Courtesy of Aditi Mayer

60 Seconds on Earth with Aditi Mayer

Sustainable fashion advocate and photojournalist Aditi Mayer joins us to chat about intergenerational wisdom, leading with love, and current projects she’s working on.

Aditi Mayer is not backing down in the face of fast fashion. The sustainable fashion advocate and photojournalist has made a name for herself in the slow fashion world—addressing everything from fair trade to labor rights to social justice. Not to mention, her work as a digital storytelling fellow with National Geographic highlights the various stories of communities on the frontlines of the climate crisis.

 

In our latest edition of 60 Seconds on Earth, Atmos asks Mayer a series of rapid-fire questions to help you get to know her a little better. Did you know she’s an aspiring DJ? Come along as we hear from Mayer on her favourite book, what gives her hope, and current projects she’s working on—also, meet her adorable pup!

 

The video includes only a few of the questions, but you can read the full interview below.

HANNAH ROSE MÉNDEZ

So, how are you right now?

ADITI MAYER

I’m good—reeling from being burnt out from Earth Month, but I’m good.

HANNAH

And where are you at the moment?

ADITI

I am in Los Angeles, California.

HANNAH

Do you prefer summer or winter?

ADITI

I’m more into a transition season. So, fall and spring are what I like.

HANNAH

Me too. If you could be any animal, what would you be and why?

ADITI

I recently got a dog, a very cute German shepherd border collie named Elichi. I think she lives a great life. So I’d be a dog. I would be her specifically.

HANNAH

What is your favorite thing to photograph?

ADITI

My favorite thing to photograph is communities in the landscapes they call home, the landscapes they steward. I love photographing that connection between those two things.

HANNAH

Sunset or sunrise?

ADITI

I always want to be the person that says sunrise, but I’m such a late sleeper, late riser. So it’s going to have to be sunset.

HANNAH

What makes you feel most at home?

ADITI

My dog.

Hannah

So, are you a dog person or a cat person?

ADITI

I’m a dog person.

 

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Hannah

Who is your biggest inspiration?

ADITI

There are so many, but I think yesterday being May 1st, also known as Mayday, was a time for me to reflect on labor rights. And I’m really, really inspired by the cohort of folks that have led the creation of the first to Amazon Union. That’s a recent inspiration of mine.

HANNAH

What’s one thing you think everyone should know about the fashion industry?

ADITI

I think everyone should know that the dominant fashion model is rooted in exploitation and extraction, but fashion can also be a medium to engage with symbiotic relationships between land, individuals and culture. And that’s what we need to move towards.

HANNAH

How do you stay hopeful about the future?

ADITI

I stay hopeful about the future by looking at the amount of change that can happen in a generation when I talk to the elders in my own family. And so, if we’re able to harness this collective consciousness towards positivity and realigning our relationship to the world, there’s so much beauty that can come out of that. That gives me hope.

HANNAH

Are you an introvert or an extrovert?

ADITI

I think I’m an introverted extrovert. I love the energy I get from being with like-minded community, but I need time to recharge by myself.

HANNAH

What’s the best place you’ve traveled to?

ADITI

The best place I’ve traveled to would probably be Doti, Nepal, where I spent a month with a matriarchal farming community. That was one of my favorite projects that I’ve done visually, but I also just had an amazing time.

“If we’re able to harness this collective consciousness towards positivity, there’s so much beauty that can come out of that.”

Aditi Mayer

HANNAH

What’s one book you think everyone should read?

ADITI

One book everyone should read is The Violence of the Green Revolution by Vandana Shiva.

HANNAH

Are there any hobbies you’re into right now?

ADITI

I am attempting to learn how to DJ. So, this could be my way of staying accountable to the online world. I want to be a DJ by this time next year.

HANNAH

Are there any sayings or affirmations you live by?

ADITI

I am very much inspired by the guiding principles of the Black Lives Matter movement. Low ego, high impact, and lead with love.

HANNAH

One favorite childhood memory?

ADITI

One favorite childhood memory is spending time with my grandparents. In South Asian culture, multi-generational households is the norm. It’s something that has informed my relationship to culture, land stewardship so deeply. And I’m so thankful for that.

HANNAH

Who is your climate crush?

ADITI

Can I say Vandana Shiva again?

HANNAH

Of course. What’s one small way we could all honor the Earth?

ADITI

One small way we can all honor the Earth is to think about the ways that you can develop a tangible relationship to your surroundings, whether that’s being intentional about spending time outdoors or meeting and connecting with your local community—all of this is deeply tied to our relationship to the larger world and the ecosystem that we’re all intertwined in.

 

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Hannah

Do you prefer beaches or forests?

Aditi

Forests. I’m not a fan of sand.

Hannah

Any song stuck in your head at the moment?

Aditi

I have a lot of TikTok audios stuck in my head and I never know the full song. I just know the five-second chorus, but I can’t think of any specific ones right now.

Hannah

Do you have a favorite thrifted or sustainable clothing item?

Aditi

One of my favorite pieces right now is this top I’m wearing it’s handwoven muslin from a brand called Āroka based out of India.

Hannah

What’s your favorite holiday and why?

Aditi

My favorite holiday is Divali/Bandi Chhor Divas. For me, it’s a holiday that points to the triumph of light over darkness and a time where political prisoners were freed. And it’s a time when a lot of South Asians are able to reflect on themes of solidarity, community-building and more.

Hannah

Lovely. And do you have any exciting projects you’re working on right now?

Aditi

Yes. I’m really excited to be gearing up to go to India later this summer for a few months and partake in a project that’s going to be looking at stories of social and environmental justice alongside the fashion supply chain in India.

Hannah

That sounds so exciting. And that’s 60 Seconds On Earth!

Aditi

Thank you. Thank you.

Hannah

Thank you so much for joining.

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