We chat with Vanessa and Caro from Be An Unfucker.

Dec 23 2015

Have you heard of the Unfuckers? These ladies are changing the world, one tiny, simple thing at a time. All they need is recruits. A big bunch of Unfuckers.

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Could you Be An Unfucker?

Have you heard of the Unfuckers? Maybe you could be an Unfucker? These ladies are changing the world, one tiny, simple thing at a time. All they need is recruits. A big bunch of Unfuckers.

The problem in a nutshell? “We’ve made a mess of this planet and we need to stop thinking it’s not our problem.” The answer? “Start unfucking things.” How did we not think of this before?

The Unfuckers have taken a hugely overwhelming issue and given us easy fixes we can action at home. Or the coffee shop. Or the supermarket. Wherever, really. They’re stupidly easy things to change. We’d be stupid if we didn’t change them.

At Kester Black, we try to be as environmentally conscious as possible in the way we manufacture our products and operate day-to-day in our office. From using small batch manufacturing methods, to wiping out bottoms on Who Gives a Crap recycled toilet paper; we try be Unfuckers as much as possible, because it feels good. It feels really good. Jump on the bandwagon ASAP.

A big thanks to Vanessa and Caro for sharing their time, thoughts and sense of humour. Hi-5 to you both!

Where did the idea of Unfuckers get its start?

Caro and I always had our own side projects going on but always had problems finishing them. So we decided to do one together (Be An Unfucker) so we could motive each other to see it through. We also wanted to use our creative skills for good, so when we got more and more into climate change, we thought this would be a good way to take something important and communicate it in a way we’d respond to – and hoped others would too. It took about six months from the start of the idea to the launch of the website. We tried giving ourselves a deadline (which we probably extended a few times) to stick to and then just published it. It wasn’t 100% perfect, but we realised it didn’t have to be and it’s been organically changing ever since.

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What were you both doing before Be An Unfucker was born?

We were both freelancing in advertising agencies as creatives. Caro is an art director and I’m a copywriter. I’m still freelancing but Caro is now working with an events experience company who we met through Unfuckers. We run Unfuckers in our spare time which is great, but it’s sometimes a bit of a balancing act.

How have the public responded to Be An Unfucker? Tell us a bit about the pros and cons of the job.

The response has been so positive and we are very appreciative of our supporters. Pros are the emails and messages we receive from people saying they’ve changed their ways as a result of the site, or that Unfuckers has helped communicate the eco message they’ve been trying to drum into their friends or family. Cons would be we don’t have enough time to do everything we want to. Also, some people seem to forget or not understand that this is a side project, we don’t have employees or make money from it, so we can’t always cater to how they’d like to see posts communicated. However, this is just a very small handful of people and generally, everyone is lovely and supportive.

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On your website you say that “to care about something, is to properly understand it”, can you explain this in a little more detail? What should we know more about if we want to really want to make a realistic difference?

You can’t care about something just because someone tells you to. So we want to give people a reason to care every time we give them a fact. If you say, drinking coffee from a takeaway cup is bad, don’t do it – people will roll their eyes and give you the mental middle finger. If you give them a reason why it’s bad, people are more likely to engage with what you have to say.

What has been the biggest career hurdle for you to date?

Well, in terms of Unfuckers, it would be having to put on a variety of different hats to get the project off the ground – coding, PR, analytics, social media, production, logistics. With writing, design and photography, we’ve got it covered. Everything else, we’ve had to learn what works and what doesn’t. Outside of the Unfuckers, it would be trying to transition into a career that pays the bills but is also something you’re passionate about. Although this is definitely not unique to us, it seems to be something a lot of people struggle with.

What has been the biggest achievement?

Built a following of 15,000 Unfuckers (so far) that we can share our message with and hopefully inspire them into action.

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In your opinion, what do you think is the best, most simple and effective way to be an Unfucker?

To influence the people in your lives to give more of a shit and be more eco aware. If everyone managed to get three eco apathetic people in their lives to cut down eating meat, to stop taking plastic bags, pick up litter, take more public transport, making good choices about how and what you spend your money on – that would be a huge win. It has a knock on effect, because those people will, in turn, convert others in their lives. Being an Unfucker is about collective caring – a big swell of human powered movement is the only thing that will save the planet.

What is “eco enthusiasm” and how can we get some?!

Just blink three times, get a lock of hair from a virgin, look under your pillow and you’ll find it. Easy. Eco enthusiasm for us is all the interesting things going on in sustainability and climate change at the moment. It’s really easy to feel defeated and depressed when it comes to climate change, but there’s a lot of be positive and enthusiastic about. Just for fun, describe each other using three words each. Caro: kind, sensitive, unfashionably late Vanessa: loyal, smart, tastefully vulgar Head over to www.beanunfucker.com to read more, or follow them on Instagram @be_an_unfucker, Facebook and Twitter.