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From an arts degree to curating an environment friendly lifestyle

17 August 2022
How an arts degree can elevate sustainability narrative in fashion and lifestyle
Elizabeth Roberts utilises learnings from her arts degree to effectively promote and reimagine sustainable lifestyle choices via RIISE, a luxury online platform.
Elizabeth Roberts at an event for Riise

Revolutionising the discourse on climate change through fashion and lifestyle is at the heart of USyd alum Elizabeth Roberts’s role as Deputy CEO at RIISE.

“Rebranding the sustainability narrative and presenting it as something that is exciting, optimistic and achievable,” she says about ensuring that the online platform operates according to its values consistently.

RIISE advocates for an environmentally conscious consumer by curating content and products of creators who abide by their rigorous Climate Credentials framework.

Enriching the art of thinking “Green”

Elizabeth’s arts degree laid the intellectual foundations needed to execute creative solutions that are achievable but out-of-the-box.

The Bachelor of Arts (Art History, Criticism and Conversation) was perfect for me as it went into a lot more depth, expanding my knowledge not only of these subjects but broadening my world view at large,” she emphasised.

My studies at university fostered a deep appreciation for art and beauty, and the power of these as tools of persuasion and their ability to instigate real and meaningful behavioural change.
Elizabeth Roberts

Advocating for an environment-friendly lifestyle in a digitally driven society, where disposable products are the norm, is a huge challenge that will require progressive knowledge and perspectives.

“After Uni, I moved into more commercial roles, but was able to take the skills honed throughout my degree into these positions…The critical thinking that is taught during an arts degree is of high value to an organisation,” Elizabeth further remarks.

Working to RIISE the roof of sustainability

When Elizabeth met RIISE’s founder and CEO, Sarah Bell, they were both quick to discover how much their principles and proficiencies aligned.

She was initially on board as the company’s Head of Communications & Partnerships, then promoted to her current position in October 2021—a little over a year from when RIISE was a freshly built passion project.

The job industry has also changed, especially post-COVID, in that so often companies now hire on cultural fit over traditional qualifications.
Elizabeth Roberts at her graduation

“Some days I’m speaking to incredible brands and their founders who are making waves in the sustainability space, other days I’m at photoshoots, writing strategy or even pitching to investors in the US,” she shares about what her fulfilling job entails.

She is constantly grateful about doing work that doesn’t feel like a chore because of how tightly her values and motivations are woven into every task.

How an arts degree endlessly inspires

Elizabeth is an inspiring example of how artistic knowledge can embolden one’s professional capabilities to flourish and adapt in any career environment.

I’ve been told several times that one of the reasons I’ve been hired for a role is because I have an arts degree,”

While she didn’t become a pop star like she dreamed of as a kid, her unique voice continues to contribute to a chorus of initiatives for a brighter, more sustainable future.

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