Sophie Dunster, founder of Gung Ho: “This new age of sustainability is all about embracing the power of positive.”

The most important challenge in sustainability is how to engage more people. There are wonderful, committed people who are already on the journey of making the world a better place. But we need more of them.

Naturally, we’re reluctant to look the reality of climate change square in the eye because we don’t want to feel bad about our current lifestyles or guilty about the decisions we make. 

Of course, it’s easier to bury our heads in the sand, continue as normal, and not to have to change. This is especially the case when it comes to fashion, because the assumption is that alternatives will be more expensive, not as good quality and not up to aesthetic standards.

Well, Gung Ho‘s aim is to prove these assumptions wrong and to shake things up!

Customers are looking for products that connect with them on personal levels without having to compromise on their style. 

This is exactly what ethical fashion brands are challenging ourselves to provide; creating products that are beautiful and deliver on product performance as well as being sustainable. 

Communicating through fashion

Fashion has always been a form of self-expression, and that should never change. Activism and expression through fashion is stronger than ever. Fashion brands such as Katharine Hamnett and Vivienne Westwood are famous for this, especially their slogan activist tees like “Choose Love” or “Save our Oceans”. 

Many people participate by purchasing from brands that match their morals, like Toms or Patagonia. The way our brand communicates its values ties directly with this form of self-expression. 

Often our first impression of someone is based on how we look and how we are dressed, so surely your clothes should make you feel good and express what you are passionate about, too.

Gung Ho takes this to the next level by not only putting morals at the heart of every decision we make, but by changing the narrative of our designs and helping to spread the word about important issues. 

The power of secret messages

Our prints are subtle but full of meaning. We believe that wearing a statement print with beautifully painted, protein-rich vegetables opens up the conversation about veganism entirely, allowing people to have a conversation about the importance of reducing meat and dairy intake – without being preachy. 

A friend or acquaintance might comment by saying they like your dress, for example, giving you the opening to talk about the meaning within the design.

Helping the community to engage through positive design really makes a big difference, and it is this passion that is infectious. It’s positive, personal, engaging – and it most certainly isn’t dull. 

Getting people to engage with change in a non-threatening way is a great way to introduce more people to a new way of thinking.

Offering beautiful products alongside exciting events and inspiring communities makes the sustainability movement something people want to be part of, not avoid. 

Sustainable options need to be as good, if not better, than what’s already out there. It’s a big challenge, but we’re up for it. 

– Sophie Dunster, founder of Gung Ho. This piece is part of our ongoing series speaking to the people at the forefront of sustainability, pioneering a new approach to business.