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How the Pandemic Led to my Faith-Fueled Passion for Climate Justice

By Flo Wright | 19 February 2021 | Comments (1)

 

Along with the rest of the world, 2020 turned my life upside down. I was preparing for my A levels and then hoping to go inter-railing with my friends before taking a gap year where I would work and then attend a bible college in Kenya with Cross-links.

 

You guessed it, none of that happened! I found myself in March with A levels cancelled, my travelling plans up in the air and suddenly a ridiculous amount of time on my hands. At first I was distraught. I found it hard to get used to the fact that my exams weren’t going to be happening and I was worried about how my grades would be calculated. Then I began using my time to sew. At first I listened to magic FM constantly but after hearing the ‘Bensons for Beds’ advert one too many times, I began to listen to podcasts.

 

I had given up fast fashion as a new year’s resolution and trying to use less plastic for a while, but the more I listened to climate change podcasts and researched issues around fast fashion, the more I became passionate about sustainable fashion and climate justice. In case you aren’t aware, fast fashion is clothing produced rapidly in response to trends and often uses sweatshops and methods that are damaging to the environment. Climate justice explains climate change to be damaging politically, ethically and environmentally. For example, the people who are least responsible for global warming will be the ones most affected by the climate crisis.

 

At the same time as I was researching, I was loving sewing and friends and family started asking me to make things for them. One of my friends was always posting about her sister’s mini business and I realised this was something I could do. I started simple, selling hairbands, then in the summer I made bucket hats galore and now I’m all about the dungarees.

 

I make my clothes out of old items. My patchwork dungarees, for example, are made from old jeans. People from my church soon realised what I was doing and people started to pop round all the time with bags of materials or old clothes for me to cut up. My granny turned up one weekend with an entire suitcase full of old curtains! I ended up taking over the spare room in my house for all my materials – much to the dismay of my parents. But in my defence, we can’t have guests at the moment!

 

I started using Instagram as a way to show people what I was making and it also became a huge source of information as I found so many other small businesses to follow and sustainability influencers to follow and be inspired by. One such influencer is @lesswastelaura who put on her story one day that she was looking for Christians who would be interested in helping with a fast fashion event. It was a ‘bingo’ moment where I realised I could bring my faith and my interest in climate justice together, and that Jesus would’ve cared so, so much about the exploitation in the fashion industry and its impact on the environment.

 

I messaged her straight away and we were able to chat. She told me that it was an event for alumni of Tearfund’s course ‘Emerging Influencers’ and I realised that God had been working through all of this. I’d previously been working at a pub, but left the job to make time for my theatre and church groups. Had I not left that job I wouldn’t have been able to do the course! I was on the ‘activism’ stream, learning about how theology and activism go hand in hand, as Jesus was an activist and a huge advocate for justice!

 

I organised my first clothes swap in September and (Covid restrictions permitting) I am hoping to organise more over the course of the year, to raise awareness for circular fashion and raise money for charity. However, the rest of my gap year is very uncertain. The Tearfund course was only 6 weeks and I’m hoping to go to A Rocha Canada in the summer but still don’t know whether this will be possible. But I do now realise how valuable this time has been for me to learn about climate justice and sustainable fashion and God knows how it will work out so I just need to trust in that!

 

Podcasts I can recommend:

What on earth? (Hubbub)
Climate Queens
Together podcast (Tearfund)
The Hopeful Activist
The HopeCast

 

I also recommend the Good On You app for researching sustainability of fashion brands.

You can find me Instagram @flosgemz


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comments:

NP

February 21, 2021 4:30 PM
As concerning the Word of life, Luke 10 section 25-28 says: On one occasion an expert in the law stood up to test Jesus. "Teacher," he asked, "what must I do to inherit eternal life?" "What is written in the Law?" he replied. "How do you read it?" He answered: " 'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind'; and, 'Love your neighbor as yourself.'" "You have answered correctly," Jesus replied. "Do this and you will live."
Luke 18 section 18-25 says: A certain ruler asked him, "Good teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?" "Why do you call me good?" Jesus answered. "No one is good--except God alone. You know the commandments: 'Do not commit adultery, do not murder, do not steal, do not give false testimony, honor your father and mother.'" "All these I have kept since I was a boy," he said. When Jesus heard this, he said to him, "You still lack one thing. Sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me." When he heard this, he became very sad, because he was a man of great wealth. Jesus looked at him and said, "How hard it is for the rich to enter the kingdom of God! Indeed, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God."
Matthew 5 section 43-48 says: "You have heard that it was said, 'Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.' But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? And if you greet only your brothers, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.
In Old Testament, the Jewish people and their ancestors were given the Law to observe. First, What Adam and Eve should observe was that they could not eat the fruits from the tree of wisdom. Then, their son Cain was told that he should not kill. As sins became increased, the laws were also added more. Up to the generation of Moses, the Law in Old Testament was given to Israelites. We know that the Law is good and the Law is used to punish people who commit sins, but people cannot obey the Law because the sinful spirits are in people. Even that we know stealing and giving false testimony are sinful, but greedy and pride spirits in us drive us to do sinful things. So as Old Testament prophesied we need to get rid of our sinful nature from our spirits.
Jeremiah 31 section 31-33 says: "The time is coming," declares the Lord, "when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah. It will not be like the covenant I made with their forefathers when I took them by the hand to lead them out of Egypt, because they broke my covenant, though I was a husband to them," declares the Lord. "This is the covenant I will make with the house of Israel after that time," declares the Lord. "I will put my law in their minds and write it on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people.
Ezekiel 36 section 24-27 says: "'For I will take you out of the nations; I will gather you from all the countries and bring you back into your own land. I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be clean; I will cleanse you from all your impurities and from all your idols. I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws.
The prophecies are fulfilled when Jesus begins to teach love. The two greatest commandments are " 'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind'; and, 'Love your neighbor as yourself.'" Love is above the Law and if people have love they are free from the law of sin and death. People who are full of love will not think about stealing or giving false testimony but are merciful and they feed hungry people or give thirsty people something to drink or invite strangers in or clothe people who need clothes. The Law is for people who commit sins. Nobody will say that he will get reward because he does not steal before. But love is the grace we get. And with love we will get eternal life.
Romans 13 section 8-10 says: Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for he who loves his fellowman has fulfilled the law. The commandments, "Do not commit adultery," "Do not murder," "Do not steal," "Do not covet," and whatever other commandment there may be, are summed up in this one rule: "Love your neighbor as yourself." Love does no harm to its neighbor. Therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.
Luke 17 section 20-21 says: Once, having been asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God would come, Jesus replied, "The kingdom of God does not come with your careful observation, nor will people say,' Here it is,' or ' There it is,' because the kingdom of God is within you."
John 4 section 23-24 says: Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in spirit and in truth."

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