We spoke to Maya Penn about her upcoming animated quick, her style model, activism, and her work on our Upcycling and the Round Economic system course with THE REVIVAL and The Hopenclass.
By Rhiannon Wardle
Discussions round sustainable style have gotten extra commonplace because the quick style business continues to be known as out for its wasteful, unethical and trend-obsessed enterprise practices. Schooling performs an necessary position on this – to ensure that folks to vary their mindsets about style, they want to concentrate on the sustainable and accessible options accessible.
That’s why we collaborated with THE REVIVAL, The Hopenclass and Maya Penn on their Upcycling and the Round Economic system: Ghanaian Inventive Options to World Textile Waste course, exploring inventive textile waste options and the advantages of a round economic system. THE REVIVAL is a community-led, upcycling design non-profit in Ghana, and FutureLearn is proud to affix forces with The Hopenclass to introduce THE REVIVAL’s work to our world group of learners.
We interviewed Maya Penn, a 22-year-old activist, sustainable clothier, animator, entrepreneur and TED discuss speaker, to get her perception on the way to encourage constructive motion and the position of collective change within the style business. She additionally revealed the inspiration for her upcoming animated quick movie centred round environmentalism.
Interview with Maya Penn, founding father of Maya’s Concepts and board member for THE REVIVAL
We’ve heard the thrilling information that your unique animated quick, ‘ASALI: Energy of the Pollinators’, goes to be produced by award-winning actress, Viola Davis. Are you able to discuss a bit about what impressed this story and what you hope it is going to obtain?
I initially created ‘ASALI: Energy of The Pollinators’ once I was 11 years previous. I premiered the idea for it that I animated once I was 12 throughout my TEDWomen 2013 Speak. That discuss went viral worldwide and was translated into 38 totally different languages.
To today I get flooded with emails, DM’s, and fan artwork from individuals who need to see extra of those characters and this world. I’ve been animating since I began making flip books once I was 4 years previous, and my ardour for each animation and sustainability goes deep.
I hope to create a bit of media that’s an excellent, character-driven story first, that additionally brings a breath of contemporary air to how environmental matters are dealt with in media.
You’ve mentioned that animation is considered one of your largest passions – are there any animated movies or reveals that impressed you to create your personal environment-focused animations?
So far as the environmental themes go, I used to be largely impressed by my work as a youth environmental activist, my environmental training work, talking at faculties, and listening to what different younger folks felt about how these points affect the pure world and our communities.
Animation is a favorite medium of mine, and one that’s so versatile and common, so it made sense that these two passions would finally mix.
Inspiring constructive motion is an enormous focus for you, as seen out of your non-profit, Maya’s Concepts 4 The Planet. What do you assume is the easiest way to encourage folks to take motion after they’ve been made conscious of a difficulty? I do know lots of people wrestle to take that subsequent step.
Generally, folks really feel intimidated once they see how lengthy I’ve been within the area, and the way massive scale of a difficulty local weather change, for instance, is. For this reason I emphasise letting folks know that they already belong on this motion, regardless of who they’re or their experience.
This is a matter that impacts each single considered one of us on some degree. I usually let folks know that no matter it’s of their life that they’re already enthusiastic about: artwork, cooking, style, music, journey, writing — actually something is usually a automobile for constructive affect.
There’s a lovely factor about how interconnected environmental points are with each facet of human life: you don’t should step that far exterior of your self to make a change.
Younger folks, like your self, are sometimes mentioned to be main the best way in relation to local weather motion and conversations round sustainability. What do you assume we are able to do to assist older generations hear, or do you assume that it’s extra necessary to give attention to future generations?
I really feel like lots of people from older generations have already been listening and educating. Particularly in Black, indigenous, and different communities all over the world, in each the World North and World South. Each era or group might not use the very same language and terminology, however sustainable practices existed earlier than sustainability was even a phrase.
I do know I stand on the shoulders of many generations of environmental activists and eco-conscious change makers who paved the best way for voices like mine to be heard, which is why intergenerational collaboration is extra necessary now than ever.
You may have a sustainable style model, Maya’s Concepts. What impressed you to work in sustainable style at such a younger age?
I based Maya’s Concepts in 2008 at 8 years previous, out of a ardour for artwork and design and a drive to deal with the destructive affect the style business has on the setting. I grew up in an eco-conscious family and understood the impacts varied industries had on the earth.
Out of curiosity, I did some analysis on the style business, and it snowballed from there. On the time, sustainable style was nowhere close to a mainstream matter, so I did lots of work to deliver consciousness to the problem by way of my model.
I actually began by creating my gadgets from cloth remnants and classic clothes I had round the home. Right this moment, Maya’s Concepts is an award-winning world model creating artisan-crafted equipment and clothes created from natural, recycled, and classic supplies.
We’re proud to say you’re an educator on our new course, Upcycling and the Round Economic system: Ghanaian Inventive Options to World Textile Waste by The Hopenclass and THE REVIVAL. What impressed you to get entangled with THE REVIVAL?
THE REVIVAL embodies every part that has been on the coronary heart of my very own journey: defending nature, defending tradition, spotlighting the affect of overconsumption, utilizing artwork as a drive for good, and uplifting voices throughout the diaspora – all whereas being community-driven, which is likely one of the most important features of this organisation.
I’m immensely honoured to be a board member of THE REVIVAL and to be an educator on this participating and provoking course with The Hopenclass and FutureLearn!
What do you hope folks will take away from this course in relation to style consumption, upcycling, and the way to create collective change?
I hope learners come away with a newfound understanding of not solely the affect of the quick style business however the methods during which we are able to join again to our inventive roots to foster collective affect by way of the artwork of design; to reimagine what’s deemed as style waste and prolong the lifecycle of what we put on, whereas encouraging others to do the identical.
Develop your personal inventive upcycling concepts immediately
When you’re enthusiastic about studying extra about sustainable style and the way to take motion in your group, be a part of our Upcycling and the Round Economic system course. With loads of inspirational concepts from the collective change in Ghana, you’ll quickly provide you with your personal localised options to style waste administration and transformation.
When you’re unfamiliar with the idea of upcycling, it describes the inventive transformation of waste or byproducts into new, high-quality merchandise, subsequently giving them a second life.
Study much more about sustainable style
Has your curiosity been sparked? We’ve got on-line programs overlaying many alternative matters inside sustainable style, so you may proceed your studying journey past THE REVIVAL’s inspiring upcycling course.
You too can learn our different articles about sustainability within the style business, the perfect sustainable materials, and the way forward for style expertise. Along with your newfound information, you’ll be higher outfitted to start out making a distinction in your group, and possibly, like Maya, past.
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