Meet The EFWA2017 Team - Robbin Whachell

by Marilyn R. Wilson

Please share a little bit about who you are and what you do in your regular life?

I am the co-founder and editor of thebahamasweeky.com and currently I am working in corporate communications with the City of Coquitlam in British Columbia. I’ve been back home in Canada six years now after living in The Bahamas for 13 years. I love the contrast and beauty of both locations. Living away and returning home makes you appreciate your homeland all the more. I love Canada for its wild and raw natural beauty, and the west coast is a jewel unto its own.

At what point did you begin to learn about the issue of sustainability in every area of daily life? 

We used to live on the ocean in North Vancouver, and a waterfall fell down the mountains right behind our house. Although we had road access, my children went to school by water-taxi. My daughter would find natural clay in the earth and eagles, seals and geese would be in our yard throughout the seasons.  It enhanced my awareness of how precious our environment is.

Moving to The Bahamas brought me even closer to the ocean; and with crystal clear waters and pristine beaches, garbage sticks out like a sore thumb. The oceans need our protection. I do my best to broaden that awareness to readers of The Bahamas Weekly, and support initiatives that keep our coastlines clean. In Canada support Rivershed Society of B.C. and the Hoy-Scott Watershed Society.

I joined a  dragon boat team a few years ago and we train along Burrard Inlet which is ocean fed, and presently a controversial area where oil tankers frequent and plans are in the works to increase these tankers by 700 %, I’m very concerned about oil spills. This is the traditional lands of the Coast Salish People. Paddling in these waters we see seals, clams, salmon, jelly fish, and lots of bird life dependent on the water for their food source. I am very aware of the water and how it sustains life. We need to move away from fossil fuels.

<strong>Have you embraced any changes that help you personally leave a smaller ecological footprint?</strong>

Living on an island makes you more thrifty with your wardrobe. We didn't have big malls, and lots of fashion choices. I began to use what I had in my closet more and adapt pieces. Then, after going through a divorce and hard times, when I returned to my homeland I spent even less on clothing.  Dressing for work or outings in Canada is very different than The Bahamas, weather aside. I began frequenting the local thrift shops. I loved finding a designer outfit, near new, and for one-tenth of the price. I’m lucky to have options like this in Canada. Reusing has become my new fashion flare. We need to do more of it as a society, especially with fashion being one of the major polluters on the planet.

Exploring my neighbourhood, I happened along a salmon fish hatchery in the woods near my home, and for the past four years I’ve been actively working either hands-on helping enhance the salmon population and our watershed, or I’ve been at the computer promoting the work we do through our website and social channels, wearing the hat of president and public relations for the Hoy-Scott Watershed Society. I also work with the Rivershed Society of B.C. which aims to protect the mighty Fraser River, the longest river in our province, and is known as one of the greatest salmon rivers in the world.

 
 Robbin with Zuhal Kuvan-Mills' Green Embassy Designs

Robbin with Zuhal Kuvan-Mills' Green Embassy Designs

 

How did you meet Zuhal and what led you to become involved with EFWA 2017?

I met Zuhal while covering Vancouver Fashion Week for The Bahamas Weekly on her first visit to our city, and I was able to see her designs each return visit. My daughters both walked in her Empty Oceans Series, which was about ocean conservation. I’ve enjoyed watching the evolution of Green Embassy, and now the launch of Eco Fashion Week Australia.  I am excited to be a part of a necessary fashion movement highlighting sustainability.

What was it about EFWA's mission that drew you to offer your talents in support of this international event?

I’m excited to return to Australia. I visited in my twenties and remember the coastline there most prominently. Perth’s beaches were most memorable and pristine. I’m looking forward to like-minds coming together to collaborate and share ideas on sustainability. We live globally, but we are all connected by our water.

As a part of the EFWA 2017 team, what role or roles will you be filling?

My official title is Media/VIP Liaison, but I’m looking forward to lending a hand wherever I can. My main focus will be helping the media make the connections they need to share the good news of EFWA and slow fashion.

Any last words or a favourite quote on sustainability?

I believe in a better world. It’s never too late to make change.

Links:

Websites - www.robbinwhachell.com and www.thebahamasweekly.com
Twitter @robbinwhachell
Instagram - @robbinwhachell
Facebook -  @robbinwhachell