It's Friday, and that means that it's day five of Fashion Revolution week and it's also time for the weekly Fridays for the future strike, and so today we're going to talk about how to be an activist (not just climate) and why I'm striking for Fashion Revolution. I made a sign and everything. And today on the blog we're talking activism.

Want to get involved? Make your own protest sign and take a picture of it (with you in it maybe?) and share it! Post it on social media with the hashtag #FRWDigitalStrike to be a part of it. Also tag me @muccycloud so I can see it and share it too!

Up until recently I didn't really see myself as an activist, it was something I dreamed about doing but not something I thought I was doing.I mean I didn't go on strikes or marches that reguarly, I didn't have some big campaign, and though I saw my blog as a form of activism I didn't think it was making much impact. But activism is so much more than protests and huge campaigns, you don\t have to be famous or spearheading something to help make change, activism comes in many forms (especially in today's internet age) and so today I'm talking about how you can be an activist in many different ways.

I'm focusing on climate activism because that's what I'm versed in, and because it's climate strike Friday today so it felt appropriate!

Protests are an amazing way of getting people together and really showing people you give a shit, whether it's aimed at the government, or a big corporation, or something smaller scale. I've been to quite a few myself and definitely think there are good and bad ways to protest. They often happen on week days, in big cities, and therefore are not always accessible to everyone, especially many disabled people. So though they are a good way to emphasise a need for change, they're not for everyone.

During this current pandemic a lot of big protests, including the climate strike, have made their way online. We can't get out and protest but people still want to stand up for change, the climate crisis doesn't end because we're current facing a different crisis, and so people have started striking online keep the movement going. To keep telling governments that this isn't over and things still need to be done. In this day and age whole movements can exist online that make a big difference, that help mobilise and empower people, and offer a form of education that a lot of people wouldn't have access to otherwise. So if you want to participate but can't get out, joining online movements is one way to help participate in change.

See also: Global Climate Strike - Nottingham

Another big thing is campaigns, my friend Ella runs a campaign to try and end period plastic and get big brands to remove plastic from their sanitary products, it's her whole life now and she does an amazing job at it. But you don't have to have a big campaign like this to participate in activism.

But joining established campaigns, standing behind people who are at the forefront movements, and signing for/donating to things you believe in mean you can participate without having to dedicate your whole life to a cause. I mean if everyone tried to have a worldwide campaign then we'd all just be shouting over each other constantly and nothing would actually get done. So participate, learn, support!
In your community
Worldwide movements are powerful, but they're not the only way to get things done. Working within a local community can help you better the lives of people around you, as well along with working towards another cause.

Whether you're campaigning for more water fountains at you school, more recycling bins in your local area, or working to create a community fridge or kitchen to fight food waste and hunger, working in your local community can get small chunks of change done much quicker than on a national scale. Catering to the needs of the people around you and making a greater impact. It also means you can build a community of people that are there for and look after each other. True community is an extremely powerful tool for change.

Plus making these small changes within your local community can help people make small mindset and lifestyle changes that eventually snowball into a national change in habits. There's magic in that.

See also: Five Ways to Be More Sustainable Right Now

Knowing when to speak, and when to listen and learn.
I want to emphasise the importance here of knowing where your voice is needed, and knowing where your support is needed. It can be somewhat of a steep learning curve but it's an important one.

Joining and supporting groups and campaigns run by indigenous and marginalised people is a way to directly support people who know what they're talking about, from lived experience, when it comes to climate, injustice, and racism, things that are all interlinked. If we constantly centre only the most privileged voices then we're not going to make a very big change. So learning to listen, support, and not take space away from more marginalised people is a very important lesson for those of us with privilege to learn in activist spaces. Especially when we're talking climate because ingenious people's houses have been on fire for more than 400 years in many parts of the world, they're been fighting this for generations.

If you have any form of privilege (white, able bodied, cisgender, straight) then I really encourage you to diversify the learning you're doing, whether that's by following different people on social media, switching up the literature you're reading, changing up the documentaries you watch. Let marginalised people speak for themselves and just sit and learn for a bit. It will make you a better activist, and ally, trust me.

It's not all climate
A lot of climate activist will be part of movements that seem to have nothing to do with the climate. But this injustice, racism, inequality, it's all linked into the climate. The capitalist systems we live it that are detrimental to the planet are also detrimental to people, and thrive on inequality.

So sometimes climate activism may also be helping supporting refugees in calais or your local community, donating to food banks, and helping out at other local charities that may not seem directly linked to climate change. But that ultimately help us live in a more just and sustainable world.

Climate change will (and already does) affect the most marginalised and vulnerable the world and so working to uplift these people, changing our system, and making sustainability more accessible to everyone is all part of climate activism and climate justice.

Movements are made of millions of people all with their own small part
It's important to note with activism that no one person is a movement. Even though Greta is arguably the face of Fridays for the future and has made a huge impact on the world, the movement still would not be where it is today without millions of people getting involved in their own big and small ways.

You don't have to be devoting your entire life to a cause to help make an impact, so just get involved!

So what else can you do? To get involved in activism and be a better activist?

  • Join a local climate group
  • Set up a small campaign in your school or workplace
  • Sign petitions for campaigns you believe in
  • Write to your MP
  • Set up a community group
  • Stand up for marginalised people
  • Join a strike or protest (online or in person(once lockdown has ended))
  • write to a company
  • Get involved in some craftivism
  • Educate yourself
  • Educate others
  • Diversify your social media feeds
  • Create educational posts/calls to action on your social media
  • Volunteer
  • Write a blog
  • Boycott
  • Listen to those who have different experienced to you
  • Work to make spaces accessible
  • Raise money for/donate to a charity or cause

So that's some of the ways to get involved in activism. There are probably lots of things I didn't mention but I hope that helped those who are in the space/want to get move involved learn about things a bit more. To be truly effective activism (at least in terms of climate) has to be diverse, accessible, multi faceted, and involve lots of people. So come and join in!
Want to get involved as part of Fashion Revolution week? Make your own protest sign and take a picture of it (with you in it maybe?) and share it! Post it on social media with the hashtag #FRWDigitalStrike to be a part of it. Also tag me @muccycloud so I can see it and share it too!

Thank you for reading, and I'll see you tomorrow when we ask what's in our clothes?
More from Fashion Revolution Week:
Monday: Why Do we Need a Fashion Revolution?
Tuesday: Who Made my Clothes?
Wednesday: The Ultimate Guide to Fixing Up Your Clothes
Thursday: Loved Clothes Last: A Clothing Love Story
Friday: How to Be a Climate Activist
Saturday: "What's in my Clothes?"
Sunday: What do we want from the future of fashion?