What inspires you? For me, it’s listening and talking to women who decide to go their own way. People who – despite being young and at the very beginning of their career – are willing to fail and go new ways. One of these women is Kim Gerlach, a fellow fair fashion enthusiast and blogger over on Kim goes Eko. When I read on her blog that she’s decided on a career change to dare and try something new, step out into the unknown, I was interested immediately.
Today, we’re talking about her journey towards sustainability, why she decided to go her own way and how you can move towards change as well. Enjoy reading!
A few years ago, while studying a rather unsatisfying bachelor of economics, I started to blog about sustainable fashion. Why? Because I wanted to document my experiment of not buying fast fashion for one year. This was the starting point for most of what I’m doing today. I’ve joined the start-up VinoKilo, have continued blogging and at one point decided to study again. These studies gave me new insights into leadership theories and sustainability.
My studies also “taught me” about Scandinavia, because I had to moved to Sweden. Now I’m continuing to live here and decided to start a career in Sweden. I’m stepping into social innovation, sustainability and the entrepreneurial eco system of the city of Malmö.
Firstly, I am very excited to stay in Sweden. I kind of fell in love with Malmö, as it reminds me of my hometown Mainz in Rheinland-Pfalz. Cozy but still big enough to get lost in the city. On top of that, I’m excited to get to know more entrepreneurs in the region. The Nordics are very future-oriented and I think I can personally learn a lot here.
Open your eyed and think. There are many ways and some are maybe easier to you than to others. Skip meat for one day / one month / a lifetime? Or try to reduce plastics? Wear more second hand clothes than buying new ones and lastly, find a balance. You will live a much more sustainable and conscious lifestyle if you’re balanced. You can only change yourself, if you’re actually open for it.
There are many other great woman out there that I often find on Instagram. I have a love-hate relationship with social media. Some days I force myself to stay up to date and other days I’m just in love how easily it connects us with like-minded people. If I ever need a quick boost, I do these two things: watch a motivational TED talk or meditate and think of my own strength. Try both and see which one you like more!
It’s the small moments that motivate me. When some readers of the blog thank me for new advice, I feel pumped. I believe that people like us, in the wealthy, educated West can have much more of an impact than we think. Even if we only decide to stop buying fast fashion, we set a statement. Sustainability has become a vision and a driving force in my life. Today, there are so many daily routines I don’t even think about anymore. In my opinion, if everyone takes a small step towards something he’s passionate about, we can make a change. Let’s say it’s veganism, gender equality, less plastic or any other field within sustainability, – it makes a difference!
Remember that you’re an entrepreneur. That’s actually a harsh message. Maybe your idea fails and you get very upset or emotional. In some instances you can pivot and tweak the business model and make it work again. In other instances, you should remind yourself that you’re a doer. It’s not about the idea, – it’s about your mindset. Simply making this massive step of trying out something is a strength. Either you stick to your idea and make it happen or you find a new one. Being a social entrepreneur, it is also about finding solutions to societal problems. And there are many…
Thank you so much, Kim! If you’re interested in more interviews with great women, please go here.
Picture credit: Cherie Birkner (1 & 2), Elina Nomad (3).