I want you to consider this question for a moment: Who do you look up to?
Is there just one person that inspires you or a number of people?
Are those individuals TV personalities? Models? Actors and actresses? Politicians? Or scientists?
Or are they made up of more ‘grass roots’ individuals, such as your parents, teachers, community activists or one of your siblings?
I ask this because one of the people that I look up to got in touch with me via email on May 6 2016.
The email subject line:
URGENT: Promotion for an ethical fashion kickstarter campaign?
THE Safia Minney. The mastermind behind one of the world’s longest running ethical labels, People Tree.
My eyes widened. I think my heart stopped.
I immediately dropped what I was doing (what was I doing?) and clicked on the email right away, disregarding the large number of emails sitting in the inbox begging to be opened with catchy headlines like “Writing for Eco Warrior Princess” “Re. Guest Post” “Grow Your LinkedIn Network” “Introducing….”
I personally don’t like queue jumpers or those who expect special treatment for who they are. I don’t care how high and mighty, no one is above another. And the people who cater to the demands of these perceived ‘elites’ are no better.
And yet faced with the same dilemma – on a much smaller scale, my email inbox – I stooped down to the very same level. I gave Safia Minney preferential treatment.
Sorry to everyone who has ever sent me an email and received zero response. I am only human.
Now Safia Minney probably has no idea the magnitude of her impact on me and she obviously is not to blame for me moving her to the front of the email queue.
But you know how people fawn over move stars? Safia is like that for me. I’ve read many articles about this ethical fashion pioneer since I seriously began my ethical journey almost six years ago. What she’s done and achieved with her brand is phenomenal. She also came to life for me when I saw her in the documentary film, The True Cost. And I follow her tweets religiously. I worship her.
So what did the email say? you’re probably wondering. Here’s the opening paragraph:
I am Safia Minney, an award winning international social entrepreneur, author of ‘Naked Fashion’ and ‘Slow Fashion’, and founder and director of People Tree. You have a wonderful blog! I am currently running the ‘Slave To Fashion’ kickstarter campaign and I would love to know if you can help promoting it on your The Eco Warrior Princess blog.
She likes my blog! She’s reached out and needs help! Of course Safia! Anything for you!
The email went on to ask for help (“We need to raise another £15,000 in 15 days! “Your help will be critical to our campaign success”) and it also included this campaign press release:
‘SLAVE TO FASHION’, a book and educational campaign by Safia Minney, MBE
Launched on Kickstarter and is halfway to fulfilling its target of £35,000
‘Slave to Fashion’ will raise awareness of modern slavery in the fashion industry and show how it can be eradicated by businesses and consumers, bringing the facts, stories and actions we must take to eradicate modern slavery.
Responding directly to the call to action brought about by the UK Modern Slavery Act (2015), the project promises an analysis of slavery in the garment industry happening in both UK, Europe and developing countries. 71% of companies believe there is a likelihood of modern slavery occurring at some stage in their supply chains: it is complex, hidden and challenging to address – ETI
Safia and her team will research and produce micro documentaries and interviews featuring stories of men, women and children caught in slavery, making clothes sold on the high street, worldwide. To achieve this, they will be going undercover, using networks and relationships Safia has built up with trade unions and Fair Trade organisations internationally to interview workers working as slaves.
This project is supported by War on Want, Fairtrade Foundation, World Fair Trade Organization, Soil Association, True Cost & Eco-Age.
And then, just like all other days where I juggle competing priorities and demands for my attention: I forgot about it.
I may have a girl crush on Safia, but I’m a busy woman. It has taken me until now to write this post. Dropping everything is okay when checking an email, but not when trying to manage the growing amount of work for this blog and balancing its needs with that of my digital business and other personal responsibilities.
And even though I read Safia’s email on the day she sent it, I didn’t actually respond to it. Shit. What kind of a fan am I anyway? I’m friggin’ hopeless.
So three days ago, I sent Safia a direct message on Twitter promising to help. And it was then that I noticed she had sent me a direct message on Twitter 10 days prior to the email I received.
CRAP!!! Did I mention I’m hopeless? So I replied:
Now that I look back on it, not the kind of email I wanted to send a woman I admire, but it was 7:30pm on a Sunday, and I was using Twitter. I wasn’t exactly in the right head space.
Anyway I now have only 22 hours in which to help Safia bring her ethical fashion vision to life before this Kickstarter campaign officially ends. Yikes!
Better get cracking with my own pledge and close that gap of £1131 and use my marketing skills to get as many eye balls on this campaign. The things you do for the woman you love hey? 🙂
If you’d like to make a pledge, please head to the Slave to Fashion Kickstarter campaign here: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/947623622/slave-to-fashion
To learn more about People Tree or browse their current collections, visit their website here.