• Isckra Martinez Carbajal

Raising Awareness on Sustainability: A ‘Wear to be Aware’

Updated: Dec 12, 2020

With an alarming lack of global awareness on the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, Runali Maniya, a University of Queensland alumna is raising her voice to tackle the world’s most pressing issues. Runali wants you to wear a t-shirt designed to raise awareness on the UN’s Sustainable development Goals through her innovative startup SDG Impactors.

In September 2015, the UN defined and adopted its Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), in a historic UN summit which followed up on the Millennium Development Goals. The global Goals purpose is “to end poverty, fight inequality and injustice, and tackle climate change by 2030.”

Yet, “the 2019 World Economic Forum Survey showed that only 5 per cent of people in Australia and only 26 per cent globally are very familiar with these Goals.”

Since learning about these figures, Runali has made it her mission to bring light and educate young people about the 17 Global Goals.

She further states that “anyone can implement these Sustainable Development Goals.”

So why do the SDGs matter? Well, put simply, the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development has the potential to improve our global chances on dignity, peace prosperity for humanity, and the planet for future generations. By doing nothing and not addressing these Global Goals individually, and as a collective, we are condemning ourselves to an intergenerational catastrophe.

The SDGs are a notable blueprint for everyone to take action and achieve a brighter and better future for all. By raising awareness on the goals, we can improve sustainability literacy on an unprecedented global scale that can have positive effects on many lives, especially in the developing world. To address the abundant global challenges we are already facing, such as poverty, inequality, climate change, environmental degradation, and more, SDG Impactors is using fashion because “what we wear reveals who we are”, states Runali.

As disturbing as the political and social climate may seem in the midst of a global pandemic, economic instability, environmental disasters, BLM protests, and presidential elections, we must be reminded that our voices matter, and what we wear matters.

If everyone takes simple steps and raises their collective voices to actualising the SDGs, our actions will multiply to the point that our voices will be noticed and things will change for the better.

We live in a global community where even in “developed nations like the US, Canada, the UK and Australia, 49-50 percent of people are unaware of the Goals”.

With all this in mind, it is not a surprise that the passionate Runali was inspired by this huge gap to start her social enterprise to spread-action-orientated awareness about the Goals.

So what can you do to accelerate the process of the Goals?

“It only takes one person, one voice, one action” to have a ripple effect on the wellbeing of the future of our global community. As one individual wearing sustainable t-shirts carrying the Global Goals can influence others to do something similar.

We are all well aware of how damaging the fashion industry is to the environment, so by wearing sustainable fashion, we can spread public awareness to increase enthusiasm and support which can stimulate self-mobilisation and action to create positive change. So join us and raise your voices with SDG Impactors and ‘Wear to be Aware’.


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