No matter who you are, you can take action as young people to make life better for yourself, and at the same time, for others around you. Staying ‘woke’ is great, but it’s what you do with it that knowledge that matters as well. Action can be as simple as developing one’s own capabilities, sharing that knowledge and imparting it onto others. The first step is changing your mindset, be open to new ideas and whilst acknowledging the bad that has happened regarding issues around fast fashion or feminism it is the positive changes that need to be focused on – the future. This post is inspired by my good friend Edie, who wrote a fabulous post in response to the women’s march and what you can do to take action afterwards.
Educate yourself on things that matter to you, whether it’s politics or ethical fashion there are plenty of resources both online and offline. Find out as much you can about how to build skills for your work and your life, about both sides of development issues you are passionate about, about different ways of taking action.
- Tedx talks – I was recommended recently on a post to watch a Tedx talk with Orsola de Castro, the founder of Fashion Revolution. Based of redressing the fashion industry, it’s well worth a watch.
- Parliament explained is a six part series that provides all the information you need to know about the government, laws and how Parliament works. The first episodes have been so easy to understand and not confusing at all – even if you feel it’s not your thing you like to listen to podcasts can be listened to just about anywhere and don’t require 100% attention at all times.
- Books are a fantastic way to learn more about a subject you don’t know much on – Dress with Sense and To Die For are my top books for in depth information about fast fashion and what you (the consumer) can do to change your buying ways. Of course there are many more books out there but those are the best I’ve read so far.
- Documentaries such as The True Cost are also a fantastic way to educate yourself on the issues surround the fashion industry. Watching them and understanding them is great but it is the changes you make as a consumer that is the action.
Your opinion matters but it is what you do with your opinion that is crucial to the improvement of lives of workers, the people around you and making a better future. If you buy a t-shirt – why not question where it came from? If you’re with other people, inform them on the latest book you read or a great documentary you’ve found.
Spread the word in a way that is positive and is not forcing your opinion on anyone, people want to make a change because they want to; not because they feel they ‘should’ or ‘have to’. Making a change to buying ethically is fun, although it shouldn’t be something that is forced on anyone. Speaking out and informing other people is the first step to taking action – you never know the domino effect it may cause.
Take part in initiatives that promote great ethics and why not get other people on board to? Fashion Revolution week is at the end of April so why not get involved? Buy an item of clothing from a charity shop and share it online with others. Alternatively, you can ask ‘Who made my clothes?‘ or take part in a #haulternative and find an alternative way to buy clothes that isn’t necessarily from your big high-street brands. Sparking positive change in the fashion industry, Fashion Revolution is a fantastic initiative to get involved in.
Undivided is a youth-led, non-partisan campaign set up to get the best possible Brexit deal for young people. Allowing young people to have their say on the best Brexit possible and inspiring a positive change. Many young people feel that such a huge decision as leaving the EU is going to affect them the most as the youth in Britain are those that are going to have to live with the consequences the longest. A lot of people in the campaign are under 18 therefore unable to vote (I myself am 16) therefore it is one way in which the youth can become active surrounding government and political decisions despite not having a vote in Parliament.
- Volunteer at the Red Cross. There are lots of volunteering opportunities for both young people and adults on their website.
- You can fill out this survey to find out ways to get involved and end police violence in America on Campaign Zero.
- Earthjustice pursues three key goals to secure a just, flourishing world: 1) The wild, 2) Healthy communities, and 3) Clean energy & healthy climate. There are plenty of ways to get involved and take action on their website here: http://earthjustice.org/action
There are only a few ways in which you can take action on the things that matter so do let me know if you have any more. What are you doing to take action on the issues that matter to you?