This Earth Day, Jayda G, Love Ssega and Bethany Williams discuss how their creative fields can help to curb climate change.
Today (22 April) marks Earth Day, the anniversary of the modern environmental movement which took place in 1970. In past years, landmark events have happened on this date, such as the signing of the Paris Agreement, but it’s also an invitation for us to consider the ways that we can work towards the conservation of our planet in our personal lives, whether that be through recycling, reducing meat consumption and shopping secondhand, and our professional careers.
To that end, HUNGER called up three inspiring and outspoken environmental advocates to discuss what their chosen creative field can do to become more sustainable. DJ and producer Jayda G reflects on club culture, recording artist Love Ssega talks ‘big music’ and environmentally conscious designer Bethany Williams gets real about the fashion industry.
Jayda G is a Canadian-born, London-based DJ and Grammy-nominated producer known for her brand of upbeat, uplifting house. In addition to being one of today’s most in-demand DJs and producers, she also holds a Master’s in Environmental Toxicology and has been outspoken about the need to conserve our environment.
“One thing the dance industry can do to be more sustainable is have festivals be more public about their sustainable efforts, so that artists and fans can make more conscious choices.”
A founding member of Clean Bandit and the holder of a PhD in Laser Sensing from Cambridge University, Love Ssega has always been able to combine his musical career with a deep interest in the world around him. This year he is a commissioned artist as part of Season for Change, an 8-week-long programme inspiring climate action, and his project and new single (released today) explore the impact of air pollution on Black and minority ethnic groups in London’s South Circular.
“Since the government won’t place meaningful carbon taxes on big companies, the music industry must take the lead. Just 1 percent from the billions in revenue that the 3 majors, Universal, Sony and Warner , made in the pandemic, and every year, would go a long way. I’m part of the Brian Eno-led initiative EarthPercent and arts climate action programme Season for Change, and I can tell you, if the industry or ‘big music’ doesn’t act, it will be left behind by artists, musicians and many others who now see the climate crisis as a huge problem requiring binding financial commitments and not just statements. Look at the current European Super League mess to show you how it’s no longer ‘Big Business’ as usual.”
Sustainable designer Bethany Williams believes that social and environmental issues go hand in hand. While using organic and recycled materials in her collections, she’s also used the catwalk as a space for working with different charities such as Adelaide House, a shelter for women who have formerly been in prison, and the Magpie Project, which provides accommodation for women with children under 5.
“I believe one thing the industry needs to do really is really develop systems that are circular and supply chains that are transparent. Find solutions through design that support people and planet”
22 April 2021