Women's History Month
Without women, Someone Somewhere wouldn't be possible. For this reason, we will be sharing the stories of Nadine, Dani, and Pam during women's month. Through their leadership and talent, they transform and elevate their respective areas with the end goal of impacting lives and generating meaningful change in the world.
Pam works in the production area, she majored in textile engineering and stands out from the rest by finding new fibers to work with to create more sustainable clothing. She is a woman that is very conscious of the current environmental and political climate. For this reason, she decided to organize her community in Ecatepec, Mexico State, to clean common spaces and generate a sustainable change to better the lives of those who live there. Pam's story is filled with passion, duty, and resilience. Because of this, we invited her to this space so that she could tell us more about herself and what we can do for our planet.
Someone Somewhere (SS): To know more about your initiative, would you mind telling us about what you do inside your community with those spaces?
Pam: My community is my family and always has been. I used to live with my parents in Ecatepec, inside a red zone plagued with violence. Only recently did I leave home. This part of the city is inherently unsafe because it has been a place where many femicides occur. There are many vacant lots; one, in particular, is full of green life and lends itself to being a common wasteland where people throw their trash. Even though it is a dangerous place, green zones are also a place where children go and play; therefore, from the perspective, we have here in SS, last year I decided to do two cleaning sprees inside these zones. The problem is that people burn the trash because the government isn't able to send garbage trucks to our community; so, private companies manage the garbage disposal and many people don't have the money to pay for them.
My family and I have already spearheaded several of these cleaning projects. My mother and aunt are also animal lovers, so we have also done some sterilization projects in our community for family dogs and strays that also live in these vacant lots. The doggies already know us so they go to our house for some food and water and we have also sent some to be adopted. Our second big project was the creation of a big mural inside the lot to raise awareness about the violence and environmental damage done to it. Although it seems that our work is small-scale, everything done for the cause is a lot and we are doing our part.
SS: On behalf of Someone Somewhere, we are happy you are making a change. Not anybody can do that. What is your chief motivation for opening these types of spaces where you grow awareness for the environment?
Pam: My main motivation is to generate a collective consciousness around the subject. In general, inside the city, it is common to find an interest in bettering the environment, but that is not the case everywhere. My neighbors [in Ecatepec], for example, did not know that the chemicals liberated into the atmosphere when you burn garbage are toxic to the environment. Not many of us are conscious about these issues; so, environmental education is essential right now. My second motivation is my 13-year-old brother who is very in tune with all these problems. One time I saw him cry when he found out that the bees are endangered and that moved me to the core. Living with him has made me understand the whole problem in a new light. I also understand that the changes we make today aren't going to be visible tomorrow or the day after. We all have to chip in with a grain of sand and when we round them all up it will make a difference. After all, what future will be there for the children of the future?
SS: We know you are very knowledgeable about the textile industry. Regarding clothing consumption, what do you think we could all do to care for our planet?
Pam: First of all, we have to clarify that the textile industry is the second most damaging to our environment in the world. This is a very important topic and with the pandemic, let's face it, we don't need as many clothes as we think we do. We have to put our bets on the minimalist culture where you make less of a footprint and generate a positive impact. Many people buy their clothes in fast fashion stores without knowing the damage it leaves behind them, like what happened in Bangladesh. I can say that in Someone Somewhere we try, within our sphere of influence, to generate change. I don't shop in fast fashion brands anymore, instead, I like to get second-hand clothes. What is trash for some, is gold for others.
SS: How would you describe Someone Somewher's efforts to create clothes sustainably?
Pam: At this moment we are trying to only use natural fibers such as cotton, linen, and silk. We already use a lot of cotton and we also want to start using hemp, which is the fiber that comes from the hem plant. These fibers have a minimal impact on the environment. We are also looking forward to working with products that form Mexican origin because it's more sustainable. If we imported everything from China, for example, we would have to take into consideration the carbon footprint generated by the plane, the manufacturing, and many more factors that come into play. On the other hand, zooming into a deeper problem within the textile industry, in my opinion, synthetic fibers such as polyester or nylon would be great allies to us if we had the correct infrastructure to properly recycle them. If plastic could be recycled, we wouldn't need agave bags because, at the end of the day, we damage the land by planting the agave and caring for it only for one-use products. If we recycled plastic as it should be, many environmental problems would be resolved. For example, there wouldn't be as much plastic in our oceans.
SS: Is there any reflection on your background or the environment that you would like to share with us?
Pam: I would like for us to learn more about our actions in general. Everything we do and consume leaves a footprint on our planet. Not only clothes but also waste management and food. For example, I'm a vegetarian and before being one I never questioned where my stake was coming from. Now that I know where it's coming from and how the animals behind my food are treated as products and not living beings I see things differently. We have to learn to act through empathy and not egoism and indifference. We have to be kind to others and our planet because we only have one. There isn't any other "Planet B" where we can go after this one is gone.
In Someone Somewhere we are very thankful to work with Pam. We recognize her vision of the world and share her passion for the fight for our environment. As of today, 76% of our interns are women.