I’d always wanted to see Al Gore’s documentary Inconvenient Truth, so for him to be a keynote speaker first up on day one was an unmissable for me. And it was exactly that: unmissable. It gave me a snapshot into how the world is changing in front of our eyes but so many of us are naive to the facts. Gore used real world examples emotionally engaging us in the cause so that we can make changes for the better. How is it, that in 2010, that 55,000 people died in Moscow from smoke inhalation – due to pollution. Or how is that Miami streets now flood feet deep, without rain but rather from high tide? It’s these real life nightmares that we actually have the means to halt.

Sustainability became a theme for my day one. It came through in different streams from Gore’s environmental conversation and also later in Paola Antonelli’s “Curious Bridges”, and then finally a panel session on Sustainable Fashion in business.

Each talk brought to life the importance of our choices in effecting the future of our everyday world.

Antonelli’s talk was pretty overwhelming (mainly because she doesn’t breathe while speaking) but had some interesting takeaways and examples. One that stood out was a piece by Olafur Eliasson ‘Ice Watch’ in which Eliasson installed blocks of ice in Copenhagen so people can understand the effect that the melting poles are having on our world. The physicality of the blocks slowly disappearing, going through different stages of cracking and changing form actually shows audiences that climate change is a real thing. Seeing is believing.

Finally to sustainable fashion, moderated by Fashionista.com. This was about being sustainable in impact on the world through up-cycling vintage wears, streamlining processes though well planned business models and meeting demands and avoiding excess production at the same time. Also it focussed on sustainable business in which Maiyet founder Kirsty Caylor discussed their brands focus on luxury product using quality fabrics produced in Kenya in which they have worked to develop a great product that lasts beyond one season. This included keeping all facets of the arrangement growing rather than moving on with the trends and the production within Kenya, which would do more detriment than good.

Overall takeaways along my sustainable journey; I’m going to continue wearing vintage (damn…), purchase ‘fewer better things’, and become vegetarian (after I’m down with all the Texas BBQ).

Megan.

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