Climate Crisis: Are We The Last Generation?

PHOTOGRAPHY Wendy Huynh

In 2018, activist Greta Thunberg kickstarted a global movement by skipping school and setting camp in front of the Swedish parliament with a hand-painted sign that read, ‘Skolstrejk för klimatet’: ‘School Strike for Climate.’ A year later, on March 15 2019, school strikes for climate awareness began taking place in over two thousand cities across the globe, with an estimated 1.4 million pupils participating – Thunberg is living proof that no one is too small to make a difference. 

Groups like Extinction Rebellion, The Student Climate Network, and individual activism have pushed the climate conversation to a matter of urgency. Due to their collective pressure, scores of councils and local authorities in the UK have declared a climate emergency. The net zero policy became law on June 27 2019, meaning that any emissions are balanced by absorbing an equivalent amount from the atmosphere. The policy made the UK the first major economy in the world to legislate for net zero.

For a movement majoritively run by youth activists, it’s slowly forcing older generations to believe and acknowledge the power and intelligence of young people. Yes, it’s imperative that those who are most impacted by climate change are listened to and are part of the conversation, but that also includes youth generations, as they will be the ones forever affected by our actions and failure to act. 

Just after the March 2019 school strikes, I stumbled upon a video of youth activists blocking the road to Heathrow with a sign that read, ‘Are we the last generation?’, as dozens of police officers attempted to prevent them. “I am giving you one last opportunity to leave now, or you get arrested,” a then 13-year-old Mia was told. I cried as I watched the youth activists stand their ground, responding that they didn’t know if they were more scared of facing arrest or for the future of the planet. Mia, along with eight other youth activists from the UK Student Climate Network, are now our Rise Together Issue cover stars because we have always believed in young people. We’ve always believed they have a voice, and those working towards change should be given a platform. 

Join us as we meet eight UK-based youth activists, who are just a tiny fraction of individuals among the millions of others that are working together (and individually) to help end the climate crisis. 

ELI MCKENZIE-JACKSON, 15

Shirt Nicholas Daley, jacket Tigran Avetisyan, trousers Kawake, boots John Lawrence Sullivan and earrings Zohra Rahman 

Why are you vocal on the climate crisis?  

Eli McKenzie-Jackson: I’m vocal on the climate crisis simply because I deserve a future.

What is it like being a young climate activist in the UK?

Eli McKenzie-Jackson: Firstly, I would like to say that I am in a privileged position; I have the right to freedom of speech while other activists from across the world are punished and penalised every day for protesting and standing up to their governments like I do. However, that doesn’t mean it’s easy at all. Being a young climate activist definitely has its pros and cons; focusing on the thing which could ultimately end humanity is very hard because sometimes I do feel overwhelmed and way out of my depth. Although gaining a community of young, influential, and empowered people is the one thing that means the most to me from this movement; it gets me through my tough days.

What’s your main focus and why? 

Eli McKenzie-Jackson: My main focus is definitely the Amazon rainforest. European countries are buying land within the Amazon and destroying the ecosystems within their plots; leaking oil, gas, and cutting down trees for cattle. This does not only affect the wildlife in the Amazon, but displaces the native communities living there.

What work have you done that’s been the most important or had the most impact? 

Eli McKenzie-Jackson: Recently, I accepted an invitation from indigenous communities to visit the Amazon rainforest and to attend the alternative Cop, a conference located in the centre of the forest. Scientists, anthropologists, indigenous leaders, and three climate strikers from Europe all came together to create an alliance to protect and value everything the Amazon rainforest provides for us. This trip was definitely a turning point in my activism; it put everything in perspective for me.

Gaining a community of young, influential, and empowering people is the one thing that means the most to me from this movement.

Eli McKenzie-Jackson

What’s your opinion on the UK government’s response and action to the climate emergency?  

Eli McKenzie-Jackson: England has declared a climate emergency, yet we have an anti-climate cabinet – for instance, our latest prime minister accepted a £25,000 donation from climate change denier Terence Mordaunt, who set up the Global Warming Policy Foundation. However, don’t let the name fool you. Their stated aims are to challenge the “extremely damaging and harmful policies” envisaged by governments to mitigate human-caused global warming. As well as this, when Michael Gove was education secretary, he proposed to exclude climate change from the GCSE curriculum. In 2014, he sympathised with a report by the Global Warming Policy Foundation. He said that he “read with concern” which accused “activist” teachers of trying to turn pupils into “foot soldiers of the green movement”.

Do you think people with platforms, such as celebrities, public figures, and influencers, are doing enough? 

Eli McKenzie-Jackson: That’s a very tough question. I do believe that people with big platforms should be more vocal about issues like the climate crisis. Yet, I also recognise the backlash celebrities receive when they do campaign, as usually those with big platforms live a high carbon lifestyle which they should be conscious of. 

What are your hopes and dreams for the future? 

Eli McKenzie-Jackson: I hope that I can live on a planet where everyone is listened to and have equal voices, where we respect and rebuild the natural world we have destroyed, and where we can live in harmony with nature. 

KATIE RILEY, 17

Boots and shorts Goom Heo, pink overcoat Chopova Lowena, socks and tights, jewellery Zohra Rahman 

Why are you vocal on the climate crisis?  

Katie Riley: I’m vocal because it’s the only way I feel I can create change, and we are the first generation who know the real implications of it. By not being able to vote, I feel as though I am unable to change the system when it crucially needs to be changed. I think that, due to the platform we have thanks to people like Greta Thunberg, it’s necessary to voice our opinions as students and young people as it will affect us the most.

What is it like being a young climate activist in the UK? 

Katie Riley: Sometimes it’s a slight struggle because it’s the first time a movement on climate justice like this has really happened, and the fact that young people chair it makes it even more difficult for some people to comprehend. Still, it brings me the hope that we’ve never got before – you see local and national involvement and support, and it’s empowering to see solidarity and justice happening around the UK coming from young people. It’s revolutionary. 

What do you think is your primary responsibility as a climate activist? 

Katie Riley: I think that as a young climate activist, I have the platform to create and spread awareness and promote justice, though it’s only a small part of the broader campaign. Being an individual in the movement is great because I can see local change and help within the community, which in turn allows me to see the bigger change that could happen if we all come together. I intend to educate and enlighten those who are unsure about the issue, and hopefully change their mind on the topic. I believe I have the responsibility to educate and promote awareness at a time when we need it most. 

I believe I have the responsibility to educate and promote awareness at a time when we need it most.

Katie Riley

What’s your primary focus and why?  

Katie Riley: I believe that systemic change is the main focus of the whole movement, due to a large number of companies who are abusing the environment and not suffering any consequences. I also think the system needs to change radically and implement not only environmentally positive, but radically green restrictions, from taxing businesses to educational reform within schools. If we target the fundamental parts of society that affect a large number of people every day, hopefully we can then change the most polluting industries, such as the fashion and transport industry, and reform them for the better. 

What work have you done that’s been the most important or had the most impact? 

Katie Riley: For me, it has to be the school strikes as it’s a force that people recognise while simultaneously creating awareness, so that further conversations and decisions can be made at a much quicker pace. For example, my local council declaring a climate emergency, and the government recognising the movement, with some MPs stepping up to help. This shows that it’s not just the students who care, and that (people in power) – who can actually make an impact – are also trying to help

How can the fashion industry do better? 

Katie Riley: I think that the exploitation of consumers from the fashion industry is completely unacceptable – the fact that fashion has become so cheap and throwaway is a toxic thing to happen to the modern world. There are tonnes of microplastics in the ocean from textiles, and the amount of clothes being disposed of every year is unsustainable and frankly shocking. To do better, I believe that services should be implemented to help both the company and consumer reduce their waste. Even so, many companies help – for example, the consumer can use Depop to sell and buy clothes. Other companies should have immense reform to try and become more sustainable within the industry and with the products they sell. 

NOGA LEVY-RAPOPORT, 18

Missoni shirt, Versace button up shirt and Moschino puffer coat all Serotonin Vintage, dress Kawake, jewellery and shoes stylist’s own 

Why are you so vocal on the climate crisis? 

Noga Levy-Rapoport: At its root, the climate crisis is a great injustice. It’s a war being waged against the most vulnerable so that the richest can continue to line their pockets. To me, that can never sit right. Still, the truth about the fossil fuel industry – from their neocolonialist techniques to their exploitation of people and politics in their search for eternal profit – has stayed hidden for so long, and we’re still only scraping the surface of public awareness. Being vocal is a choice I made because as humans we have to feel empathy and compassion for one another, and that means standing up and fighting tooth and nail to get justice for others. 

What is it like being a young climate activist in the UK? 

Noga Levy-Rapoport: It’s definitely been hard sometimes. Decades of inaction on the climate crisis mean that a lot of people separate politics and the environment, and that works in favour of fossil fuel companies – it means climate activists aren’t taken as seriously, and calls for fundamental political and economic change from climate activists are often derided. In a way, being young gets you used to ridicule, so it means I’m better at fighting back against people ignoring us. It gets in the way of your fun teenage years, sure, but so does global apocalypse. 

What do you think is your primary responsibility as a climate activist? 

Noga Levy-Rapoport: Activism is more than just awareness and fun speeches and cool posts on Instagram. It’s about mobilising and galvanising, and that comes through a political education of how we got to where we are and how we stand up and strike back. It’s about changing those who are apathetic into those who take action. It’s about creating a movement and continuing to build on it. Our responsibility will always be to educate and mobilise. Activists have to be organisers, from the grassroots to the international level. Otherwise, how could we possibly say we’re fighting back? 

What work have you done that’s been the most important or had the most impact? 

Noga Levy-Rapoport: I’ve given a lot of talks and speeches this past year – sometimes aggressive ones at people who aren’t doing a very good job, and sometimes educational ones for people who could do a better job, or who need a bit of inspiration. But I think the most impactful work is often the stuff you don’t notice, and for me it’s how nearly everyone in my life has a different view on protests now, on climate change, and on the intersectionality and interconnectivity that makes up our daily lives. Watching those around me self-enfranchise and self-empower simply through learning about the world’s injustices and how we can take down the fossil fuel elite – I didn’t even notice their minds changing, but suddenly here we are. That’s impactful. That’s powerful. 

(Being a young climate activist) gets in the way of your fun teenage years, sure, but so does global apocalypse.

Noga Levy-Rapoport

XR has been criticised for erasing people of colour and the working class from the climate conversation. How can we make sure that the communities most impacted by the climate crisis are engaged and can be a part of that discussion? 

Noga Levy-Rapoport: The first thing we have to remember is that the climate conversation is a huge one, and it’s not all centralised in the UK. XR is one group among an entire global movement – a movement founded by the working class and people of colour. Our first step is to ensure we don’t erase that history, but instead look to indigenous environmental defenders across the global south, activists of colour, and working class people in the UK and beyond, and then have conversations that are dominated by those groups, rather than trying to just open up existing – probably already problematic – discussions. We have to restructure the way the mainstream treats activism, and that means consistently elevating and focusing on the most vulnerable. If it’s your future you’re fighting for, while someone else’s present is already lost, maybe your narrative isn’t quite right. 

What’s your opinion on the UK government’s action and response to the climate emergency? 

Noga Levy-Rapoport: The UK has a historic responsibility in this crisis. Imperialism and colonialism laid the groundwork for the climate crisis, and the UK has an abysmal record of extractive, exploitative capitalism, and the government – rather than trying to end its search for an ever-expanding economy and continual growth – is polluting and pillaging on an appalling scale. Boris Johnson is funded by deniers and backed by crooks; we can’t expect his government to act on the climate crisis out of the kindness of their cold, cold hearts. We have to force them, and we do that by reclaiming our streets, our power, and our voices. 

What are your thoughts on social media activism? Can it truly make a difference?

Noga Levy-Rapoport: Social media is important – not vital, but important. There’s a huge narrative that it helps organisers reach more people and spread more awareness. I don’t think that’s what social media activism can truly be about. The reason digital activism can be phenomenal – if done right – is because it’s an eternal archive. Once, if something left the news cycle, it would be gone from our minds. Now, you can inspire people every single day with videos, images, and news articles from decades ago. You can see how generations were mobilised and, most importantly, you can see how we beat climate tyranny in the past. That’s crucial to learning how to make a real difference. 

What are your hopes and dreams for the future? 

Noga Levy-Rapoport: I’m hoping to become a musician – ideally an opera singer! I’ve always loved performing, and I co-direct a youth theatre company that I founded when I was 15. I’ve been at a drama sixth form for nearly two years and every step of it has been incredible. Wherever I go in the future, I always want to be near the theatre, whether I’m fixing mics or acting on stage. I can’t let it go. 

MARTHA GAZZARD, 16

Coat and sweater Stella McCartney, boots Rene Scheibenbauer 

Why are you vocal on the climate crisis?  

Martha Gazzard: The climate crisis is a massive threat to all life on earth. I’m vocal because I can’t vote yet, so this is really the only way for our government to hear what young people need from them (although Boris hasn’t listened). It’s so important to keep screaming about how this will affect, and is affecting, us all because sometimes people can forget the devastating impacts of climate change when they’re privileged enough to ignore them (myself included). I’ve been inspired by some truly incredible people to fight for climate justice: Greta Thunberg (obviously, she’s my celebrity crush), Xiuhtezcatl Roske-Martinez, and Vic Barrett. They are all absolute treasures, and I encourage all of you to look up their work.

What is it like being a young climate activist in the UK?

Martha Gazzard: It’s quite daunting, but it’s amazing when you’re on strikes and surrounded by other lovely activists, all fighting for the same thing. There’s a massive sense of community. When you talk to adults especially, you’re often met with, ‘What are you going to do? They’re all tree huggers,’ (real life quotes from a family member), but you have to remember that you’re not just fighting for you, you’re fighting for those who can’t. 

XR has been criticised for erasing people of colour and the working class from the climate conversation. How can we make sure the communities that are most impacted by the climate crisis are engaged and can be a part of that discussion?  

Martha Gazzard: The fight for climate justice started with indigenous communities fighting to stay alive and keep their land. First and foremost, our fight is for those who have lost their lives to climate change. It’s for the millions of climate refugees from all over the globe, the people starving from drought. In parts of South Africa, the temperatures are expected to rise by twice the global average due to climate change, and there are over two million people in need of food aid. We need to refocus our idea of climate justice and centre it on those people in need, not the people who will die, but the people who are dying. We, as a movement, need to lose our white saviour complex and realise that some things are bigger than ourselves.

However ethical some celebrities claim to be, there will always be the ones who fangirl over Thunberg and then catch a private plane to their next luxury holiday.

Martha Gazzard

What sustainable clothing brands do you admire?

Martha Gazzard: Personally, I make my own clothes, so, ahem, myself. Lucy and Yak is a brilliant company that makes really cute dungarees and workout clothes. If you’re looking for jeans, Levi’s has a collection called Water<Less, which focuses on making jeans with up to 96 per cent less than the usual 2,000 gallons it takes to make a pair. But, the most sustainable way to buy clothes is from second hand shops (Crisis in London’s Finsbury Park is amazing), or to just repair your own ones when they get a bit worn out.

What simple change or action would you recommend to a person reading this that would help reduce their carbon footprint? 

Martha Gazzard: Eat less meat. I know it’s something that’s always said, but livestock farming produces 20-50 per cent of all man made greenhouse gas emissions. If going completely cold turkey scares you, start with cutting out beef and pork, and consider having a meat-free Monday.  

Do you think people with platforms, such as celebrities, public figures, and influencers, are doing enough? 

Martha Gazzard: Not at all. There are people like Kim Kardashian who will tweet, “climate change is real”, and then pop on her private jet to fly to the Maldives. Celebrities need to take responsibility for the fact that they have a ridiculous amount of control over impressionable audiences, and start talking about real issues. Then there are people who I have absolutely no respect for: (Amazon CEO) Jeff Bezos to name one. He is the richest man in the world with a net worth of $113 billion. To put that into perspective, he could spend 70 years on an all-expenses-paid holiday on the ISS, and still have money to buy an island. However self made he is, no one deserves that amount of money when people are starving. Single handedly, Jeff could mitigate the effects of climate change for seven years, but doesn’t so that he can have another swimming pool in his McMansion. However ethical some celebrities claim to be, there will always be the ones who fangirl over Thunberg and then catch a private plane to their next luxury holiday.

What are your hopes and dreams for the future? 

Martha Gazzard: That we sort this whole fucking thing out.

JESSICA JUNE AHMED, 16

Blazer Georgia Hardinge, dress Natasha Zinko, shoes Yuul Yie, necklace Pebble London and earrings stylist’s own 

Why are you vocal on the climate crisis?  

Jessica June Ahmed: I’m vocal on the climate crisis because it negatively impacts upon the lives of everyone, and the impacts of it are already present – people in my country, Nigeria, are being forced to start over due to flooding, as they have to evacuate. 

What do you think is your main responsibility as a climate activist? 

Jessica June Ahmed: My main focus is to raise awareness and educate others.

What are the main changes you’ve made to help lower your personal impact on the climate crisis?

Jessica June Ahmed: I’ve stopped my habit of over consuming, meaning I only shop when necessary, order clothes less often, and try to only shop sustainably.

How can the fashion industry do better? 

Jessica June Ahmed: Consumers can shop sustainably at charity shops or from sustainable brands, and put pressure on fast fashion brands to become more sustainable, whether this is through boycotting – which is direct action – or using social media. They can encourage their friends and family to also become more sustainable. A big tip is upcycling – transforming clothes that you already have, or fixing clothes that you have.

I want the future to be more fair to POC and the working class – for our voices to be heard.

Jessica June Ahmed

XR has been criticised for erasing people of colour and the working class from the climate conversation. How can we make sure the communities that are most impacted by the climate crisis are engaged and can be a part of that discussion? 

Jessica June Ahmed: What we need is to give POC and working class people the platform to participate in the climate conversation – it isn’t that they don’t have a story to be shared, it’s just that they aren’t given the opportunity to share their story. These are the perspectives we should be paying the most attention to.

What’s your opinion on the UK government’s action and response to the climate emergency? 

Jessica June Ahmed: They need to be doing significantly more. What we need is to reform the education system so that it educates the youth on this crisis, and to put in place a Green New Deal.

What simple change or action would you recommend to a person reading this that would help reduce their carbon footprint?

Jessica June Ahmed: Carry a tote bag with you to the supermarket next time.

What are your thoughts on social media activism? Can it truly make a difference? 

Jessica June Ahmed: I think that social media is good for helping to not only raise awareness, but to educate others, as it reaches a larger audience so makes a difference.

Do you think people with platforms, such as celebrities, public figures, and influencers, are doing enough? 

Jessica June Ahmed: Honestly, they aren’t doing enough. Influencers should be using their platform.

What are your hopes and dreams for the future? 

Jessica June Ahmed: I just hope for more people, and for those in power to acknowledge the climate crisis as a crisis. I want the future to be more fair to POC and the working class – for our voices to be heard.

LISSY GREENFIELD, 14

Why are you vocal on the climate crisis?

Lissy Greenfield: We all have a moral responsibility to act, not only for the future generations – which is what there seems to be such a focus on – but those right now in the global south experiencing the repercussions of our consumerist Western lifestyles. Now, people are finally acknowledging the climate crisis, but simply acknowledging it isn’t enough anymore, so I hope that by being vocal I can encourage people to not only be aware but to take whatever action they can.

What’s it like being a young climate activist in the UK?

Lissy Greenfield: Being a young climate activist in the UK has its ups and downs. It’s difficult to not get burnt out when you are juggling activism alongside school life, but protesting can be fun. I have been arrested three times in the last year for my environmental activism – these were difficult experiences. Still, I’ve been continuously supported by some amazing young activists, and through those experiences I’ve met incredible friends.

What are the main changes you’ve made to help lower your personal impact on the climate crisis?

Lissy Greenfield: I’ve been vegan for the last three years, I stopped buying new clothes a year ago, and I don’t think that I will ever fly on a plane again. Those are the main things I’ve done, and there are always small changes you can make everyday. However, there’s only so much we can do as individuals, what we need at this crucial tipping point is mass systemic change.

How can the fashion industry do better? 

Lissy Greenfield: I always wanted to work in the fashion industry, but when I realised the devastation (it causes), I changed my mind. As an industry, they need to stop supporting this throwaway culture we have and encouraging lifestyles centred on consumerism. The advice I would give to anyone is to shop second hand, go to vintage stores, buy reclaimed clothes, and – my personal favourite thing – go to charity shops. Try and make a conscious effort when you shop.

I don’t want it to be our failures that impact (the next generation) in the same way that those before us have failed to act. I want to see this crisis become a distant memory.

Lissy Greenfield

What’s your opinion on the UK government’s action and response to the climate emergency?

Lissy Greenfield: The declaration of a climate emergency in April was so exciting for us and it really felt like we had achieved something, but the Conservatives goal of net carbon emissions by 2050 is unacceptable, and isn’t what we’d been asking for. They declared the climate emergency, but they’ve taken no real steps towards reducing this country’s emissions. 

Do you think people with platforms, such as celebrities, public figures, and influencers, are doing enough?

Lissy Greenfield: While there are some famous people using their celebrity status, money, and influence to encourage environmental action, there aren’t enough. It was a speech by Leonardo DiCaprio that I heard a few years ago that not only inspired me, but made me more aware, and I really admire the work that he’s done. However, I wish that more celebrities would not only speak out, but step up and act consistently on the message of climate change. It is upsetting to see messages of condolences for the Amazon from the same public figures who fly around on private jets. Still, singular people shouldn’t be held accountable – we are all part of a system that’s failing.

What are your hopes and dreams for the future?

Lissy Greenfield: In the future, I hope to see a world where we all take care of the planet, the people, and the animals because we can’t do one without the other – they go hand in hand. I would like for the next generation to not have to endure the fear of impending climate disaster in the same way that mine are now. I don’t want it to be our failures that impact them in the same way that generations before us have failed to act. I want to see this crisis become a distant memory. 

SACHIN DADHRA, 16

Sachin wears Missoni T-shirt, Missoni sweater and Coogi sweater all 194 Local, shirt, trousers and shoes stylist’s own 

Why are you vocal on the climate crisis?

Sachin Dadhra: I feel that there’s not enough action being taken by world governments to tackle the climate crisis. So getting the word to the top of the agenda by taking action and by getting vocal about the issue is incredibly important.

What is it like being a young climate activist in the UK?

Sachin DadhraBeing a young climate activist in the UK can be difficult and stressful at times, especially when our words are being ignored by the people in power. I continue to believe in the power of the people, and hope we see much-needed change soon.

What’s your main focus and why? 

Sachin DadhraTackling the unsustainable capitalist society that prioritises short-term profit over the planet is my main focus. The current capitalist system isn’t working, and in the future it will never help to tackle climate change.

What work have you done that’s been the most important or had the most impact?

Sachin DadhraI’ve been working with a big group of young people (UKSCN) who are incredibly concerned about our futures and the future of the planet. We have been organising YouthStrike4Climate events across the UK to draw attention to the climate crisis.

What are the main changes you’ve made to help lower your personal impact on the climate crisis?

Sachin DadhraAlthough the climate crisis can’t be solved by individual change and needs systemic change, I still want to contribute as little as I can to the issue. I am a vegan, only use public transport, and am trying to cut out single-use plastics from my daily life.

What’s your opinion on the UK government’s action and response to the climate emergency? 

Sachin DadhraThe UK government has now declared a climate emergency and has set plans to become carbon neutral by 2050. However, this is nowhere near enough. We have been told by scientists we have until 2030 to cut our emissions – even then will we only have a 50 per cent chance to keep within that 1.5°C limit.

Do you think people with platforms, such as celebrities, public figures, and influencers, are doing enough? 

Sachin DadhraI don’t believe people with big platforms are doing very much at all in terms of spreading awareness. With the platform they have, they have a much greater chance of influencing people to take action and yet they don’t.

What are your hopes and dreams for the future? 

Sachin DadhraI want to be able to have a childhood where the climate crisis is on track to be tackled. I want to be able to go to university, get a degree, and live a happy life, and yet this is all being snatched away from me by those in power.

MIA, 14

Firstly, why are you vocal on the climate crisis?

Mia: I’m vocal on the climate crisis as it affects so much, the climate crisis is not just an environmental emergency but a social emergency and when I learnt the full extent I knew something needed to change. I feel like when you are aware of the issue it’s so hard to sit back and just let it happen especially when you know it can be stopped. The climate crisis has been around so long and affecting people for so long there’s a need to be vocal. We can’t just sit around and wait for the government and corporations to make changes, they haven’t for so many years.

What do you think is your main responsibility as a climate activist? 

Mia: I feel the main responsibility is to raise awareness of the issue but also understanding so presenting the idea as not just an environmental crisis but also a social crisis. I don’t think it’s my responsibility to come up with solutions but to raise understanding and awareness of who else is fighting for climate justice and how and who are being directly affected by the climate crisis

How can the fashion industry do better? From both internal structures and of course from a consumer perspective. What tips, comments or advice do you have?

Mia: From a very early age we are given these ideas that shops like Primark and Boohoo are amazing and we should spend every weekend there. These clothes aren’t made to last we can wear them once and then just throw them away. Because of the fast fashion industry’s growing popularity through social media and influencers these ideas of fast fashion are ingrained in the mind of society. This doesn’t benefit anyone, brands and business need to do more to create a sustainable fashion culture without losing a focus on social justice. From a consumer perspective we need to start looking more closely at what we buy, I’m not saying stop buying clothes completely but dont buy clothes to wear once.

XR has been criticised from erasing people of colour and the working-class from the climate conversation. How can we make sure the communities that are most impacted by the climate crisis are engaged and can be a part of that discussion? 

Mia: As a person of colour within the climate movement and XR there are times when I feel excluded and unseen so I understand the criticisms. The climate movement has to be intersectional and the fight for climate justice has been fought for so long by communities in the global south and that can’t be erased. When looking at what we believe needs to be done we need to consult communities that are going to be most affected and that means changing some of our attitudes towards the movement and making the spaces more inclusive. At times the language and phrasing people use turn these communities away as those attitudes come from a place of privilege. That privilege needs to be understood and acknowledged and when that privilege is acknowledged I feel it’ll be easier for these communities to enter the discussion as the spaces will be more open and welcoming.

Lastly, what are your hopes and dreams for the future? 

Mia: My hopes and dreams for the future are the overall system change that needs to happen and the way we look at the environment changes. I also hope that future generations don’t have to worry about what the planet is going to look like when they grow up.

This piece was originally published in BRICKS #7 ‘The Rise Together’ Issue and cross-promoted on Dazed.

WORDS, INTERVIEWS & CASTING Tori West
PHOTOGRAPHY Wendy Huynh
STYLING Lea Federmann
STYLING ASSISTANT Avery Krafka
MAKEUP ARTISTS Molly Sheridan, Wendy Asumadu
HAIR Hirokazu Endo
PRODUCTION ASSISTANTS Maddy Reid & Luke Smith

Meet Artist and Musician Laurie Vincent
Processing...
Thank you! Your subscription has been confirmed. You'll hear from us soon.
To keep up to date with our events, parties and print magazine, subscribe to our mailing list
ErrorHere
%d bloggers like this: