Why Women Will Be Massive Global Eco Influencers in 2018.
It was someone from the UN who really made me understand how important women are in the business of really driving change in sustainability. Through peace, sharing, nurturing and basically just wanting somewhere for our kids to live.
Mothers & eco trends
Women often go eco when they become mothers and start to realise the impact of the planet on baby and baby on the planet. Across thousands of eco, sustainable and recycle businesses, pretty much all eco children's businesses are started by women. New mothers are the single biggest start up owners of baby & children's products, fashion and care businesses.
And it's for a simple, consistent reason. Women see what is in baby food, clothes, hygiene products and say, 'That's not going on, in or near my baby'. And set about fixing a better way.
Next thing, it's a business. Squeezed in between nappy changes, sleep deprivation and running the house. It was a mother who invented Ecoriginals - the first biodegradable and compostable nappy. But there are so many chemical free, compostable, organic, vegan lotions, potions, toys, clothing - everything a baby ever uses. A mother somewhere has made an eco version.
The sheer volume of eco children's businesses is creating a trend in children's wear. Original, eco, safe and beautiful. The important thing about starting with children is that it tends to influence the rest of the users life and that is why this group is so important.
What started as being good for baby tends to flow over to the rest of the family. A great example of this is Frankly Eco's nipple cream that had to be so pure it was edible for obvious reasons. Or any of the myriads of toys that aren't plastic leaching chemicals.
I know I am going to get a few blokes off side, but not for a minute am I saying that boys aren't in the game of building a better world and making a huge difference, especially in tech and the big enabler industries like energy, transport and IT. It's a simple as the role women play in society. Women make up the greatest percentage of small business owners and are typically starting more businesses by a factor of 2:1.
EVERYTHING WOMEN TRADITIONALLY STAND FOR - NURTURING, CARING, SHARING, IS AT THE HEART OF KIDS ECO TRENDS.
At least in Australia, much of the small batch production and innovation in the provision of food and clothing is taken up by women.The reality is that when it comes to mass influence, consumption & nurturing behaviours are mostly owned by women and that's why it's women who are setting the trend agenda.
One Million Women
One Million Women are well and truly on a roll and will surely hit their 1,000,000 target in their combined global community this year.
By the start of 2018, One Million Women had achieved nearly 340,000 members with over 475,000 followers on Facebook. We are betting that they have hit the tipping point and will roll over their 1,000,000 target this year.And once that happens, they will be an eco / zero waste force to be reckoned with.
One Million Women are now officially activists, having joined the Stop Adani Allinace, and in a short period have gotten 5000 people to pledge to Leave It On The Shelf.
The UN and women
The sustainable development goals set by the UN in 2016 stress the importance of women's voices in achieving the 17 SDGs and the UN has purposely tied each one of the goals directly to women.
“WOMEN AND GIRLS ARE CRITICAL TO FINDING SUSTAINABLE SOLUTIONS TO THE CHALLENGES OF POVERTY, INEQUALITY AND THE RECOVERY OF THE COMMUNITIES HARDEST-HIT BY CONFLICTS, DISASTERS AND DISPLACEMENTS. THE PARTICIPATION OF WOMEN AT ALL LEVELS—AND THE STRENGTHENING OF THE WOMEN’S MOVEMENT - HAS NEVER BEEN SO CRITICAL, WORKING TOGETHER WITH BOYS AND MEN, TO EMPOWER NATIONS, BUILD STRONGER ECONOMIES AND HEALTHIER SOCIETIES. IT IS THE KEY TO MAKING AGENDA 2030 TRANSFORMATIONAL AND INCLUSIVE.”
With all this positioning, the UN must be cheering in the organic cornflakes as #timesupnow events began to break late in 2017. While it really had nothing specific to do with the 17 SDGs, it had everything to do with them, as an enabler of change.
The importance of #timesupnow
The perfect storm of events starting with the outing of high profile directors, the Dear Sisters letter on Time's Up, signed by pretty much every high profile actor on the planet has finally set a back drop for women to really get equal respect and an equal voice.
It's been a long time coming. Now it's happened. This time it's different. It's not going to go away and the future is black, bitches.
You can almost touch the point where everything changed and we knew that this time, it wasn't just going to be more words.
For a lot of people, it's disappointing that the issue was finally bought to a head by a bunch of people who's overstuffed designer wallets and mostly pointless jobs are a long way from the big victims of poverty, basic human rights and climate change.
But the core issues that sit around suppression are no less real. Whether it's about getting less money or being taken advantage of in mainstream work simply because you are a woman or having your sexuality exploited in war. Oprah did an amazing job of rounding up the point in her acceptance speech for the Cecil B. de Mille Award at the Golden Globes.
Sometimes you just have to take whatever you can to get attention. Because these are the people who can get others to listen - dressed in black, using acceptance speeches and their power. And that is the point. Where the attention goes, us lemmings follow.
Meryl Streep, Stella McCartney, Shailen Woodley, Angelina Jolie, Cate Blanchett and many more like them. They are all fighting the #timesupnow cause and they are also fighting for vegans, carbon taxes, conservation, children's rights, better sanitation & living conditions.
This combination of beliefs and focus is something never seen before and something really needed to focus attention on climate and sustainability issues. It all counts to building a better eco world.
Enter Megan Markle
And let's not forget our new poster child, Megan Markle, already a UN Ambassador and advocate for women's rights. With her upcoming wedding and an imprimata to pursue her favourite causes, she is going to be one of the year's big influencers. Well beyond fashion and the colour of her hair.
Markle will make it not only ok, but essential for women to be smart, sassy and care about this planet we call home.
Footnote: we love this Lazy Man's Guide to Sustainability on UN website.
Images: Unsplash - Gabriel Silverio | ekko.world | Unsplash - Matheus Ferrero | UN | Golden Globes | news,com.au
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