Growing up I was always aware of my impact on the environment and my responsibility to take care of it. Up until now I have been able to make smaller changes in my daily life. Some of these initiatives have included zero-plastic waste tools, finding sustainable food alternatives and more. Although this has benefitted me greatly and helped me fulfill my personal sustainability goals, I have never been able to reach these on a wider scale. This program will allow me to expand this passion and turn this knowledge into tangible impacts that benefit a larger community.
What is your personal definition of sustainability?
Sustainability comes in all different shapes and sizes, with even the smallest changes having large impacts. In terms of how sustainability has impacted my life, I would describe this initiative as finding ways to make long-term improvements to your environment and wellbeing. This can come in all shapes and sizes, such as daily meditation for your personal wellness, or having reusable bags to reduce your expenses and waste in the long run. What makes sustainability so interesting to me is its flexibility in how you can utilize these initiatives, making it possible for everyone to make a change.
What role do you see sustainability playing in your professional career?
One of the most unique things about sustainability is its adaptability to your life or organization to make tangible changes that match your initiatives. When I came into this school year, I made it a personal goal to challenge myself in trying something new, never letting myself settle for “comfortable”. In my career I want to do the same in challenging myself with new skills and projects, which is why I felt such a strong connection to sustainability. Because sustainable practices can be applied to many different organizations, big or small, I knew there was so much room for me to grow with this overarching goal in mind. There is plenty of work to be done to increase not only sustainable practices, but awareness for the importance of your impact. Many organizations are unaware of the ways they can benefit from sustainability initiatives, helping their community and their own company in the long-term. Therefore, in my future career I want to be able to take these skills and apply them to each new challenge I face, finding ways to apply sustainable changes for the benefit of my community.
What sustainability projects have you been engaged in?
With Covid-19 impacting almost every aspect of our lives, it became increasingly difficult for me to find ways to make an influence on my community and sustainability goals. After doing more research, I began focusing on sustainable practices in the fashion and small-business community, learning about the impact of shopping local and supporting “slow-fashion”. From here, I became a marketing strategist for the company Koda Collective, an online marketplace for local, Canadian fashion. In addition to promoting local entrepreneurs, Koda Collective donates 10% of proceeds from each order to the Rainforest Trust. Our initiative is to “Shop Local. Think Global.”, showing Canadians not only the importance of finding sustainable fashion alternatives, but how easy it can be to make an impact. This internship has not only allowed me to increase my professional skills in marketing and communications, I have been able to increase my own knowledge about the fashion industry’s effect on our environment and how companies can make responsible choices. Our goal with Koda Collective is to ultimately show consumers that they can make small, sustainable choices every day that have great impact on the community around them.