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Name: Alice Forrest
Occupation: Wildlife Guide
Where were you born? What is your heritage?
Tell us a little bit about what you do?
My background is in marine biology & conservation and I am currently working as a wildlife guide. This means sharing all my favourite animal facts in amazing wild places like Antarctica! I see guiding as a way to communicate the science but most importantly as a way to connect people to the creatures and places, to help them to fall in love with the whales, seabirds, krill and just the magic of the ocean, because ultimately we protect what we love.
What does the Fashion Revolution movement mean to you personally?
As a marine biologist who studied plastic pollution, I’ve seen first hand the impacts that our waste has on the ocean. There are so many negative impacts caused by the textile industry – run off of dyes & chemicals, greenhouse gas emissions from production & transport, human rights issues of child & slave labour, and the disposable nature of fast fashion.
The Fashion Revolution means taking a stand against these issues, refusing to support the businesses who manufacture clothes in a harmful way and supporting those that are creating better alternatives. For me personally, this means getting most of my clothes from clothes swaps. If I have to buy something, I’ll go to a second hand store. When I do buy new clothes, it’s a considered choice – What do I really need? Where does it come from? How was it made? Who made it?
This year’s Fashion Revolution theme is all about a healthy planet being a human right – what action are you taking in the fight to keep our planet healthy?
I live in an off-grid tiny home, which my partner and I built together. It runs entirely on solar energy & uses rainwater (no fossil fuels). While this is a pretty extreme example, we hope that it will inspire people to think about what changes they can make to in their own lives like switching to solar power, and voting for action on climate.
Given your work in ocean conservation particularly, what correlation do you see between the fashion industry and the health of our oceans?
The challenge for our oceans is that we don’t see our impact – you look out and see this huge blue sparkling thing that looks clean, healthy, and so massive that our actions couldn’t make a difference. Unfortunately the reality is that there are so many ways we’re doing harm.
One of the biggest issues is microfibres from synthetic clothing – these shed every time a garment is washed, and aren’t caught by wastewater plants so they flush straight out to sea. One jacket can shed several thousand fibres everytime it’s washed. And so many of our clothes contain polyester, acrylic, nylon & other synthetic materials. These tiny fibres are eaten by animals at every level of the food chain, and can introduce harmful pollutants.
The fashion industry, like all industries, needs to take responsibility for what they’re producing. Making the wrong choices of fabrics or production methods can have huge & long-lasting impacts on our oceans and even human health, so it’s awesome to see a rise in conscious businesses who are actively trying to shift the industry to design & produce better.
What’s the one thing you’d like to change in the fashion industry?
I’d like to see sustainability as a key consideration in all fashion design and production. Too often the cheap cost of clothes takes priority over critical considerations like how a garment was made or what happens at the end-of-life of that garment. I’d like to see people buying less, but buying better.
Do you have a favourite place in nature? If so, where is it?
Under the sea!! One of my favourite spots is our local marine sanctuary, Julian Rocks, where you can slide into the water and be face to face with a turtle, leopard shark or eagle ray. It’s so peaceful and yet so full of life.
What do you normally wear every day?
Something comfy & colourful. Usually a singlet or tshirt & a long skirt.
What is your favourite piece in your wardrobe?
My maroon corduroy overalls – from a local second hand shop
What is your favourite style of Mighty Good Basics?
I don’t have one particular favourite style, I’m just a big fan of all of their products since they’re made consciously & sustainably.