Name: Arielle Gamble

Occupation: Director & Co-Founder, Groundswell Giving and Artist

Age: 35

Where were you born? What is your heritage? 

Sydney, Australia, Gadigal land. I descended from British & European settlers and migrants. I grew up on Kamillaroi and Worimi country, and now live on Dharug land.

Tell us a little bit about what you do? 

I spend my days working on climate action. This involves raising funds for climate advocacy through Groundswell Giving, an organisation I began with two friends, and helping people to move past the overwhelm of the climate crisis to channel their energy into impactful and strategic action.

How do you juggle being an artist and working in the climate space?

Working daily on tackling the climate crisis takes up a lot of mental and emotional energy. My art practise in the evenings is a reflective, meditative process that helps me process the learnings of the day and fill my cup once again.

Tell us a story about your latest piece of art?

It’s a large, deep green stitching inspired by long days exploring West Head National Park on Garigal country over the summertime, falling through boulders and grass trees, layers of beauty, history and conflict.

What does the Fashion Revolution movement mean to you personally?

This quote by Paul Hawken has always stuck with me: “We have an economy that tells us that it is cheaper to destroy earth in real time rather than renew, restore, and sustain it. You can print money to bail out a bank but you can’t print life to bail out a planet. At present we are stealing the future, selling it in the present, and calling it gross domestic product.” – Paul Hawken

To me the Fashion Revolution means reimagining our relationship with nature to follow First Nations wisdom and leadership: we are not separate from nature, we are part of it, vulnerable to it, and we have an immense duty of care to the life force that sustains and surrounds us.

The climate crisis is escalating and presents an unprecedented existential challenge to humanity, yet it is also an opportunity to transform our relationship with nature from one of exploitation to one of custodianship. In healing our planet we can heal our communities and ourselves.

First Nations people the world over have known this truth and honoured this balance since time immemorial. It’s well past time for the rest of us to listen and learn.

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?

Some actions I take are: offsetting my carbon emissions; using green energy at home; moving my banking and super to ethical, fossil fuel free funds; paying the rent as a settler on stolen lands; and regularly funding climate action.

I am a regular monthly donor to Seed Mob Indigenous Youth Climate Network who are an amazing First Nations led organisation working to build the power of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people to protect country and keep fossil fuels in the ground.

Given the fashion industry is one of the most polluting and abusive industries, what changes would you like to see brands take to start to pave the way for a more ethical industry?

Fashion has a big and important role to play in solving the climate crisis by urgently reducing emissions at all levels of production and consumption by 2030.

The Mckinsey Institute has worked out the top 3 ways for fashion to step up on climate:

  • reducing emissions from upstream emissions (from farming to materials processing)could deliver about 1 billion metric tons of emission abatement in 2030;
  • reducing emissions from brands own operations could achieve 308 million metric tons of CO2-equivalent abatement in 2030;
  • encouraging sustainable consumer behaviour could contribute 347 million metric tons of emission abatement in 2030.

Ethical manufacturing, transparent supply chains, the elimination of plastics and chemicals, buying less and using less are all important parts of this puzzle. Becoming a 1% for the planet brand or a corporate Groundswell Giving member are other great ways to give back to the Earth that sustains us.

Do you have a favourite place in nature? If so, where is it?

The place I grew up, a land of granite boulders, apple gums and native pines – Kamillaroi country in North Western NSW.

What do you normally wear every day?

In the summertime dresses most days, in the colder months jeans and cosy knits.

What is your favourite piece in your wardrobe?

My most beloved clothes are hand me downs from special friends. A wonderful old family friend Kathy was a talented dressmaker and from her I inherited a special ballroom skirt from her that I always wear with pride.

Do you have any favourite sustainable brands, or favourite second hand shops?

There are a number of Australian designers I admire doing great work on climate and sustainability such as Magpie Goose, Vege Threads, Ginger & Smart and Kit Willow. Mostly though I don’t really buy all that much! I have inherited a beautiful wardrobe from many friends and op shops, so these days sustainably made underwear and the occasional vintage treasure are all I invest in.

Do you have a style icon?

My grandmother Gaye, she is the coolest.

What is your favourite style of Mighty Good Basics? 

The tank and bikini are wonderful and so comfortable.