Updated: Apr 27
A conversation with Kerry Bannigan on The Climapreneur Show, Executive Director of Fashion Impact Fund and the Founder of the Conscious Fashion Campaign on her mission to change the fashion industry and be a champion for women social entrepreneurs.
‘Building bridges and creating partnerships globally for change’
Kerry has been in the social entrepreneurship world for 17 years and throughout her career has helped to promote and support women social entrepreneurs. She founded her first company in her early 20s, motivated by how she could support and raise the profile of emerging independent fashion designers at New York and London Fashion Weeks. A great example of a powerful and caring woman at the top who hasn't lost sight of the courage, determination and grit it took to get to where she is today.
Kerry’s story as a social changemaker started when at the age of 21, fresh after graduating from university in the U.K, she moved to New York. Kerry had no set agenda of how she would start her journey as a woman social entrepreneur. Her first step was to secure her visa and future in the USA, and she got a job in marketing and business development.
However, she never lost sight of the bigger picture and after a few months, Kerry was already starting her own business. While it was a riskier path to take, Kerry believed there was a gap in supporting and showcasing independent fashion designers, specifically sustainable designers. But she was determined she would be the one to fill it!
But like lots of other women starting out in their careers, Kerry had to overcome doubts and imposter syndrome. Coming from a small town in England to the City that never sleeps was a bit of a culture shock. The difference in the education system and the competitive nature of society left Kerry feeling like she had a disadvantage with her American peers.
Lacking personal connections, she had no idea how to grow her ideas. Being an introvert, Kerry had to learn the basics of networking and slowly began to build her confidence by talking to people she met in bars. By talking about her ideas with others, Kerry was able to refine and improve her pitches. With time and experience, Kerry’s confidence grew to get her to the incredible place she is today. However, she still has to battle with self-doubt and anxiety about her place at the table.
Making the Impossible Possible!
Kerry’s unique journey gave her first-hand experience of the difficulties women face in becoming changemakers in society. Kerry understood that her skills as a changemaker come from her ability to act as a bridge connecting people and ideas and helping to form effective partnerships to address social, environmental and economic issues.
Believing that women’s voices in the media needed to be amplified, Kerry set her sights on how to achieve this. In collaboration with the United Nations Office for Partnerships and the PVBLIC Foundation of which she is President, Kerry founded the Conscious Fashion Campaign. The aim of this campaign is to increase the representation of women social entrepreneurs in the media. By showcasing the work of these innovative changemakers in the fashion industry on billboards and in digital campaigns.
Fashion Conscious Campaign is helping and promoting women trailblazers who have the ideas, solutions and skills to transform the fashion industry!
Some wise words for women working
‘You are seen, you are
heard, and you are extremely
visible, even if you don’t feel
it, the world needs you and is
championing you! The time
will come when you see the
change you are driving for!
Changing the world takes time!
Time is the most precious thing we have; how can we best utilise it?
As a busy and modern woman dealing with the daily demands of life, Kerry has some advice about how not to let your to-do list overwhelm you.
Firstly, it's important to break things down into small units.
Celebrate every to-do and task achieved however small. It’s actually these small steps that build us up to large achievements and makes you realise how much you've accomplished!
Finally, and crucially it’s important to take the time to recharge. Small breaks and time-out ensure that you don’t suffer burnout. Kerry has strict boundaries both in her personal and professional life and is not afraid to tell people when she needs her own personal time.
‘Take things at your own time and pace’
Listen to the full episode here: #28 I was very alone in what I was going to pursue | Kerry Bannigan | The Climapreneur Show