Where I come from, family is paramount. If it weren’t for the monotheistic nature of our culture, you would think it’s something we worship.
Naturally this Pakistani girl gravitated towards following (certain) familial footsteps.
Those who know me know that I’m a carbon copy of my father, Mahmood. The genetic duplication didn’t stop short at my appearance, it followed through right down to my core values and morals. Mahmood believes in the force of the private sector to lead the change in a country where political corruption remains rampant. His environmental consciousness led him to start his own solar energy company, International Greenergy Pvt Ltd, in Pakistan. The company aims to “aggressively solarize” the industrial sectors of banking, agriculture, ship breaking & recycling and petroleum & gas. His personal aim is to provide an alternative business model focusing on non-conventional (read: eco-friendly) methods of production.
His story helped placate my rage against the capitalist regime and I find myself more open to the possibility of garnering change from within. I by no means agree with the current economic system, but I no longer find myself defenceless in the wake of its apparent indestructibility. I’LL DESTROY IT FROM WITHIN – jk, I’m optimistic about the possibility of existing structures being used for good.
My cousin on the other hand, embodies a more glamorous environmental perspective. Ayesha Api, as I lovingly call her (and not so lovingly emphasize to remind her of her age) runs her own online ethical fashion marketplace, Fashion ComPassion. When she started her business, I was completely unaware of the harm done by the predominant fast fashion industry – both to its employees and the planet. The plight of oppressed garment workers awakened a new rage in me, one against the nonchalant lifestyle I was leading.
Her story inspired me to channel my energies to conscious consumption. She has been kind enough to let me write for her blog and in the process I am learning about all the lives she is changing by giving an international platform to sustainable female run brands from third world countries. Our current environmental crisis is a serious problem but one that is not marketed right so we find ourselves shutting it out because it’s too scary, or too big to tackle, or due to some other reason that helps us justify our inactivity. Ayesha Api showed me the intersections of fashion, empowerment and the environment; and how such diverse pursuits are they way forward.
So why do I do what I do? Well, I look up to Mahmood, Ayesha Api and all the other self-starters in my family and have decided to carry on that legacy.
So what is it that I do? Well, I’m here telling you what inspired me, and I’m hoping it’ll inspire you too. In other words, I haven’t yet figured it out but maybe we can together.
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