How GINTB is continuing to encourage #LittleGreenSteps with this year’s Virtual Conscious Festival.
Green is the New Black (GITNB) is a company on a mission – a mission to fight the climate crisis. Encouraging active empowerment, GITNB is a lifestyle media and events platform which aims to make sustainability ‘mainstream, accessible and sexy’, providing engaging content, enabling connection, and facilitating education.
Making conscious living the ‘new norm’, as summarised by Co-Founder and Operations Director Paula Miquelis “our vision is to connect people consciously back to the planet.”
“We have been working with big brands such as LUSH, Holland & Barrett, HSBC, and Shangri-La. We also work with smaller brands SMEs and social enterprises as members. We currently have 160 members across 13 countries who we support with content creation, connection and events.”
Conscious Festival 2020
At the centre of GITNB’s operations is The Conscious Festival – an annual event guiding and inspiring participants towards more sustainable choices, previously gathering more than 30,000 attendees.
Having been held in Singapore for the last five years, and Hong Kong for the last three, plans to bring the festival to London for the first time in June were cancelled due to COVID safety concerns, stalling their European expansion and forcing the organisation to think outside the box.
Refusing to let COVID-19 get in the way of fighting the equally urgent climate crisis, this year’s Conscious Festival has been transformed into a virtual experience for the first time in its history.
Running from the 12th to the 14th of June, this “interactive escape with impact that will see you pinging across continents, countries, and borders – essentially Europe and Asia – to observe and learn first-hand about the challenges and solutions relating to climate change,” says Miquelis. “Expect corporates, NGOs, citizens and social entrepreneurs, all here to define what should be the new normal.”
This three-day immersive event will operate through the platform hopin, allowing users hop in and out of the festival, exploring its virtual zones to mindfully shop, learn, evolve, and connect.
Although the virtual turn was unexpected, this new online format represents a chance for growth, and improvement.
“This online format allows us to reach multiple audiences and regions including Asia and Europe,” says Miquelis. “It also decreases the carbon footprint linked with organising events including flying participants, speakers around the world!”
Meanwhile, booth prices are also becoming more affordable, allowing increased accessibility for social entrepreneurs.
The Festival itself will have three primary areas of engagement, the first of which is the EXPO. Showcasing over 70 different conscious brands and retailers, this area of the festival highlights the importance of supporting small businesses and their aims, allowing users to shop ethically online. Ranging from clothing, to food, brands including Oatly, Muuse and José provide both quality and socio-environmental impact – what’s not to love?
The second area is the Talking Stage, where industry leaders will share their stories, advice and experiences with this year’s online audience. Addressing four core themes, attendees can tune into a series of talks focused on wellbeing, business, fashion and the planet, covering areas including purpose-led business, up-cycling for a circular economy, and cleaning up our oceans.
With speakers including Brune Poirson, French Minister of Ecology, Christina Goulay Head of Innovations at Kering and Malin Pettersson-Beckeman, Head of Sustainability in IKEA, LUSH, WWF, and Extinction Rebellion, this year’s program truly has something for everyone, available from the comfort of your own home.
Miquelis herself says she is “looking forward to the fireside chat between Brune Poirson and Arizona Muse who is a model activist” taking place on June 12th, as well as a debate entitled “Capitalism vs the Climate”, so be sure to keep an eye out for those this coming weekend.
Last but not least, the festival also boasts an incredible line-up of experiential workshops that aim to raise consciousness and encourage sustainable change.
Ranging from wild ecstatic dance, to invigorating breathwork sessions, to enlightening expert masterclasses, these workshops will encourage participants to push themselves out of their comfort zones and experience new and wonderful ways of living sustainably. Alongside games and activities, this will include a show on Saturday afternoon, with “live music streams from Hong Kong, London, Paris and London happening at the same time, to remind us all that we are all connected.”
Within these three focal areas, the impacts of COVID-19 have not been forgotten. Rather, as explained by Miquelis:
“We are defining what should be the new normal and COVID-19 is directly connected to climate change (deforestation, our supremacy onto other beings including animals). More than 3 out of 4 pandemics are zoonotic, meaning coming from animals! We need to rethink our footprint on planet Earth if we want to avoid huge catastrophes such as other pandemics in the future.
There will be some speakers addressing the topic including Aja Barber on Saturday, June 13th during our Wellness track on covid-19 and being human but also Chad, Director of Project Drawdown, one of the most ambitious and well-established programs to fight against climate change. We will also have some workshops including one on Friday, June 12th about digital marketing strategies and insights to overcome this tricky period.”
To explore the full program, please use the link here.
Alongside organised events, the festival also represents a fantastic opportunity to network, both brand-to-brand, and on an individual scale, connecting with world leaders to can help us all take #LittleGreenSteps towards a greener future.
Acknowledging that sustainability is a process that cannot be solved through one single action, GITNB’s philosophy is underpinned by a focus on supporting constant, gradual change. As explained by GITNB contributor Sally Shoult: “making small, continuous adjustments to our lifestyles is the easiest way to move forward and create real change.”
These #LittleGreenSteps are not only easy to take, but are extremely effective, with The United Nations Anatomy of Action proving that small individual actions can and will collectively force large systemic changes.
This year, in conjunction with the Virtual Conscious Festival GITNB is taking this philosophy one step further. One of the organisations most ambitious goals yet, they are now aiming to get 10,000 people to pledge to take a #LittleGreenStep, holding themselves, and others, accountable.
To purchase tickets for this year’s Virtual Conscious Festival, use the link here, and with their partner EcoMatcher, GITNB will donate a portion of the ticket cost to planting trees, each of which is its own #LittleGreenStep.