Climate Clout Crisis & Consumerism

By Lauren Tutuny

Would you do “anything for clout” like Cardi B? Popular platforms representing major corporations have a massive impact on society at a lightning speed rate with access to digitized media. Let’s get down to definitions, clout is described as, “influence or power, especially in politics or business.”  This looking glass mirror effect determines the aspects that are trending in today’s news feeds towards a targeted audience of specific demographics.

A platform that caught my eye recently was Elle Magazine’s 2020 Summer edition.  Naturally style of fashion forecasts change with every season.  This magazine rubbed me a different way for entering the new decade, it tied into the “Green Movement”.  Although I did appreciate the cover article about lil Swedish environmentalist Grata Thundburg, a few other articles and ads about “this year’s green beauty stars” were unfavorable and untrustworthy from my perspective.  Every single major corporation, from Herbal Essences to H&M, are promising environmentally friendly, low impact sustainable merchandise to eliminate the fast fashion industry’s carbon footprint by 2030.  Turning the Climate Crisis into “clout” could be cutoff. 

Summer 2020 Elle Magazine Cover Photo (screenshot)

As a woman who suffers from environmental anxiety, the Climate Crisis won’t wait for a department store’s propaganda to catch trend before another wildfire or worse occurs.  The fashion industry consumes 20% of human’s fresh water supply.  People only have access to 1% of the world’s fresh water access.  Since humans are made of about 65% water, this is the most essential  basic element humans have a right and necessity for that needs to be preserved and equitably attained.  From selling bottled “purified” water, which is actually just boiled tap water wrapped in a pretty appealing plastic bottle, to a shampoo bottle made of recyclable water bottles. Companies are profiting off of owning these resources, and persuading the public that we need certain products to be socially accepted and that it is normal. No thank you!

So when major corporations make a profit off of a seasonal trendy pair of jean shorts for the summer, it’s more than just fashion forecasting.  Anyone who is on social media is guilty of doing what is necessary for the clout, it all depends on the message and intent behind the post. If that involves posting a bikini pic with a fun fact about the Earth for informative reasons, perhaps that will be the paradox of my existence because sex sells to get the message across.  Celebrities use their appeal all the time to promote causes that matter to them ( EX: Zac Efron’s Netflix show informs viewers about our planet, 10/10 recommend). #doitfortheclout

Marketing has a way of persuading their shoppers with these buzzwords like  “sustainable”, “eco-friendly”, “recycled”, “organic” because it’s trendy and cool to make a profit off a dying planet right…? As much as I personally want to find this appealing, because it is important for consumers to be aware of what brands they are buying and supporting, the fiery feistiness in me was ignited while scrolling through this magazine. Perhaps encouraging shoppers to buy sustainable is a trend for now, but i just hope it will become a lifestyle choice as well.  

My relationship to the biophysical world has altered drastically the past four years since I graduated with a BA in Communications and Marketing. True lifestyle choices occurred when I began to eat plant based.  If you asked little Lala 4 years ago if I would be a vegetarian/vegan, I would’ve laughed and probably spit my buffalo chicken calzone in someone’s face (jk, I am classier than that).  Now knowing that I can still have these tasty, mouth watering spicy savory type foods but on a plant based diet, I gained a healthier more consistent body weight, along with an increase of empathy.  

As an empath, I feel emotions on a deeper level of those around me, from sentient beings to the climate of the earth.  So while the Earth is out here suffering, my mental health was also depleting. I didn’t understand until recently why I was feeling some type of way when the leaves start to fall during the autumn here in New England simultaneously with tears falling from my eyeballs. Mama Earth is the most divine feminine energy that there is, and I intrinsically take that on, and this motivates my healing journey not just on my own body, but the climate of the Earth itself.  Everything is off and regenerating, from forests in Colorado, to California, to Australia.  Our planet is giving us warning signs. 

(Me and my empathic powers 😂)

We are at a pivotal point in time where we do have the power to pay attention with this knowledge and resources to become more sustainable for our quickly growing human population.  Attempting to make environmentally positive, low impact, carbon footprint decreasing lifestyle choices about food and clothes accessible, affordable and glamorous is important for prosperity of a company and the consumer who is looking for a product to reflect their values.   The emphasis on how to appeal to audiences is what will sell the exact same product at a different store successful or not, just based on persuasive verbiage. I can relate to this in a personal level;

Picture life one year ago, 180 degree difference to life now on a global and interpersonal level. I just received a job as barista/event coordinator at ultimately a brand new vegan “eataly” called Plant City, located in Providence Rhode Island. Their appeal to the public was to emphasize that all of their amenities from restaurants to events are healthy and lit AF.  Employees have to remain consistently mindful while selling to customers with the power of words.  For example, the pizzas and milks are referred to as “plant based” not “vegan”.  This is  because the term “vegan” has a semi-religious niche tone to it that intimidates some people who may not be familiar or fall into that social category demographically or personally.  Plant City has a brand that works based off of celebrity chef, Matthew Kenny’s, pre-established successfully branded restaurants that are dispersed globally into one little hub in the smallest state in America.  

I worked a plethora of customer food service/retail jobs before.  And just the fact that they compost, recycle, and inform customers about their positive impact about saving natural resources and feeling healthy made me want to work there forever.  The hundreds of gallons of water that they are saving by eating a plant based burger compared to a beef burger (660 gallons/ third pound burger) with a tasty, sexy, trendy plate of food handed by an attractive server was enough to make national news a year ago, and it truly felt revolutionary opening on the Pride Parade weekend.

Since then it is my mission to continue to support companies and brands that reflect values of healthy, sustainable, seasonal and local choices for smaller businesses or nonprofits with like minded humans. I show my support by either shopping at these stores, working for a company that reflects this, or donating a few times a year to a company like the Sierra Club.  

I recently visited Colorado and had the privilege of touring Rocky Mountain National Park with my soul sister a couple weeks ago.  I didn’t feel guilty about dropping a couple hundred dollars at the Visitor Center store on local artists’ jewelry and table coasters for my friend’s and family, because I know that the proceeds go directly back to restoring the gorgeous glorious ginormous ecosystem that it is preserving for hundreds of species.  

My bestie & me 12,000 ft up!

Elk for days 

I also discovered on my CO trip, the concept of regenerative agriculture while on a white water rafting trip down the Arkansas River from a new friend who is a writer as well for a sustainability-based company.  Apparently planting all that cow shit back into the Earth can actually reverse the carbon dioxide emissions from all the cow farts back into the soil and reverse some climate change impacts in just the next seven years!  That’s my summary of regenerative agriculture, but it is far more complex than that.  One can research how American farming companies haven’t updated farming techniques since the Industrial Revolution a few hundred years ago, because current farming approaches to feeding its people, especially in America, are no longer sustainable. 

It is my personal mission to continue to search for like minded individuals within certain institutions, whether it’s at a yoga studio, restaurant, or a local boutique that donates proceeds to nonprofits.  Consumerism is one of the few things that an individual has some control over during the bizarre state of the world right now. Pick a place where you know that your proceeds are going to minorities and local business owners!  Yes supply, demand, and socio-economic gaps are an acknowledged challenge. If more products are in demand that will lower the pricing and shift our economy’s supplies for a positive change that this world truly needs in order to have a happy, healthy, long positive future on this planet.  The Law of Attraction will bring these desires when truly focusing on what I do want, like a healthy planet and like-minded individuals, instead of focusing on the lack.  What makes you prosper? Would you do it for the clout? Share below!

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