17 is my unlucky number.
2017 was a bit of a crazy year for me, in fact, for many of us. It held natural disasters, horrendous attacks across the world, the decision to leave the EU by our very own countryfolk, the second warmest year recorded for the planet and the untimely deaths of several revered celebrities.
For me, 2017 didn’t get off to the best start either, I went back to a job where I was unmotivated, in February we said goodbye to a close friend moving to Hong Kong and in March I lost my grandfather. This was the straw that broke the camels back, I was filled with the pain of losing a Grandad who had always been ever-present throughout my childhood – every Sunday afternoon without fail, family holidays, summer days out, Christmas pantomimes. He was always the joker, the cynic and most importantly my number one supporter. At the time we lost him, I’d decided to leave my office job, without another job lined up. One of the last things I told him was that I was going to leave, to do something that I loved or to move to a company where my hard work was appreciated. In April, I handed in my notice and have been powering myself on his support, and that of my family and friends since.
In May I began an internship with Fashion ComPassion, an e-commerce platform for ethical accessories where I had the opportunity to combine my creativity with my digital and sales skills and I can’t tell you how much difference it has made to my life. Doing something that really got my creativity flowing changed my whole perception of work-life balance and restored my faith in the possibility of combining your passions and your career.
Throughout the last 6 months of 2017 things picked up, I got new part-time jobs with an amazing charity SEED Madagascar working on the marketing of their women’s ethical embroidery project in Sainte Luce, and an Oliver Bonas where I get to meet lots of lovely people every day and learn a lot more about the retail industry. Through Autumn I spent time bringing my imagination of a chic but ethical fashion collection to paper, started work on a website and now with the mark of a new year I’m finally getting things in order.
However, whilst 2017 may not have been the best year ever for some of us, I do believe it was a good year for sustainability. For me it marked the year that people and business finally began to see the harm in single use plastic, the year that eco-holidays became a thing, the year high street brands starting to admit responsibility for the unethical and unsustainable state of the fashion industry, the year that Gucci banned fur, the year we realised that as individuals we must do our bit as Trump tore down environmental protection regulations, and the year I really felt a growing community of sustainability heroes around me with special thanks to social media.
In 2018 I hope for a sustainability revolution, for consumers to start demanding so much more from retailers, for people to demand more from government and policymakers, for ethical clothing to become the latest trend – and for that trend to stick around and I truly believe with enough people like you and me doing our bit, we can get the wheel of sustainability well and truly turning.
So cheers to 2018 and cheers to all of you wonderful people, keep doing what you’re doing – I’M WITH YOU!