“When you see glaciers receding, wildfires, climate refugees fleeing for their lives, you don’t need to be convinced. That was enough for me.” – Cory Bayers (Marketing, Patagonia)
Environmental changemakers from the music, apparel, and entertainment industries gathered together on Monday night to discuss the current state of sustainability, and how we can keep progressing. Housed at the gorgeous, and impressively sustainable West Hollywood EDITION Hotel, panel moderator Emma Riley (Director of Strategic Partnerships, Lonely Whale) hosted an engaging conversation with industry professionals Cory Bayers (Patagonia), Debbie Levin (Environmental Media Association), Vivie-Ann Bakos (Bye Bye Plastic).
The conversation featured exciting improvements in environmental performance across all panelists’ industries. Bayers shared that Patagonia’s sustainable performance gear “absolutely” gives you the “same level of technical performance.” The biggest hurdle is getting customers to understand that, and investing in sustainable versions of their gear.
The discussion also involved encouraging the audience to make a difference using their talents and skills. Everyone has a role they can play in the environmentalism movement – these roles can be different from what we might imagine. If someone “doesn’t feel comfortable going to a rally or speaking out publicly in their community,” they might have a talent for graphic design that they could use to help small businesses trying to make sustainable changes. There are “so many ways people can help out” that might not look like what we’re used to.
The night closed with panelists and audience members alike sharing actionable tips to do your part in the sustainability effort. One audience member shared a useful tip her friend uses to avoid extra purchases: “when I put something in my online cart, I go for a walk, and most of the time I don’t want it anymore.” Bayers stressed the importance of minimizing purchases: “Buy only what you need, and preowned, if possible.” Levin emphasized doing “the obvious, everyday things” like turning out the lights, being conscious, recycling, and reading labels.
Tonight’s event was a celebration of the remarkable accelerations and innovations in the music, apparel, and entertainment industries, and a signal of hope. If such remarkable strides can be made in just a few years, we can’t wait to see what happens next.