Meet Miko Takama - She is a Marketing Freelancer and CEO of Public Ecology specialised in Sustainable Business Strategy, Branding Communication and Environmental Programs based in Berlin. Our founder, Laia Rodon, talked with her about Sustainability and how to educate the costumers to be conscious with the environment.
Laia Rodon - Hi Miko! What do you think that is the main role of sustainability in Fashion and Acessories?
Miko Takama - Hi Laia! For me, fashion brands just create sustainable products for commercial purposes, but they should also educate the consumers because if they don’t change their mind and don’t learn why it’s important to buy sustainable products, it’s not going to sell and they already know demand, if there is no demand the price will be expensive, and most of the people use fast-fashion because it’s cheaper.
Workers in factories in Bangladesh or India, they just can’t afford sustainable products, so, if people learn about sustainable issues and learn why to buy sustainable products. I believe that it will be more in demand and slowly it’s going to start the industry increase.
LR - Do you have any personal life hacks for getting through the day in the most sustainable way possible?
MT - I started living as a conscious consumer about 5 or 6 years ago and at that time there were not that many options out there. For example, some brands were pioneers and also more expensive than nowadays. Otherwise, there were not many brands to choose from but then I kept learning about environmental issues and what was happening in the fashion industry and it kept making me feel like "I had to do something" but I couldn’t do so much and I was a student so I didn’t have money to buy expensive sustainable products. So, it gets overwhelming and even now when people start thinking about mental issues or social issues are so huge because the scale of the problem was so big and I used to think: "You know what? What’s the point? Even if I change my actions or dealing with them, it’s just one person changing it, I’m not going to do anything about that and it’s just the whole journey, it’s like the bottom of this feeling and keep doing the right thing to do." I believe the small hack is to maintain your motivation, but still to keep learning because if you learn, even the small change you make ultimately will make a big difference. In my opinion, education it’s the key, you have to keep educating yourself about what you can do, even if it’s a small change in your life. For example, switching to reusable bottle instead of buying plastic bottles because that is going to make a huge difference in the ocean plus saving so many lives. Education it’s the key I think.
"If you keep educating the consumers, automatically you are expanding your market as well".
LR - We love the Public Ecology website and your Instagram Feed. What is the inspiration behind it?
MT - As I said earlier about educating the consumer, I learned that from this information with Patagonia when I was studying Fashion Marketing in LCF. The first year, I watched The True Cost documentary and it was devastating I said to myself: "Oh my god! This is the industry I choose, but I was already at the University and I couldn’t change my studies because that was going to cost money and I can lose it and I had to finish it." Then I found out brands such as Patagonia, and they were making money and doing good things at the same time. I thought if I ever have my own brand, that´s what I should be doing, because as I said even it didn´t matter how I tried to create my sustainable product If nobody knows why it’s important to buy it. So if you keep educating the consumers, automatically you are expanding your market as well. I think that this was the most inspiring and rewarding thing that I was doing interesting because the way that they talked about these issues was easy.
"If they don’t change the perspective, it’s going to be a revolution in the future".
LR - What are life’s small pleasures for you right now that are helping keep you inspired and optimistic?
MT - I started the platform and my website recently (June-July) until then I was trying to work for sustainable brands and I didn’t have an outlet where I could express my opinion or share my knowledge with others. Then the pandemic happened and heading to lockdown, I had 2 jobs and one of them, I lost it because they were not making any sales, nobody was buying anything as they couldn't go shopping. So, I started to think "You know what? I have to create somewhere that I can advertise myself and work as a freelance". I wanted to have my own clothing brand and doing market research I saw on the statistics that nearly a 60% of the audience of fashion designers that are out there they felt their business, but that’s because their designers they are not business persons and they don’t know how to do business. I’am pretty sure that there are so many designers that they are trying to do like you are, creating sustainable products, but they don’t know how doing business and that’s so sad because I measured my market and I did some business management and I graduated. I wanted to share that knowledge to amazing designers that are in the market. Eventually I had amazing audience and they share their thoughts and they tell me that my content help them and their comments really give me motivation and I think that’s the best thing that has happened so far.
LR - Finally, What does sustainability mean to you?
MT - In my personal life, it means lifestyle, meaning like whenever I buy some things or I’am travelling to one place to another I try to reduce my footprint. I think it’s lifestyle, but when I think about as I how the industry is prospecting it, it should be like a core value over the industry. It’s amazing that there are brands that they are trying to change. If the people, including those they share over this brands if they don’t change the perspective, it’s going to be a revolution in the future.
For more Miko Takama, you can find her at www.publicecology.de
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