Aequem talks sustainability with Marina Testino!
Marina Testino is a Creative Director, Eco-Entrepreneur, ARTivist & model. Marina sees art as action. In the last +3 years, she has launched 6 ARTivist campaigns: #OneDressToImpress, #CarryOnSummer, #YellowLikeALemon, #WeSeaThrough, #HighTiesDontLie and #TheGreenRooms all sharing a common goal: raise awareness on conscious consumerism and lead change towards a more sustainable future using art as universal language. Marina has spoken in various panels on her work around sustainability within the fashion industry, divulging her ideas on how we should all become systemically sustainable: Hypebae School of Sustainability , Vogue Minutes , Times Square Edition and the Latin American Fashion Summit 2019. Marina has established relationships with organisations such as 5Gyres, The Ellen McCarthur Foundation and Eco-Age with whom she works hand in hand to enact change.
Why is sustainability in fashion important for you and what made you get involved with the movement?
We often use the term “sustainability” to mean environmental sustainability. But the word means so much more than reducing our carbon footprint, investing in green energy and striving to make our business more efficient. Or at least it should. It’s about building sustainable relationships with our clients, our vendors and our employees. It’s about creating a business model built to withstand changes in the market, and a willingness to adjust and innovate along the way. And it’s about helping the global business system that ensures the long-term well-being of our planet and everyone on it.
I got involved because of my family. I believe at some point you “wake up” and start understanding the importance of our actions, the cause-effect of everything we do. Everyone has different reasons, mine was seeing how my family taught me to take care of the environment and the planet in a way that has become part of my values...an integral part of me and now also my work.
What are 10 things that people can change in their day to day lives to become more sustainable?
- First understand and embrace what sustainability means. Get informed!
- Embrace researching and understanding your own decisions. Creating a plan, that can become a habit in the future. Little actions are what matter the most!
- Once the above are done, then we can start implementing changes:
- Think twice before shopping, love the items you purchase. Take the #OneDressToImpress Challenge 😋
- Go plastic free if possible, or at least try to avoid single use plastic.
- Boycott products that endanger wildlife.
- Be water wise.
- Drive less, and drive green.
- Use public transportation as much as possible.
- Green your home.
- Recycle. Reuse. Repurpose. Everything from clothes to food.
- Drink from the tap.
- Eat locally.
- Reduce household energy.
- Use clean beauty products.
Do you think the lockdown will help or harm the sustainable fashion movement?
I believe that the lockdown has been a wake up call for the industry. You can see it with brands like Gucci announcing that they are going seasonless. This time is a unique time to make shifts towards a more sustainable fashion ecosystem, as consumers are paying attention.
However, while the above are hopeful signs we will also have to deal with another reality:
Coronavirus is exposing cracks in our system. As business is screeching to a halt, garment workers for example are facing unique circumstances. Small brands and businesses are struggling to continue their business and consumers are more reluctant to spend (either sustainably or not).
But, volatile economic circumstances, if faced appropriately can lead to positive disruptions and that is why decided to create #SustainableFridays a way to support small businesses by giving them visibility in social media and bringing to them part of what I do as a way of giving back.
You've been very supportive to smaller sustainable labels. Why do you think the young designers should choose the sustainable fashion path?
Is just a question of survival. I don’t see a future within the fashion industry that is not sustainable. Trends as I mentioned earlier, demonstrate that young millennials and GenZ are more willing to make sustainable purchase decisions than their parents. But the above applies to designers or anyone starting a business. There are small choices that can make a difference. Truth is, being 100% sustainable is difficult and more costly but securing the right pillars can be the key to success. And we all want to succeed or at least try, right?
We hope you enjoyed this insight into sustainable fashion from Marina Testino! Don't forget to subscribe to our newsletter below and join the gang! Also, share with your friends!
Love, Aequem team xx