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HOW A SUSTAINABLE LIFESTYLE CAN REVOLUTIONSE OUR LIVES

Photography by Karolina Grabowska

MANY OF US HAVE UNIQUE STYLISTIC APPROACHES TOWARD LIVING SUSTAINABLY. THESE APPROACHES ARE OFTEN SHAPED BY OUR EXPERIENCES, INTERESTS, STYLE, CULTURE AND CIRCUMSTANCES. WHAT WE OFTEN DO NOT REALISE HOWEVER, IS HOW LIVING SUSTAINABLY CAN ACTUALLY REVOLUTIONISE AND ENHANCE OUR QUALITY OF LIFE.

Words By Tyler Richmond

@cottonbro

Sustainability most notably pertains to meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability for future generations to meet their own needs.

It has become a trendy topic in recent years, most notably among Millennials and Generation Zs. However, it is crucial to note that environmental activists and marginalized communities around the globe have been at the forefront of this movement for generations. Advocating and fighting for environmental justice and inclusivity in the development toward a more sustainable society, environment and economy for so many, can quite literally mean life or death.

Concepts surrounding sustainable lifestyles have gained steady traction largely as a result of social media influencers, YouTubers, magazines, and the like, who cover and discuss various components in our daily lives of which could be adapted or made aware of the impacts. Time and time again, we see how reducing hyper-consumerism and rethinking our standard ideals, can positively impact our lives and the planet.

Here, we set out to explore some of the most impactful ways we have found living sustainably has altered the perspectives and revolutionised the lives of popular advocate influencers.

Sustainable living

Living sustainably and consciously often coincides with an enhanced quality of life, in addition to positively impacting the quality of life for the global community, the environment, and the economy. Aimed toward reaching environmental equilibrium, sustainable living, also referred to as “earth harmony living” or “net-zero living”, touches upon all aspects of our lives. Our environmental impact directly links to our consumption of Earth’s definite natural resources, including water, fossil fuels, forests, rocks, soils, minerals, and animals. This is related to everything we do, ranging from the food we eat, to where and how we invest our money. Every action we take is met with a reaction, which is why living sustainability is fundamental to the sustainable development and wellbeing of people and the planet for generations to come.

Revolutionaires

Each one of us has a different and unique stylistic approach toward living sustainably. Our experiences, interests, style, culture, and circumstances play a contributing factor in how we perceive the world and therefore approach sustainability.
One of our greatest current inspirations in sustainability communication, is Dominique Drakeford. Not just an influencer for sustainable style, she is also the founder of @MelaninASS, co-founder of @sustainablebk, Co-Host @kaleandcognac, as well as an ambassador for social justice and an educator of environmental justice.

Whitney McGuire and Dominique Drakeford, founders of Sustainable Brooklyn, Photo byTimothy Smith, Vogue

Dominique Drakeford, found on Elizabeth Suzann

At an early age, Dominique was an active member of her community, focusing on creative community building, youth development, and women empowerment. Her experiences in social activism, and her extensive range of interests have shaped her vision of sustainability and her approach toward educating others on the importance of sustainability. Dominique has ever since been “on a mission to disrupt mainstream sustainability discourse […]”, stating on her website that,

“For the past ten years, I have been dedicated to redefining and breathing new life into the ideology of sustainability to embody transformative justice and creative innovation. And I do this work while looking fly AF!”

Dominique’s career as an activist, entrepreneur, influencer, and youth mentor, transcends the normative approaches toward living sustainably. Throughout all aspects of her work, she dedicates her efforts toward deconstructing systematic racism and anti-Blackness by empowering the voices of Black and Indigenous communities within the sustainability movement. In further support of achieving systemic change, she focuses on developing impartial alliances and regenerative solutions that foster inclusion in the transition toward achieving true environmental and social justice. Dominique is truly revolutionary, and her work is absolutely crucial in the transition toward a more just and inclusive world.

Aditi Mayer, best known for her blog ADIMAY.com and work as a photojournalist, filmmaker, creative consultant and public speaker on the topics of social and environmental justice in fashion. Aditi has adapted sustainability within her life in a multidimensional way. As stated on the Intersectional Environmentalist, where Aditi is a council member,

Aditi Mayer, Photo from Beau Bit

“Her work explores the intersections between style, sustainability, and social justice through a lens of decolonization and intersectionality.”

Her frustrations with a lack of representation in the fashion industry and personal interests and connection to social and environmental justice have molded the way she approached living and working sustainably. Aiming toward exposing the truth behind the fashion industry and achieving justice and a better quality of life for global marginalized communities, Aditi is a true inspiration within the realm of sustainability and beyond.

Immy Lucas from blog Sustainably Vegan, by Ohne

Immy Lucas is most notably known for her YouTube channel entitled Sustainably Vegan, where she covers a wide range of topics from ethical fashion and minimalism to climate change and plant-based recipes. Immy’s down-to-Earth demeanor and holistic approach toward living and advocating a low impact lifestyle makes her relatable and sets her apart from many of the other sustainably focused YouTubers.

Adapting a sustainable lifestyle led Immy to re-evaluate and restructure many aspects of her life to ensure that she is creating as little of an environmental impact as possible. A shift in her personal values and perspective of the world have been key to achieving her objectives of improving the quality of life for people, animals and the environment. On her Youtube channel, she states,

“I believe in the importance of intersectionality and inclusivity, which is why my channel is meant for everyone, whoever you are.”

Photography by Ana Shvets

She is not shy sharing her old hyper-consumerist ways, her transition toward low-impact living and the mistakes she made along the way, as she recognizes that transitioning toward a more conscious lifestyle can be difficult and is a learning process.

Perspective change for tangible change

As we have recurrently observed, sustainability goes far beyond ditching packaging and living minimally. Shifting toward a sustainable lifestyle opens up a whole new world of possibilities centred around minimizing harm and supporting positive change. Challenging our perspectives, whether it be toward the fashion industry, environmental and social policy, or just simple everyday tasks such as rubbish sorting, allows us the freedom to choose what we want to support, thus creating a demand for real change. Most importantly, remembering to stay true to yourself and do what is applicable to you is essential as you embrace sustainability within your life.