Anne has been working for an MP during her time as a Faith in Politics intern (2021-2022). Here, she shares how one of the Friday sessions organised for the interns opened up an opportunity for her to speak at an event on sustainability and fast fashion with COMECE.
Every Friday during our time as interns, we have the opportunity to meet and network with a whole range of different speakers including journalists, academics, parliamentarians and representatives from various Catholic charities and organisations. One of the organisations we were able to meet this year was COMECE (The Catholic Church in the European Union). In this meeting we had the chance to talk with Michael Khun who is COMECE’s Senior Adviser in Charge of Ecology and Sustainability. We heard about COMECE’s work on environmental issues but were also able to share some of our own insights on the topic. Having done some work on fast fashion and sustainability whilst at university I had mentioned my interest in this area. Following our meeting with Michael, I was invited to speak at a ‘Laudato Si’ reflection day’ that COMECE was hosting. This event consisted of a panel discussion on the textiles industry and how environmental issues are currently being tackled at an international, government and local level. The panel consisted of a Member of the European Parliament, representatives from the textiles industry and me!
At first, I felt a bit out of my depth as I was not an expert in the field, but I was supported by COMECE to share my perspective as a young Catholic on environmental issues relating to fast fashion. This was very encouraging, and it helped me gain confidence in voicing my own views regarding consumer accountability and raising awareness around a wasteful culture.
Being offered a platform to discuss these important ethical dilemmas made me realise that an ecological conversion does not take place overnight, but continues to develop over time.
This opportunity gave me the time to reflect more deeply on environmental issues that I hadn’t been aware of or passionate about beforehand. But being offered a platform to discuss these important ethical dilemmas made me realise that an ecological conversion does not take place overnight, but continues to develop over time. The opportunity to speak on ‘Laudato Si’ reflection day’ has enabled me to grow in my understanding of the complexity of the environmental issues our world faces, and I am so grateful to COMECE for recognising the importance of involving the voices of people my age in this discussion.