Amisha Ghadiali – The Futures Interview

Amisha Ghadiali - Think Act Vote

Amisha Ghadiali - Photograph by Ben Fisher

Amisha Ghadiali discovered the reality of our global fashion industry whilst setting up her jewellery label. This put her on a mission to bring awareness to the politics of dressing in our increasingly throwaway world. Her current projects include hosting the Future Fashion series with Shoreditch House, 12 Rules to Dress By (her guide to a sustainable wardrobe) and writing for a number of publications such as the Huffington Post, as well as on her blog Elegance Rebellion.

Amisha’s work has been recognised by selection to the Cultural Leadership Programme  in 2011, the Courvoisier Future 500 and amongst other offers a Future 100 Award She is an ambassador for the charity Womankind, on the London City Chapter Board for micro-bartering non-profit Nest working with artisan women, a trustee of the Foundation for Democracy and Sustainable Development and an elected member of the Electoral Reform Society Council. 

Never shy to take on a challenge, Amisha recently took part in the Funny Women stand up comedy charity challenge, for International Women’s Day, taking her love/hate relationship with twitter to the stage. 

She is fascinated with what makes us as humans different and the same, and how we engage with nature and our surroundings. This, and her dedication to a sustainable and collaborative future led to her turn her idea of Think Act Vote (?!X) into a reality. Amisha is excited to be launching the ?!X book, ‘Creating The Future‘ this summer. 

?!X: What’s the Future You Choose?

AG: I choose a future that is driven by love and respect not fear and greed. We’ll all be on the same side and working together in support of each other. We’ll be using our creative energy to solve the world’s problems and we’ll be having fun whilst we’re doing it. The future I choose is one where it is sexy and cool to care about the planet and its people.

Amisha Ghadiali's Future - artwork by Vicky Fallon

The future I choose is open, sustainable and collaborative. It’s one where we know our values and live by them, where what we do considers the future, the past and the present. It’s one where we are not afraid to share what’s important to us, and the world that we want to create, and can then work together with trust and respect. In the future I choose we are free to do the right thing without fear of repercussions, and our actions take the ways in which they will affect others into account.

?!X: What’s a ‘think’ to create this future?

AG: I have always been moved by the work of Ben Okri. Last year he published a book called A Time For New Dreams which is a collection of poems, essays and thoughts. The work focuses on the future that awaits us, and asks profound questions about who we really are and the reality we find ourselves in. I find his words speak to my humanity, and remind me not to take things as they are for granted or to accept them if I think they can be better. The first words in the book are “Heaven knows we need poetry now more than ever. We need the awkward truth of poetry. We need its indirect insistence on the magic of listening…..Poetry is closer to us than politics, and is as intrinsic to us as walking or eating.”

I choose ‘One Planet, One People – an address to students’ to share with you because we are all learning no matter what age we are, and it is about the very core of being human and the possibilities before us. The things that Okri says in this poem, are the things that we all know but few of us master. Find seven minutes in your busy day, and please stop what you are doing and listen to these words.

One Planet, One People by Ben Okri (listen on soundcloud)

?!X: What’s an ‘act’ to create the future you choose?

AG: Think about what you wear. Clothes are an important part of our daily life, and the fashion industry employs one sixth of the world’s population. We have the opportunity to affect millions of people’s lives and to protect our environment by how we shop and what we wear. Fashion production is riddled with environmental and social problems from toxic chemical dumping, to human rights abuses. We all need to be more conscious about what we let into our wardrobes, what we do with things that we don’t want anymore and how we stand up to companies that are putting money before our planet and the people involved in making our clothes. How can we enjoy expressing ourselves through fashion or the comfort and warmth of clothes, if what we are wearing has caused pain and destruction on it’s way to us? I put together a poster and wardrobe shopping check list called ‘12 Rules to Dress By.’ This is designed to help make it possible to take action today in how you shop and dress. Rules are made to be broken, but by following these you can make a difference.

12 Rules To Dress By

?!X: What’s a ‘vote’ to create the future you choose?

AG: Know who you are and what you think is important in our world. Believe that your voice matters. There is so much going on and so many things to choose from to support and ways to make a difference. First you need to take some time to think about what is most important to you. One way to do this is by taking part in The Futures Interviews. It gives you a space to think and then to share your personal experiences, ideas and the things that have inspired you to be you. Know your values and live by them in every thing you do.

It’s also important to know what’s going on in the world and to use your voice within the democracy that we have. Join the online movements such as Avaaz and Change for global issues and 38 Degrees for those in the UK. Through their campaigns we can create a better world, one issue at a time.

?!X: Future Soundtrack – What song would you take with you into the future? 

AG: This is such a hard question (I am sorry for asking you all this!) I had a feeling it had to be off Screamadelica. After seeing this live at Bestival and watching thousands of people sing it together and then thinking of the personal memories that I have with this song, it has to be Primal Scream, Movin’ on Up. You made a believer, out of me.

?!X: What are your five all time favourite weblinks?

AG:

TED – The power of the human story, inspires and teaches every time.

BBC6 Music – Great music makes my heart sing, and I listen daily to 6 Music who play excellent tunes (that the DJ’s are allowed to pick themselves from taste not commerciality)

Before I Die – A beautiful global art project where people are invited to share their hopes and dreams on a wall.

Mindapples – Our mental health is so important, I love that the conversation Mindapples started exists and enjoy reading the five things a day that different people do for a healthy mind.

Slavery Footprint – It’s unbelievable that our free world actually exists on slavery. Today in 2012. We need to be aware of how and why this is happening and make better consumer decisions.

and #FirstWorldPains reminds me in a comedic way of how silly the things that we get upset about in our daily lives are.

Follow Amisha on twitter @amishaghadiali 

How can we Create the Future you Choose? Take part here.