Words By Tena @ Thinking Threads
My number one tip for anyone interested in sustainability is to curate their online spaces. We have the power to chose who we follow and listen to on social media.
There’s no other way of putting this. Sustainability can certainly be confusing and overwhelming. Regardless of how long I’ve been learning about healthier habits, reducing my waste, the impact of fashion, or the supply chain of our daily products, I feel that I am only discovering more things to learn.
And while constantly learning new things and improving our daily lives isn’t a bad thing, sometimes, it is hard to keep the motivation high. Honestly, there are days when I struggle and wonder if my actions even matter.
You see, this is when social media can be useful.
Of course, social media itself can be a source of anxiety. If you feel this, please take a break away from it. Yet, social media can also be a source of inspiration and knowledge. But only if we make it that way.
This is why my number one tip for anyone interested in sustainability is to curate their online spaces.
We have the power to chose who we follow and listen to on social media. So, I always advise first to clean out the space. Start by unfollowing and unsubscribing from the accounts that are demotivating, toxic, or are encouraging you to compare yourself to others. This includes the accounts and influencers that only promote things like excessive consumption or unhealthy body image. Identify what triggers you and what makes your online space feel like a bad place.
After this, you can look for those who will make your feed worth your time and attention. I suggest following those that inspire, share tips and knowledge on the topics that matter to you.
Below are 12 activists and influencers that do exactly that. Some of them focus on fashion, while others talk more about issues like feminism or racism. The reason I selected these is not just because I’m a personal fan of their work. It is also because they all approach sustainability from different perspectives, presenting a wide range of lifestyles, backgrounds, and interests. I am sure that, by the end of this post, you will find at least 1 or 2 new accounts to follow!
- Leah Thomas (she/her)
Based in Ventura, CA, Leah brings her passion for writing and creativity to explore the relationship between social justice and environmentalism. With a B.S. in Environmental Science and Policy, she has been featured in big-name magazines, like Vogue, Elle, and Harper’s Bazaar. After herInstagram post went viral last year, she has realised that the sustainability community is getting bigger and is ready to look at the intersection of climate change and social injustice. With like-minded eco-activists, Leah founded theIntersectional Environmentalist. This is a rich resource and media hub, where you’ll also find steps and advice you can take to support an inclusive environmental action. Worth checking out too!
Currently, Leah is preparingher first book on the subject, which sounds really exciting.
- Isaias Hernandez (he/they)
Isaias is an environmental educator who talks about all things related to veganism, zero-waste, and environmental justice. He became known for his short videos on common sustainability dilemmas. He answers questions likeWhich is more sustainable? Buying a used or electric car?;Which plant-based milk is better for the environment;What is the Environmental impact of soy, paraffin, and beeswax;What is the environmental impact of cooking oils?; and many more.
Isaias also writes about these topics onhis blog, in a very approachable but well-researched manner. He has a gift for breaking down complex topics and translating them into everyday context. He also shares a lot of his recipes and daily routines, if you’re looking for some cooking inspiration.
- Tori Tsui (she/they)
Born in Hong Kong and now living in Bristol, UK, Tori is an intersectional climate activist and mental health advocate. Previously, she specialised in scientific research, especially around polar regions. She shot a short film on the fragility of Svalbard in the arctic circle. In 2019, Tori sailed to COP25, addressing the issues around the sustainability of current travel methods. The following year, she worked onSail For Climate Action, a project aimed to raise Latin American and Caribbean youth voices.
Moreover, Tori startedThe Bad Activist Collective: a platform that connects global activists and is a great knowledge resource. I recommend listening to theirpodcast too.
- Venetia La Manna (she/her)
Venetia is one of the best-known fair fashion campaigners and activists out there. She is known to challenge big brands in the industry, call them out on their greenwashing, and unethical supply chain practices. Venetia has spoken about the issues in fashion to some of the biggest media platforms, like BBC, Independent, and Eco-Age.
It’s hard, to sum up, Venetia’s entire work. However, I suggest checking out two of her biggest projects.
The first is her podcast series,All The Small Things. You will find some critical conversations and interviews with brilliant creatives, all to encourage you to pay closer attention to the present moment and cherish all the small things. And the second is theRemember Who Made Them website. This platform’s goal is to energise a new solidarity economy in fashion. They collaborate with workers groups and campaigns, to shine a light on and bring knowledge about the stories behind our clothes.
- Aja Barber (she/her/they)
Born in the US and living in London, Aja is a writer, stylist, activist, and consultant who focuses on race and feminism in a sustainable fashion. Her groundbreaking work and lifelong advocacy touch questions privilege, colonialism, inequality, as well as personal relationships to our clothes.
Aja has so far written about a range of topics and does not shy away from tackling tricky spaces like social media influence or the gentrification of thrifting. She has recently published her first book,Consumed, now available for purchase. No matter where you are in your sustainability journey, I guarantee that you will learn (and unlearn) many things from Aja.
- Kathleen Elie (she/her)
If you’re looking for some sustainable fashion tips without sacrificing your style or love for fashion, look no further. Kathleen brings tonnes of beautiful, bold, and colourful looks while prioritising and promoting sustainable brands and responsible consumption. But there’s more!
Kathleen is also a big mental health advocate, who will give tips on setting the boundaries, valuing your work, and being the best version of yourself. Her content is relatable, fun, and unapologetic.
- Pattie Gonia (they/she/he)
Pattie Gonia is a drag alter-ego of a queer environmentalist Wyn Wiley, based in Nebraska, US. With a particular focus on making the outdoors more inclusive and safe for everyone, Wyn brings an unexpected combination of drag, hiking, and activism. Short videos that address issues like climate change are done creatively and humorously. This makes them approachable, light and, may I say, addictive.
While these topics are heavy, Pattie’s main message is to celebrate and enjoy nature, encouraging everyone to spend more time outside with a belief that the closer we are to nature, the more we will want to protect it.
They also started anLGBTQIA+ Outdoor Job board and aBrave Trails fund.
- Chicks for Climate (a collective)
Ok, I cheated a bit here, this is not an individual profile. Still, Chicks for Climate is a fun and easy way to enter feminism’s take on environmentalism. You’ll find lots of infographics, short explanations, and a breakdown of some of the most complex topics. This is a great account for both beginners but also those who have been into environmental action for a while.
For example, you’ll find an explanation onhow to correctly wash your produce,a link between climate change and capitalism, as well asplastic pollution. They are soon launching theirnewsletter that will bring tips and inspiring interviews on the subject.
- Lauren Singer(she/her)
A zero-waste queen, Lauren, has been writing about daily actions, environmental education, anti-food waste, and much more since 2012. Despite years of experience as a blogger, entrepreneur, and video maker, she brings relatable and easy-to-digest content. Lauren continuously shares her library of knowledge and experience, addressing the daily issues. She is no stranger to some lifestyle and fashion inspiration neither!
In case you’re intimidated by the idea of zero-waste, Lauren’s feed is a great way to start. Learn from her experience and, I promise, you won’t be disappointed!
- Shannon (she/her)
Based in Chicago, Shannon’s mission is to explore clothes as a not-quite-plus-size person. After feeling frustrated by the idea of standard sizing and the lack of representation in sustainable/slow fashion, Shannon started posting her outfits on Instagram. Over time, she built a community around fashion, love for house plants, knitting, and cats.
Her Instagram is full of reviews, useful tips, and everyday reflections, all in a chill and down-to-earth style.
- Natalie Kay Costello (she/her)
Natalie brings her decade-long experience of sustainable fashion in a genuine, transparent, and honest way. As a wife and mother in Florida, Natalie also shares a lot on children's wear and tips on how to be more sustainable as a parent. She is also a go-to source if you’re looking for tips and inspiration on beauty and style, as well as how to read certifications and understand greenwashing. Her website is packed with valuable tips and recommendations.
Natalie has recentlyreviewed 2°EAST watches and gave some amazing styling options too.
- Jessica Harumi (she/her)
Here is your daily minimalism inspiration! Even if minimalism isn’t the aesthetic you aspire to, Jessica will teach and inspire you to create a capsule wardrobe you love and learn to combine your clothes in new ways. She puts a lot of emphasis on investing in good quality pieces that you can wear and style many times. Her vision is to encourage self-expression and individuality, without excessive consumption.
Jessica’s feed is a beautifully curated place. It is ideal for those who are just starting to discover their style but also those who might need inspiration with their clothes.