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Interview with Petra Partnerships

Regardless of the industry they are in, more and more people are looking to make their contribution to a healthier planet that can be renewed and replenished rather than depleted. Take for instance Petra Partnerships, led by duo Ella Rose and Kara Michael-Brown. Their approach to creating caring and inclusive partnerships between musicians and sustainable brands is something that obviously resonated with us. Here is what they have to say:

Image ©Petra Partnerships

What do you think should be a sustainability priority?

It’s fantastic to see so many start-up companies are making an effort to be more sustainable. Whether they involve one or many sustainable practices - impact is massive. We believe that being mindful with our consumption is paramount and companies especially fashion retailers should adopt ‘slow fashion’ as a priority. You can’t buy yourself into sustainability, reconsider that what you already own is the most sustainable thing you can do. Therefore, keeping items and products for a long time is a tradition we all need to imply. It’s natural for us humans to want and have desires, but consumerism plays on this emotion and encourages us to buy more and more until it becomes unhealthy. We need to recognise that our current consumption is unnatural and find out ways to buy less and keep for longer.

How do you apply sustainable practices in your life/work?

We make efforts in our life and work to try and be as sustainable as we can be, by using our (albeit limited) powers as citizens and consumers where possible. What I mean by that is - as citizens, we are given the power to choose our own government, so we use elections to vote for parties with the best policies on climate change. As consumers, we try to use our purchasing power to show the market that being green is better.

Of course, we do slip up sometimes, but as a general rule we try to always buy eco-lifestyle products. We also use services like Oddbox, zero-waste shops (BYO in Nunhead is Ella’s favourite!), and for our company website, we’ve used Eco Hosting for the domain because they’re powered entirely by renewable energy. I think it’s important to point out that the onus to make a difference to climate change is on governments and corporations - they hold the real power to make change, and passing the buck to us as citizens/consumers is, at its worst, negligence.

How would you empower others to become more sustainable?

PETRA Partnerships acknowledges that content creators have a big platform and advertise to a global audience. Some music influencers, let’s use Billie Eilish as an example, use their reach to empower others to act on environmental issues. We noticed that there are plenty of music influencers, just like Eilish, who want to do more and show their support but don’t know how. PETRA builds partnerships between music influencers and sustainable brands so they can empower their audience to explore sustainable fashion. Whether they are wearing sustainable clothes in their social media content, on the stage, or in music videos they are making sustainability look stylish and contemporary. Green is the new black!

What positive changes do you see happening regarding sustainability?

There are some incredible things happening around the world! As a global society, we are facing a huge uphill struggle (to say the least), but it’s very encouraging to see people holding governments and corporations to account for their actions. The work of organisations like ClientEarth in the UK, and EarthJustice in the US, are so inspiring.

We’re also taken aback by the amount of small businesses making a difference on a grassroots level. For example, in the music and fashion businesses, small organisations like the Sustainable Fashion Collective and The Premises Studio take a standard business model and tweak it to make it eco-friendly. The Sustainable Fashion Collective is essentially a workshop/course hub for designers, the difference being that all of their courses centre around sustainability at their core. The Premises Studio in East London is a music recording studio who have built the first solar powered studio in Europe. They’ve also made their prices cheaper than conventional studios, meaning that they are accessible to all levels of musicians.

Image ©Petra Partnerships

What advice would you give the younger generation?

The younger generation seem to already apply sustainable habits to their daily lives. They take it more seriously because they learn about climate change in schools and in the media. The only piece of advice we’d give to them is that they should learn how to recreate and remodel the old. They shouldn’t be discouraged from knocking down traditions if they are not environmentally friendly. They should come up with new and innovative designs, products, systems and processes because the current method can’t sustain. They should be inspired to make changes because the future, which we all talk about with trepidation, will be their reality.

Do you think there is a ‘considered consumption’ model that could work?

Absolutely. Consumption of natural resources is completely inevitable because it’s a key feature of human existence - we need food, water, shelter and clothing to survive. Consequently, our consumption rate will only continue to rise with population levels. However, being thoughtful about our consumption habits (both individually and as a collective) can help to reduce the impact of our exploitation of the environment.

Read more about Petra Partnerships and their mission to change the world one partnership at a time .


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