Two women, one Arctic expedition: Stephanie Dickson is on a mission to raise environmental awareness

Stephanie Dickson and Paula Miquelis embarked on an expedition to the Arctic for 2 weeks. (PHOTO: GITNB)

By: Sheila Chiang

SINGAPORE — Stephanie Dickson and Paula Miquelis, the two ladies who founded social environmental platform, Green Is The New Black (GITNB), were on an expedition to the Arctic for 2 weeks in June.

They have been selected, alongside other 80 youth ambassadors and sustainability leaders from around the world, to witness the effects of climate change firsthand. The two girl bosses will be part of the filming of a documentary on the effects of climate change. The mission is called ClimateForce: Arctic 2019 and will be led by Robert Swan, one of the world’s greatest living explorers, his son Barney Swan, and their 2041 Foundation aboard the National Geographic Explorer.

READ MORE:

Interview: 'Orange Is The New Black' Jackie Cruz on makeup and her character Flaca

Dior awards winner Gangao Lang in global photography contest for young talents

48 hours in... Dublin, an insider guide to Ireland's fair city

A conversation with make-up artist, Larry Yeo

So, who is Green Is The New Black and what do they do?

“Green is the New Black” essentially means that sustainability is the newest mega-trend in fashion. Stephanie and Paula started this platform to educate people about the effects of the choices we make and raise awareness of our footprint, leading to greater understanding of the impact we have on our planet and inspiring us to operate more consciously and positively.

“Many people aren’t entirely conscious of the impact that climate change is making but the reality is that we are experiencing it every day,” said Stephanie Dickson shares with Yahoo Lifestyle Singapore when asked about her personal reasons for embarking on the mission.

In fact, we think that we are making environmentally friendly choices, as assured by brands. However, in this modern world it can be very hard to just get a straight answer. Brand marketing leverages on the catastrophic state of our environment as a means of garnering greater profits, without helping improve the situation. This practice is often called “green-washing”, a term first coined by New Yorker, Jay Westervelt.

Stephanie Dickson and Paula Miquelis on their expedition to the North Pole. (PHOTO: GITNB)

Well, what does it mean?

Let’s take brands who shout out that their products are sustainably sourced, as an example. But are they really so? We have been fooled by Green-Washing labels at some point in our lives with the number of brands out there claiming to be sustainably driven. A company gives you, the consumer, the impression that a product or service has had its environmental impact taken into consideration. But if you look closely at those labels, the fashion item that you just bought may not have been as advertised or marketed so fervently. The fine print reads that it’s only 95% recycled polyester, which makes it 5% new plastic. Elastin, to be specific. The pieces are also shockingly affordable, which raises an eyebrow because ethically-made garments often cost a little more.

In essence, a consumer may be choosing a product because they believe, in doing so, they are making an environmentally wise choice, over something else.

Stephanie and Paula are fully aware of this situation and they are on a mission to wake people up and empowering them to take positive action so that we can leave the world in a better place than how we have found it.

Viewing it through their eyes. Stephanie Dickson and Paula Miquelis on their expedition to the North Pole. (PHOTO: GITNB)

The documentary will follow their journey to the Arctic Circle as both went vegan, waste-free, showing that if two people can do so on an expedition to the North Pole, it can be done at home too. The documentary will be premiering at the 5th Anniversary of their Conscious Festival.

They participated in enhanced workshops and onboard programs led by renowned experts on glaciology, geography, and wildlife while witnessing firsthand the disintegration of ice sheets, loss of habitat and wildlife, rising sea levels, and more.

Not to forget to mention, they also did polar plunging in sub-zero icy waters!

Viewing it through their eyes. Stephanie Dickson and Paula Miquelis on their expedition to the North Pole. (PHOTO: GITNB)

All of this were coupled by off-boat adventures like exploring glaciers (but a fraction of the glaciers that existed only a few years ago), trekking across tundra, sharing beaches with walruses in Edgeøya, hiking the cliffs of Kongsfjord, attending workshops amongst bearded seals, and adventuring pack ice with polar bears before ultimately sailing through trifurcated fjord systems to cross the Arctic circle.

Importantly, responsible travel was at the core of the expedition. Carbon was offset for their flights and transportation, each guest was armed with reusables (bottles, containers, cups, cutlery, bags etc.) and everyone worked towards reducing single-use packaging as much as possible and recycle what is unavoidable.

Upon returning home, GITNB will become a member of the ClimateForce Community which gives the team access to a diverse set of ideas, resources, and connections as well as alumni in over 100 countries, thus hugely empowering the team with greater ideas and resources to combat the effects of climate change and create a more sustainable world.

To learn more about Green Is The New Black, visit https://greenisthenewblack.com