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My name is Bronte Assadzadeh and I have been passionate about sustainability since I was 8 years old - when I first watched the movie WALL-E. Amongst my classmates at Ivey, I am known as that “environmentalist” girl and my contributions in class often have something to do with how organizations should be more sustainable. Before Ivey, I was in International Relations which led me to dedicate much of my time keeping up with environmental politics. I also devote my days to researching alternatives to the our standard ways of life, for example; looking at alternative food sourcing.

What is your personal definition of sustainability? 

To me, sustainability is about going against the norm that we have created as human beings living on our planet. Within our societal structure, everything is about short-term satisfaction, rather than long term gain. Sustainability is about reimagining ways we do things and shifting our perception to think more in the long term. Therefore, sustainability is the act of living in and creating infrastructure that will allow our world to continue on for future generations to come. Sustainability is about having my great-grand-children get to see the snow, climb mountains, have enough food to eat and fresh air to breathe.

What role do you see sustainability playing in your professional career? 

After great self-reflection over HBA1, I have realized that in order to feel fulfilled in my life, I  need to do something that makes a positive impact on our planet. Therefore, I plan to have my entire career related to sustainability (it is my greatest passion in life). Something that I am particularly interested in is sustainable fashion and zero waste living. As someone who only purchases secondhand or from ethical stores, I have noticed a gap in the market when it comes to accessible and affordable sustainable undergarments for women. My plan is to launch my own line of undergarments made out of recycled/excess textile materials. Lingerie is something that can make women feel confident in themselves but can also be made more sustainably. My company would merge two of my interests – sustainability and female empowerment. As part of my business, I would like a portion of revenues to go towards implementing education about birth control in countries where women do not have access to this information. This connects to another major problem our planet is facing: overpopulation. I believe that if more women receive greater access to birth control, they will be in control of their own reproduction.

 What sustainability projects have you been engaged in? 

In my personal life, I have focused on sustainable food sourcing and have taken time to build and maintain my own garden. The outcome from it has been massive, as I was able to share my food with colleagues from work, my family and friends. The project taught me the rewards of hard work and has inspired my friends to start growing their own food as well. I even learned ways to preserve our food throughout by making sauces, pickling and creating jams as well. I plan to keep expanding my garden annually. Secondly, I worked on the sustainability portfolio for a USC presidential campaign this year where I proposed ideas like getting rid of plastic water bottles at certain cafeterias at Western and I looked into replacing our lightbulbs when they run out with more eco-friendly alternatives. Thirdly, I am part of a sustainability book club where we read books monthly, discuss them, our learnings and outreach to new members. Finally, launched my own secondhand clothing business. Many people see buying secondhand as taboo, so the goal of this project was to curate clothing so it would appeal to people who typically wouldn’t be looking to buy secondhand.

Bronte Assadzadeh

Bronte Assadzadeh