an island,
Entire of itself;
Every man is a piece of the continent,
A part of the main.
What's your personal definition of sustainability?
Simply put: to exist without compromising our fellow humans and depleting our Earth's resources.
What are your tips for individuals who want to start adopting a more sustainable/conscious lifestyle?
Give a sh*t! Whether from thrifting clothes to minimising water usage to local produce, there are things every individual can do; but ensure that it is not a financial burden as everybody faces varying situations. Check out Take Action:The Lazy Person's Guide to Saving the World for ways to move toward a more sustainable lifestyle.