She’s a green, mean fighting machine on a mission to make the world a better place, one plastic straw at a time, and I personally recommend we all jump on for the ride. Shannon Wray knows whats up, what’s down and most importantly whats happening alllllll around this earth which is why I jumped at the opportunity to meet with her and discuss the small changes we can make in our lives for a more sustainable, and sexy, future.
Sexy. Sustainable. Seductive. Yes, I say sexy because of the allure you get when you do good things. A swish of the hips as you recycle that single use plastic item, the kick you get for those $5 sneaker wedges that will give you the added height you always dreamed of. Yes, it's all very sexy. And guess what the ground breaking news is? It's really not “that hard." We have this common misconception that everything is too hard, too exhausting and just not worth it. But honey, you're worth it, and so is everyone else on this planet.
As we round off Fashion Revolution week it's important for us to recognise that our attention needs to be maintained past this period and acknowledge (and applaud - whoop, whoop!) the people that have already committed to a sustainably sexy lifestyle.
I was originally in awe of Shannon Wray's lifestyle, she's one to learn the tricks of the trade from. She only buys second hand clothing, eats a healthy vegetarian diet, works in conjunction with a Prepair NZ, a charity helping young women navigate relationships, self love and emotional abuse (check them out here). And it doesn't end there, she also works with Nisa, an amazing ethical underwear brand based in Wellington that aims to help and support refugee women from the bottoms up (hehe). Oh, and she's still studying. Did someone say Saint Shazz? If not, you heard it here first, girl power!
Shannon sits here in all white, sheepishly admitting she wanted to wear colour to meet me. She points out her outfit - white denim pants, a sweet peasant button up cotton top and white sneakers. She can recall where each item was purchased second hand and goes on to express how frustrating it is to find shoes that meet your needs.
When you speak to Shannon you can see the passion and determination she has around these topics, an extremely empathetic and cool human being. She brings light to particular issues that we have comfortably put into our mainstream lives - glitter on finger nails, plastic containers at the sushi shop and your morning cup of coffee - these are all minor points of your life that actually have critical effects on our marine life, landfills and air pollution.
There's no 'I' in earth, and in actual fact there's not a heck of a lot of other words you can make with these letters, but there is an ear - so listen up and use them or there wont be many more fish, or shrimps, in the sea.
Check out our five things you can change in your lifestyle below -
Sustaining the Earth is Cooler than a Cucumber.
"When I was year seven I started shaving my legs, which is pretty normal at that time, but what's scary is that I wasn't shaving them because I wanted to, it was becuase everyone else was - and that applies to how everyone treats their choices." Shannon said.
Don’t worry about what other people think. A lot of our generation is too involved in consumerism. We’re aware of what other people are wearing and can only see ourselves fitting in when we look the same. If we break this down into various culture groups you can see the lack of diversity amongst the main stream. Dare to be different, take a chance and step away from the stores that tell you what to buy and start determining your own look in a new, creative way.
One step at a time, there’s no need to rush
Okay, I'm sorry Jordin Sparks but there kind of is a need to rush.. Earths on the phone and he's got a deadline.. But what we really mean is take baby steps as you make changes in your own life. When you're tooth brush next gets that scungy feeling - you know the one, the bristles aren't too flash and the bottom smells a bit funny from the mug you never clean.. yeah well nows your time to invest in the Bamboo Brush and maybe an eco toothpaste option.
In the realms of clothing challenge yourself to source a few items form a second hand store, make a day of it with your friends and dress up - have fun, you never know what you’ll find, it might just be the old but so new 2000's Gucci. That's just so fetch right now!
Tune into what’s going on the world beyond the shadow of the Kardashians. We’re currently super isolated and over shadowed by various impractical news advances that keep us from looking into the deeper issues. It's cool to be in tune with both, just don't let pop culture be your main stream and you might find yourself opening up to a more embracing view point for changes that actually need to happen. If people are actually aware of working conditions, water way problems and the health impacts on everyone everywhere they might be more inclined to embrace change.
Just because something isn't "trending now" doesn't mean it's over. We're incredibly good at sweeping things under the rug and god forbid we're tripping up on the mess we've concealed. Lift up the rug! Lift it up and talk about it. Expose people, conversate and educate people you know about things you aren't happy about - it's the only way we're going to see some change.
An Op-portunity for Change
Who wants to wear what everyone else? Not I, said everyone who's a real Shrimpster. Be unique, be individual and source your clothing second hand. Trade, recycle, reuse and swap with friends. Turn your wardrobe into an adventure that never ends and flip fast fashion on it's own head.
If you take away our high, pressing demands for new and "so now" items fast fashion won't be able to survive at the rate it is, let's make this happen together.