This International Women’s Day, we’ve compiled a power list of 10 women driving sustainability in different aspects of urban life. These are women we’ve interacted with over the last 1 year or idolised for their green views, actions and initiatives. So celebrate this women’s day by raising a toast with us to these passionate greenies! Add women in sustainability and green initiatives that you admire to the list in the comments section.
On women’s day we’ll let you in on the biggest open secret in the world- there’s a woman at the beginning of all great things. And all green things is not so different! Women have a strong presence in sustainability as environmentally aware and responsible consumers and as agents of change. There is a living reality of women world over being the most affected by climate change and pollution because of deeply embedded issues of gender disparity, most acutely felt in emerging countries. But women are also the key drivers of sustainability as they are early and easy adapters to green living concepts and initiatives. So while men will fuss over carrying re-usable shopping bags and driving small electric vehicles for the fear of ‘appearing’ feminine, women will take to sustainable lifestyle practices like they were born to it! And today on women’s day, we are here to salute women leading the sustainability brigade in different aspects of urban life like entertainment, fashion, food, policy making and green entrepreneurship.
GREEN WOMEN’S DAY POWER LIST
Green Movers & Shakers
1. Emma Watson- For proving that you can change the world one dress at a time!
Successful, beautiful, global feminist icon, Emma Watson has now taken on the mantle of being an ethical fashion warrior. In 2015 she debuted at The Green Carpet Challenge and since then has ensured all of the outfits she wears on the red carpet are created ethically. She just launched an Instagram account @the_press_tour chronicling all sustainable fashion pieces she’s been wearing to all press appearances for her new film Beauty & The Beast. The account is on our watch list for the latest trends, fabrics & designs in sustainable fashion.
2. Livia Firth- For making sustainable fashion top the charts!
Entrepreneur, power celebrity, film maker, Livia Firth is one of the strongest voices of eco fashion. Firth has taken up arms against fast fashion with various green initiatives. She founded Eco-Age a consultancy that ‘helps businesses grow by creating, implementing and communicating bespoke sustainability solutions’. She’s also the brain behind THE GREEN CARPET CHALLENGE which acts as a benchmark for existing fashion businesses as well as a celebrity challenge. Her documentaries like The True Cost speak about the impact of the fashion industry on the environment and the unethical practices of fast fashion. We all thought repeating an outfit was so uncool till Livia’s 30 wears challenge and the celebrities participating in it like Emma Watson, Duchess of Cambridge etc made it the coolest thing to do.
3. Rebecca Leffler – For swapping the red carpet for green glamour!
She had a dream job chatting up celebrities from around the world on the red carpet as the French correspondent for the Hollywood Reporter and film critic for French TV network Canal. But she quit rubbing shoulders with the who’s who of the entertainment world for becoming a green author, journalist and consultant. Rebecca Leffler book Green Glam & Happy which released in France last year is a healthy recipe guide with a holistic green lifestyle touch- replete with yoga, positive playlists and natural beauty tips. The book is a #1 best-seller and has been translated in Dutch and Spanish too. In the US it was launched as TRES GREEN, TRES CLEAN, TRES CHIC: Eat (and live!) the new French way with plant-based, gluten-free recipes for every season. No ordinary green gal this!
4. Caleigh Megless – For showing us that green can be gourmet!
She’s a high profile haute-couture caterer and founder of organic food service Keili which has been featured Vogue’s Top 5 Caterers in Paris. In top demand for most star studded fashion events in Paris, Caleigh’s food is innovative, elegant and wholesome at the same time. She believes food is both sensory and remedial with superfoods that can help us recover from the impacts of urban life like pollution. Caleigh also collaborated with UrbanMeisters for a comprehensive guide on superfoods that fight pollution.
5. Rachel Fernbach- For taking the green biz plunge!
Founder & head designer of New York based eco-fashion leisure wear label PonyBabe, Rachel Fernbach is a woman who followed her green dreams all the way through and runs a successful eco-fashion start-up. From struggling in New York, crowdfunding and going against the grain to prove that fashion can be sexy and sustainable, Rachel has faced all challenges as an green entrepreneur head on.
6. Laure Drevillon – For bringing sustainable players & people together!
Media visionary and Founder of One Heart Communication, Laure Drevillon gave green businesses and initiatives a powerful showcase platform and a direct line of communication with conscious consumers first with her web tv channel and later with the innovative green tech app One Heart Spots. The app is wonderful urban guide using geo location services to all green hotspots a city has to offer ranging from entertainment, food, services, hotels etc. Powerful green technology bringing the sustainable world closer together.
7. Anne Hidalgo- For leading the Women4Climate brigade!
Mayor of Paris, Chair of C40 cities and green politician, Anne Hidalgo has been at the fore front of driving green policy making. She currently heads C40 which is a powerful network of the world’s megacities committed to addressing climate change. The network is already instrumental in pushing women leaders from world mega cities towards stronger and more resilient action against pollution and climate change. Because with the world population largely getting urbanised, the decision making will rest in cities and large urban conglomerates. She gave us the clarion call of #Women4Climate during COP21 in Paris in 2015 where the historic Paris Agreement was signed- dubbed the single greatest diplomatic achievement of modern times. It is to be noted that women leaders including Anne Hidalgo are credited with initiating this historic agreement. #Women4Climate aims to galvanise women climate leaders and bring together women mayors from around the world to take more aggressive and ambitious measures on climate change and pollution. While she has many detractors and critics, this has not deterred her from her vision of preparing Paris for a better green future. She’s been a big supporter and follower of UrbanMeisters too!
8. Renate Künast- For making green politics mainstream!
Activist, thinker and green policy maker, Renate Künast has been staunchly championing the green cause in German politics as Chair of the Committee on Legal Affairs and Consumer Protection and member of the German Bundestag. She is also a member of Alliance ’90/The Greens and is known for being a key driver in consumer protection and sustainable development, supporting organic farming, sustainable fashion and animal welfare among others. This eminent green politician gave UrbanMeisters her brilliant and insightful opinion on the sustainability goals of Rio Olympics 2016.
Green Fashion Fraternity
9. Stella McCartney- For making sustainable sexy!
Most sought after fashion designer and visionary, Stella McCartney started her business on a sustainable, cruelty free material sourcing model. She was much ridiculed for her lofty idealism. Until 2007 when a very reputed environmental report found that the livestock industry accounted for 18 percent of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions, more than the entire global transport sector. Since then many other players have followed suit trying to source or even organically produce substitutes that give the same feel as leather and have succeeded – case in point- the best selling McCartney tote Falabella.
10. Clarissa Acario- For making green urban chic!
As disruptive and innovative as the name of fashion label W.Y.L.D.E., Clarissa Acario is a design genius when it comes to playing with sustainable materials and up cycling. Each season she presents a collection of 100% upcycled fabrics, made in France with love and following a strict ethical and sustainable process. The high profile launch of the W.Y.L.D.E. SS17 Collection at the BHV in Paris was a sexy mix of cool urban dressing and ethical sensibilities. The collection was certainly a big green hit with UrbanMeisters picking 3 hot pieces off the rack!
Hope these green women leaders inspired you as much as they excited us this women’s day! We leave you with these golden words: Ladies keep your heads and heels high & your standards GREEN!