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Hop on the sustainability boat with cues from these prominent influencers

Nowadays, the world is being influenced by people who are appropriately called ‘influencers.’ From fashion to social issues, they are leading the bandwagon to promote products or ideas. Hence, it isn’t surprising to note that the crucial idea of sustainability has a host of influencers supporting it.

How influencers promote sustainability

Promoting an eco-friendly, healthier and safer world is of immense importance, in light of the climate crisis humanity is facing. Some of the world’s most famous influencers promoting sustainability have thousands of followers taking lessons from them — going plastic-free, saving food and becoming part of the zero-waste lifestyle movement.

Sustainability influencers give a peek into their own lifestyles, too. They often share recipes of healthy and tasty dishes, best for both humans and the planet. They inform their followers about ethical brands, especially those owned by members of historically oppressed communities. This not only helps promote sustainability but also lends support to the businesses economically.

Alongside advocating a sustainable lifestyle, these champions of the sustainability movement raise awareness about social issues plaguing society. This is significant because sustainability goals cannot be achieved without addressing issues concerning humanity.

Popular sustainability influencers who inspire us to go green

Aditi Mayer

Instagram — @aditimayer

sustainability influencers
Image: Courtesy of ADITI MAYER/@aditimayer/Instagram

The Rana Plaza Factory collapse in Bangladesh, killing over 1,100 and injuring over 2,600 workers, triggered Mayer’s interest in the world of sustainable fashion movement in 2014.

Since then, the Indian-American has emerged as one of the most vocal advocates of equality, de-colonisation and labour rights within the global fashion industry. She is part of the climate justice collective Intersectional Environmentalist and State of Fashion council, an international platform connecting fashion to social issues.

 

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In 2022, Mayer became a National Geographic Digital Storytelling Fellow. As part of it, she started covering India’s fashion supply chain and its social and environmental impacts.

Besides prominently being a sustainable fashion blogger and journalist, she is also a model. Her Instagram feed features her work in the industry as well as snippets from her personal life. She often uses her position as a sustainable fashion influencer to draw attention to the work of local brands such as Joskai — an Indian clothing label, working with grassroots level artisans from ethnic communities in Assam.

Elizabeth Teo

Instagram — @ZeroWasteCutie

Elizabeth teo
Image: Courtesy of Elizabeth/@zerowastecutie/Instagram

The Chinese-Canadian and American is an environmental activist and educator, focusing on slow fashion. Teo graduated from the University of Toronto and uses her Instagram account to promote zero-waste living.

“I started exploring deeper into my journey to sustainability because I was tired of feeling powerless after most of my classes in environmental studies. I wanted to do more than just turn off the lights and take shorter showers,” Teo says in her Washington Post profile.

“I only buy what I need a few times a year and opt to shop my own closet, borrow from my mom, grandma and brother or buy second-hand or from a sustainable brand if needed,” the 25-year-old adds.

 

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Her account has interesting news, graphics, videos, charts and snapshots of her tweets, directed towards spreading awareness about sustainability, zero-waste, slow fashion, diversity, environmental justice and more. She is a regular blogger too. She writes about social issues in the time of political excesses, such as the women’s movement for rights and freedom, following the 2021 Myanmar coup.

Leah Thomas

Instagram — @GreenGirlLeah

Leah Thomas
Image: Courtesy of Leah Thomas/@greengirlleah/Instagram

Thomas is one of the most prominent Instagram influencers promoting sustainability. She describes herself as an ‘intersectional environmental activist and eco-communicator’ on her official website.

The California native combines environment-related work with social justice, raising her voice for movements like ‘Black Lives Matter.’ In fact, the term ‘intersectional environmentalism’ was coined by her in a May 2020 post on Instagram, during the movement.

As an intersectional environmental champion, she gives her Instagram followers insights on how to live sustainably and glimpses of her personal life too.

She has interviewed prominent people of colour, like Betty Reid Soskin, who retired at the age of 100 as the oldest serving park ranger in US history. She also posts about her travels, her thoughts on the environment and ideas revolving around healthy food.

 

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A post shared by Leah Thomas (@greengirlleah)

A B.S. in Environmental Science and Policy, with a cluster in Comparative World Religions from Chapman University in 2017, she attended the UN Climate Change Conference in Glasgow (COP26) as a member of the press in November 2021.

Thomas spoke as one of the ‘influential leaders and thinkers’ at The New York Times Climate Hub, held alongside the COP26.

Thomas also writes for LA-based sustainable fashion and lifestyle media brand The Good Trade. She has authored The Intersectional Environmentalist: How to dismantle systems of oppression to protect people + planet — a book she started writing at 25.

Diandra Marizet

Instagram: @DiandraMarizet

sustainability influencers
Image: Courtesy of Diandra Marizet/@diandramarizet/Instagram

Diandra Marizet uses her Instagram platform to advocate for the Latinx community and spread awareness about plastic-free living.

Marizet, who has a background in fashion and community building, is the co-founder and executive director of Intersectional Environmentalist. She focuses on climate activists and other environmental supporters from the Black, Indigenous, and People of Colour (BIPOC) communities.

 

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The environmental champion often talks about books, cultural preservation and travels. She also shares write-ups on society and the environment alongside occasional videos of her fun trips.

She frequently hangs out with other like-minded environmental champions like Leah Thomas and Aditi Mayer and counts them as her friends.

Arti Jalan

Instagram — @forageandsustain

Arti Jalan
Image: Courtesy of Arti/@forageandsustain/Instagram

The sustainability influencer is the founder and editor of Forage and Sustain, an online platform promoting sustainable living through what it dubs ‘spiritual ecology.’ This involves learning about the earth and environment through ways like ancestral teachings and storytelling among others.

Before founding Forage and Sustain in 2017, Jalan worked as a freelance writer and ran her boutique paperie named Owl and Oak. She has also worked for a Shanghai-based start-up and a Mumbai-based NGO, where she helped daughters of sex workers emerge out of the vicious cycle of poverty.

She draws attention to indigenous organisations that need people’s support and helps promote sustainable products through giveaways via Forage and Sustain’s Instagram account. She also promotes unique traditional methods like the Japanese wrapping technique known as Furoshiki, zero-waste tips and shares interesting tricks and quotes.

Lauren Singer

Instagram — @trashisfortossers

sustainability influencers
Image: Courtesy of Lauren Singer/@trashisfortossers/Instagram

Singer founded Trash is For Tossers, an online platform, in 2014, which helps people achieve a zero-waste lifestyle and safeguard the environment.

Singer started her zero-waste living in 2012 and shot to fame four years later, after producing all the trash accumulated, within the period in a 16 oz (453 grams) mason jar.

“I do compost and recycle but only as a last resort — I try to avoid packaging at all costs,” she told CNN at that time. She thereby earned the nickname ‘the girl with the trash jar.’

 

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In 2017, she launched Package Free, offering products to help reduce daily waste.

Singer is counted among the most influential Instagram influencers, who promote sustainability. The social entrepreneur featured in Forbes’ 30 Under 30 list in 2020.

Her Instagram feed is a grid of beautiful pictures. These include snapshots of delectable dishes coupled with information on how to avoid wasting it. Also, photos of her playing with her dog and commentaries on famous brands, taking the sustainable route, including Johnnie Walker and the brand after which she was named — Ralph Lauren.

Zahra Biabani

Instagram — @zahranurbiabani

sustainability influencers
Image: Courtesy of Zahra Biabani – Soulful Seeds/@zahranurbiabani/Instagram

Biabani graduated from Vanderbilt University in 2021 with a bachelor’s degree in environmental studies. But the Houston native has been very active, as one of the foremost environmental influencers since 2017, when she posted about mental wellness on her blog Soulful Seeds.

Subsequently, while researching ways to combat human trafficking, Biabani came across the conscious consumerism movement, which opened her eyes to exploitation within the fashion industry.

In an interview with World War Zero, Biabani said that her “huge call to action” came when she saw the destruction caused to communities, especially BIPOC, by Hurricane Harvey in 2017.

Ever since, Biabani is spreading the message of sustainability and ethics in fashion through her social media accounts, especially Instagram. The uniqueness of her account is that Biabani shares uplifting news about the environment while dancing — which she labels as “weekly wins for Mama Earth.”

There are also funny but important reels and memes about climate justice and ethical fashion. Of course, she also shares glimpses of her own eco-friendly lifestyle.

Since September 2021, Biabani has been serving as the CEO of In The Loop — a rental clothing subscription service, she started with sustainable fashion influencer Megan McSherry.

Sabrina Katz

Instagram — @sustainablesabs

Sabrina
Image: Courtesy of Sabs/@sustainablesabs/Instagram

Besides being one of the prominent Instagram influencers promoting sustainability, Katz is also among the famous ethical YouTube influencers. She talks about her waste-free journey on both platforms.

Katz, a New Yorker, is one of the co-founders of Intersectional Environmentalist. She promotes ethical and sustainable fashion brands like Defunkify and businesses owned by African Americans, such as Ollie & Otto, on her Instagram account.

 

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There are numerous videos on her YouTube account where Katz shares everything — from what she eats as a vegan to what she wears while adhering to the zero-waste living.

She also highlights important social issues such as women’s right to abortion to antisemitism.

Jonathan Levy

Instagram — @zerowasteguy

sustainability influencers
Image: Courtesy of Jonathan Levy/@zerowasteguy/Instagram

The environmental consultant from Los Angeles is famous on social media as the Zero Waste Guy. On his official website, Levy says that he helps brands avoid green-washing and develop sustainable products.

“I work with businesses to systemically root out wasteful practices to maximize profits while minimizing environmental harm,” he says.

Levy came across the idea of sustainable resource management in 2013. Following this, he uses his years of experience in operations and supply chain management in the world of recyclables.

 

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His Instagram account shows how he recycles and reuses on his zero-waste journey. Levy documents his travels and shares his concerns about the lack of waste management in cities like Agra and Delhi in India. At the same time, he praises vegetable vendors who adhere to the single-use plastic ban, like those in Jaipur.

He also showcases his cooking skills and promotes the use of second-hand products like a beautiful Garmin wristwatch he bought from a friend.

Wendy Graham

Instagram — @moralfibresblog

Wendy Graham
Image: Courtesy of Wendy Graham/@moralfibresblog/Instagram

Graham is a sustainable blogger from the UK who draws attention concerning the planet through her writings on her eco-blog, Moral Fibres.

Her Instagram account is equally insightful, promoting eco-friendly living for her followers. There are short tips and lessons, explained with simple graphics or delightful doodles for those eager to lead a sustainable life.

 

Graham’s posts on resourceful travel, reducing food waste and products from ethical brands — make her account a one-stop window to an eco-friendly lifestyle.

(Main and Featured image credit: ADITI MAYER/@aditimayer/Instagram; Leah Thomas/@greengirlleah/Instagram)

Manas Sen Gupta
Manas enjoys reading detective fiction and writing about anything that interests him. When not doing either of the two, he checks Instagram for the latest posts by travellers. Winter is his favourite season and he can happily eat a bowl of noodles any time of the day.
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