Public Interest Journalism funded through NZ On Air
Kophie Su'a-Hulsbosch, a Christchurch-based artist and activist, is a finalist in this year's Impact Awards.
The awards are to celebrate New Zealand's young entrepreneurs and leaders, and have $30,000 in prizes.
Su'a-Hulsbosch has been nominated in the "local" category of the awards for her inspiring work with The Conscious Club, a sustainable events business.
She says her work is "for inspiring youth, and anyone else who's interested".
"Being seen as a successful young brown woman is important, as it resonates with people like me."
She has Samoan and Dutch ancestry, causing her an "identity crisis" familiar to many with mixed heritage.
Inspiration for her art and design comes from hip-hop and skating subcultures.
"I try to focus on positives. I can communicate complex issues through pictures and design. People might look at my artwork, and it's a bit of a conversation starter."
She says it's easy to feel overwhelmed by global issues.
People may know about problems facing our world, she says, but when they're bogged down by them they may not know where or how they can start to solve them.
"I think social media has a big part in burning people out - too much information from different sources, and not being able to discern what's true or not," she says.
"The easiest thing to do is just to focus on one area of interest. Just volunteer for a beach cleanup, tree planting, donate to charity or just anything."
The clothing industry and fast fashion is Su'a-Hulsbosch's area of interest.
She now has her own shop for her clothing line, Future Apparel, selling sustainable streetwear made from second-hand material.
"You just have to start small. Tackling global issues can be a bit much, but if you make change within your local community it spreads."
She said it's more impactful doing things as a collective, rather than trying to face issues alone.
"Finding the right people to surround yourself with helps."
She co-founded The Conscious Club with three other wāhine when she was 25, and organises events like second-hand clothing markets and talks by other experts.
She studied visual communication, and has First Class Honours in a Bachelor of Media Arts from Ara Institute of Canterbury.
Her education and promotion of issues is tailored for a diverse audience.
"We have a slightly older crowd at our chat series, and a younger demographic at our markets."
Su'a-Hulsbosch says "the world can be quite depressing, but I do feel positive about the future."
• The awards will be held at Shed 6 in Wellington on July 30.