This Earth Day, we consider the underwear brand, the chef and the photography collective changing the way we think about the world
It was witnessing a dramatic oil spill off the coast of Santa Barbara, California in 1969, that compelled the late Gaylord Nelson to initiate a national teaching scheme to educate the general public about environmental awareness. What began as a grassroots movement swiftly gathered momentum, resulting in a 20-million-strong rally of people, who came together on the 20th of April, 1970 in the hopes of finding newfangled ways to protect the planet. Ergo, Earth Day was born.
Fast forward four decades and Earth Day is now observed annually, by a global audience, on April 22nd, presenting a much-deserved opportunity for humankind to reflect on the most pressing environmental concerns of the planet. While these issues should be at the forefront of our minds far more than once a year, sometimes, a gentle daily reminder of how and why we can all be more thoughtful in our lives is much needed. The following Instagram accounts – each as considerate in their actions as the last – act as an excellent prompt.
While organic food and ethical clothing are relatively easy to come across, it’s all too easy to forget about our underwear – a fact that Laura Schoorl and Rachel Corry, the founding partners behind ethical underwear brand Pansy, are keen to rectify. Made entirely from organic cotton – it’s grown and milled locally in North Carolina before being dyed with toxin-free, fibre-reactive dyes in California, and then constructed with cotton elastic – the resulting pieces are sturdy, minimal and air-soft, and, equally as important, entirely ethical. Their Instagram feed is a predictably delectable affair – hazy sunsets, peachy, budding blooms and hastily discarded undies – equal parts aspiration and joy.
"Our project was inspired, and derives its name, from an idea known as the Overview Effect," explains New York-based Benjamin Grant, the admirable founder of The Daily Overview. "This term refers to the sensation astronauts have when given the opportunity to look down and view the Earth as a whole. They have the chance to appreciate our home in its entirety, to reflect on its beauty and its fragility all at once. That's the cognitive shift that we hope to inspire." Inspire he does: highlighting both the positive, in the impressive complexity of the systems that we, the earth’s inhabitants, have created, and the negative, in the devastating impact we’ve had on its natural resources, the account’s daily dose of perspective is both awe-inspiring and grounding.
Dazzling though the snaps of islands, farms, factories and mountain ranges are, Grant is explicit in their aims. “The mesmerizing flatness seen from this vantage point, the surprising comfort of systematic organization on a massive scale, or the vibrant colors that we capture will hopefully turn your head,” he says. "However, once we have that attention, we hope you will go beyond the aesthetics, contemplate just exactly what it is that you're seeing, and consider what that means for our planet."
Laila Gohar leads a charmed life. Since the New York-based chef founded Sunday Supper, a catering business born out of improvised dinner parties, using locally grown produce, she divides her time between the office and the kitchen, and her feed, a delightfully haphazard stream littered with delicious-looking dishes, fresh organic fruit and veg, and snaps of her pet lamb tottering around her living room. Did we mention that she has a pet lamb?