Clare Farrell - Rebellion

Our guest in conversation today is Clare Farrell, a leading voice of Extinction Rebellion and a Lecturer in 'sustainable fashion' (if there is such a thing) at St Martin's College, in London. Clare was a joy to hang out with.

She tried mainstream fashion but didn't fit in. Clare doesn't fit in - in so many ways! Clare's a rebel. She suggests that rebellion became a part of her when she moved schools and studied the same syllabus and sat the same exams two years on the trot. Clare, because she was bright got very bored and that bred rebellion. 

I'm sure that year shaped Clare but I have very little doubt that Clare was born to rebel. Her childhood was characterised by instability and change. She learned to cope with the unknown. As an adult with her own mind, she is still unafraid of the unknown. She is unafraid of the consequences of her actions because she's experienced the likely consequences before . . . and survived. Being arrested doesn't faze someone whos spent time in the notorious Top Shop Hilton. 

Clare's childhood doesn't seem good enough to me. I think she deserved better. She's worked hard to understand what happened but what occurs to me is that this not good enough childhood might just be the very thing that's given her the ability to shock, to wake us up, to help us notice. 

In her work with XR, the job is to wake us up to what's happening to the planet.

It seems to me the risk is too great for no action. Hindsight won't be an option. And why not work together to clean things up?  

Why not shout about it if that's what you do so well?

Enjoy Clare Farrell - Rebellion

We talked to Clare about:
  • Claire's estranged relationship with her much older Dad
  • Having the wrong accent
  • The moment she lost trust in her family
  • Watching her mum get ill and die 
  • Going into a state of numbness when her Mum died
  • Having to grow up quickly
  • How she justified her thoughts of self-harm 
  • Becoming a surrogate Mum to her little brother
  • Living in Middlesborough next door to armed robbers, heroin dealers and heroin addicts 
  • Being surrounded by people who'd also suffered childhood trauma because they understood each other
  • Finding out your boyfriend's gay
  • Arriving in London in a state of serious trauma
  • Mistaking openness for weakness
  • Bailing on the commercial fashion world
  • The benefits of desperation if it leads to asking for help (rock-bottom)  
  • Becoming a much better version of herself thanks to a very special therapist
  • Learning to become more compassionate to herself
  • The culture of the fashion industry
  • The plethora of gross bosses
  • Being told 'sustainable' wasn't something that would work in fashion
  • 'Sustainable Fashion' by its very nature being an oxymoron 
  • The destructive nature of Capitalism
  • Her Dad's advice to do something she enjoyed
  • The protest/art project she organised in a Top Shop store
  • Getting banged up in the Top Shop jail
  • Buy Nothing Day
  • Space Hijackers
  • Disrupting the daily life of people
  • Shaking people awake
  • How Clare's rebelliousness developed 
  • How age has mellowed the rebel
  • Extinction Rebellion
  • Teaching fashion  
  • Money
  • Risks
  • Forgiveness
  • Some people walk on by, some people take personal responsibility
  • Heading toward environmental catastrophe
  • When comfortable becomes uncomfortable
  • The impossibleness of maintaining the status quo 
  • Clare's relationship with 'hope'
  • The challenges of activism
  • How our planet is the thing that can bring us together

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