As suggested in this week’s Five Things, I listened to the Stylus Future Thinking podcast focused on Extinction Rebellion. The protests across the country over the last year have highlighted the importance of taking action to tackle climate change and the urgency of halting further environmental destruction.
Although I believe that activism can bring about meaningful change, I feel that there are ways to go about it, rather than making a statement by tying oneself to railings for example. I also feel that large planned marches are made even bigger by those who attend only to get an Instagram photo seeming to be a part of the community. The buzz and energy surrounding such an event drive people to the streets when they would not normally give the cause a second glance. However, when they have their desired photo, they do not stick around to support the actual cause. This demonstrates a lack of awareness about the true meaning behind the protests and little desire to be part of the solution. A large proportion of the protestors at the march appeared to be on their phone which to me infers they are beautifying the idea that ‘time is running out’.
If passive ‘clicktivism’ could be overruled by the number of peaceful and motivated active members of society, I feel we would be more likely to see a change and get the message listened to by the individuals with power that need to wake up to the impacts.
On the other hand, 16-year-old activist Greta Thunberg has had an instrumental role in initiating the recent school protests and spoke eloquently discussing the possible ways forward. This would have inspired the younger generations to learn more about what small changes they can make.
With regard to the fashion industry, I feel that fast fashion could be slowed by the rise of a rental culture. Cars and properties are rented with no second thought, so why can’t this be applied to clothes. I still think there is a stigma around second-hand clothes or garments that have been worn by someone else, however circulating the resources that we already have could drastically reduce the fabric waste, energy and water used to produce them, not to mention the impact on the environment.