TheTalkingThread

CHANGEMAKER OF THE MONTH IS CLAUDIA SZERAKOWSKI!

Making a change in this world of ours sometimes seems tough and impossible. When I think I did something good, I read in the news something bad has happened. Or when I thought to be inspiring to make a change, somebody proudly presents me their new fast-fashion bargains. It makes me feel lonely. There is only one thing that can cheer me up at that point: like-minded people! I truly believe all the little things will eventually add up, and I love to hear about other people’s stories and get inspired by their little actions to make a change.

If you recognize this struggle, or you are now at a point that you want to make a change but it seems too far away, too big, this column is a must read. I will share the stories of others, how they take up their part and show you ‘’see? It is that simple! You can do it too’’

Claudia is one of those people. I met Claudia after she sent us a message to meet each other, as we are aiming the same (fashion) goals. Within the first minute I could tell Claudia is super duper nice, mega dedicated, inspirational and I did not change that opinion ever since. Claudia advocates renting fashion over buying, and even started a business for it : QURE Clothing. Because why buy when you can look good, reduce waste and save money through a different way of consuming fashion ?

Why do you want to make a change?

There are so many problems that are happening around us, it is hard not to get mad, sad, angry, etc. But instead of just being sad or turning a blind eye towards a problem, I decided to use any abilities I have, and gain new ones, to help solve them. I also have come to find that all problems are opportunities, and that we can overcome anything if we want to. It is impossible to control or change other people’s behaviors, but we always have the power to control our own thoughts, behaviors, and to lead by example.

When was the moment for you to make a change in your (fashion) consuming behavior?

Growing up in the US, I came to the conclusion that one root of the world’s environmental problems is overconsumption. I arrived to the Netherlands 2 years ago to study Industrial Ecology at TU Delft, and also to downsize my lifestyle and my impact by living smaller, without a car or air conditioning (Dutchies do a great job of this!). During the master’s program, I was working on a project to help H&M “close the loop” or become more circular. But I realized that fast fashion companies only invest in recycling and closing the loop so they can continue to sell more and more, even though we don’t NEED it. So why not find a fun way to reduce our “stuff”- by borrowing instead of buying?

What do you do to make a change?

Fashion-speaking, I vowed to no longer use my money to buy fast fashion. For the basics, I invest in pieces that will last a long time, are made with regenerative or organic materials, and made under fair working conditions. For the fun stuff I go to clothing swaps and secondhand stores, and borrow from friends of course! Outside of fashion, I minimize what I buy, make my own beauty products from things in my kitchen, and eat 80% vegan to stay light and energetic!

How do you keep up?

**Keep up with the times? Like stay up to date?**

I keep up by constantly learning something new, whether it is about business, sustainability, but especially about my own personal development. Change is not easy, there is a lot of resistance that comes up when one tries to change anything. By learning and acknowledging this resistance, I believe we can always overcome it and reach a new, higher level or understanding of ourselves and others, and knowledge is power when trying to change the world!

How do you see the future?

Sometimes I see the future to be a bit scary, especially since the world is moving soooo fast. But then I look at the statistics and realize now is the best time EVER to be alive! There are infinite opportunities and knowledge at our fingertips!

I’m looking forward to seeing people become more conscious and more compassionate to each other, for women to start realizing positions of power, and for business to become a vehicle to create a thriving life for all people and planet!      

 

More inspirational, personal stories? Read about Aukje or Nadine.                                                                               

Claudia at the The Talking Thread X QURE Clothingswap

                                                                                                                                                                                                            

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