HiNote: BLOND:ISH On Bye Bye Plastic and a Waste Free Music Industry
We sat down with visionary activist BLOND:ISH to talk about her platform Bye Bye Plastic & how to inspire the community to move away from single-use plastics in the event and music industry.
October 8, 2020
LOND:ISH first captivated me with her stage presence in 2016, but it’s her commitment and enthusiasm for people and planet that has my undivided attention.
The serial collaborator, spiritual seeker, and brand boss weaves between 80’s disco, Afro House, & psychedelic technomode seamlessly. While our festival industry is on pause in The US, BLOND:ISH is working relentlessly on strengthening her platform, Bye Bye Plastic. Single use plastics are up 200% since the beginning of the pandemic, which only reinforces BLOND:ISH’s mission to address the plastic waste crisis within the event industry.
I am so pleased to chat with this energetic powerhouse on how to inspire the community to move away from single-use plastics as well as continue to ignite with her soundtracks to this evolving space.
What sustainable communities have inspired you to scale Bye Bye Plastic to events?
Burning Man's Leave No Trace Principle is a great example of how to have a great time while respecting the planet and leaving your environment exactly how you found it. This is a minimum. Then we can even get critical and think "How can I improve the environment I live in?"
You've spoken about "Raving the Right Way" - what does that look like at an event and how can we get closer to it? Where do events fall short on this?
I think Raving the Right Way means producing and partaking in events while being conscious of how we are doing so and the impact - positive or negative - our decisions and behaviors have on the environment. The lens needs to switch from ourselves and our personal benefit like cost or convenience to looking at the bigger picture.
What is the biggest challenge for you to incorporate the core values of Bye Bye Plastic and how can event organizers, musicians, promoters and vendors help to achieve those goals?
Biggest challenge is that the correct information is not easily available nor distributed equally among us Earthlings. With the digital era it's easy to get the impression of full disclosure, but there are a lot of misleading dynamics in the way personalised information gets to us today. Also, mindsets prioritizing economic gain over anything else can make it seem hard to promote Earth-friendly innovations. Better options / innovations and breakthroughs most often come at some entry costs, but if you're daring enough to zoom out of your lens, and look at long term benefits, you might discover the world under a completely new perspective: think improved ops, long-term cost savings, creative collaborations, brand leadership, green equity... the benefits are endless once you start looking at sustainability as a curiosity path to explore instead of a burden to carry!
How can festival attendees prepare better to be plastic free at an event?
If you're camping, first thing to do to be a cool kid is take your tent back with you!! Tents are not meant to be disposable items, so you'll do a big favor to Mother Earth (and site cleaners) by not just leaving it behind. Also take a close look at all the items you use or purchase to prepare for your trip, specifically with the products that fill your toiletry bag. Almost everything is plastic. But the good news is that it doesn't have to be! There are so many companies providing those products in reusable, or plastic-free packaging (some suggestions here). Food packaging is also another thing to be savvy about too.
How does ABRACADABRA develop the ideals of environmental conservation and bring people together both online for streaming and at events? (this might be harder for you to answer but just in case)
Loving the earth and showing respect and admiration for our planet is at the heart of everything we do at ABRA. The key to a sustainable future is CONNECTION on the deepest levels, between our fans and friends, ourselves and the Earth, and how we can all serve each other and our communities in the best most rewarding ways. Our events are single-use plastic free, we use sustainable set design and are super careful on location at our live events - virtually, we use ABRA TV as a platform for escapism from everything that everyone has going on, but also to inspire and educate, with round tables on sustainability and mega modern technology that is changing the game Eco-wise as we know it! Also we've done two amazing fundraisers so far raising thousands for charities like Parley, Lonely Whale and BBP.
Who have you partnered with to amplify Bye Bye Plastic and how do you choose who to partner with?
We pursue different types of partnerships that each help us solidify in different areas. We have important Sustainability & Industry Partners helping us foster research & education (Oceanic Global, A Greener Festival, AFEM...), media and event partners who share the same ethos, who also help adopting better practices (IMS, SXMF,...), as well as Impact Partners supporting our mission's financial needs. Our partners policy is simple: You need to be committed to make actual progress along your own sustainability journey. You need to walk the talk. We aim for like-minded brands, who see the value in exploring new tracks, innovating.
What is the biggest goal you have for your movement and what has worked best to bring this message to fans and newcomers alike?
Our biggest goal is to accelerate the tipping point towards a sustainable music culture. And our mission to eliminate single-use plastics in the music industry by 2025 is the motor to this dynamic. Our Eco-Rider initiative that allows DJs to switch to a plastic-free hospitality rider has opened up so many doors and conversations to the impact of plastics at events and festivals. We chose to start with because we know the influence they have within this industry's eco-system and on their fanbase too. The power of their voice is infinite, once they learn how to tune it! In 2021 Bye Bye Plastic will activate new programs aimed at furthering those efforts, and guide artists on the path to sustainable leadership.
At Future Prosperity, we want to have a shame free conversation and invite people to begin their journey to using less plastic. How do you encourage your fans to join in?
This is important because going plastic-free really is a journey and we should honor every level that we are in on this path. If you're someone who wants to be plastic-free but you really don't know where to start, we can help! We offer a ton of educational resources on our website (https://www.byebyeplastic.life) like sustainability articles, How-To guides, and our new Sustainable Picks page where you can purchase Bye Bye Plastic approved products, including our awesome new collab with Masks For Music – a reusable, plastic free, carbon neutral mask - you can purchase here! Also since going plastic-free is a journey, make it a fun one! Gamify it! Start by counting how many times in the day you actually use single-use plastic. Then from the next day on, put 1 dollar on the side every time you don't use one of those items you listed on the 1st day. Soon if you have made some efforts, you'll have some pocket money to buy yourself a treat, or who knows, even a big surprise! ;)
Speaking of soundtrack, BLOND:ISH ‘Garden of 3Den’ with Rowee is out on ABRACADABRA Records, Dec 11th, get it here: https://fanlink.to/garden-of-3Den.