2018 #SFTop25 finalist - Sherry Wong
HOMETOWN: Kitchener, Ontario
TRADITIONAL TERRITORY: Neutral, Anishnaabeg, and Haudenosaunee Peoples.
When some people see waste like worn-out clothes, old curtains, newspaper, water bottles and Coke cans—Sherry Wong sees dresses. A passionate upcycler, Sherry is gracing Canada’s Top 25 Environmentalists for her fourth consecutive year.
Creating community and inspiring others to connect is part of what drives her sustainability journey. From starting off as president of her high school's EcoTeam to founding York University’s popular Meatless Monday club, she recognizes the importance of sharing her passion with others and empowering them to lead their own change.
As a strong leader and community builder, she founded and led an Upcycling Exhibition that involved 47 schools and showcased projects made of only recycled materials. To continue the conversation in a public space, these projects were displayed in the Cambridge Queen’s Square library during an Earth Week celebration. With wild success, the exhibition was open to all members of the community the following year. Allowing her artistic side to shine through, she also contributed 20 pieces to the exhibit.
Her personal motivation started at a young age. In grade nine, she began creating her own semi-formal dresses from upcycled materials to raise awareness. Taking to the digital world, Sherry continues to inspire others globally with her Youtube channel focused on DIY and upcycling projects. Her reach has expanded to 62,000 followers and her videos have over 3.3 million views. Youtube has allowed her to encourage others to take on their own sustainability focused projects, echoing this conversation without borders.
Montreal is Sherry’s next adventure, there she will be exploring the startup world with a clean tech organization focused on digital manufacturing. This industry will help use resources more efficiently by integrating software and hardware. She is excited to be part of a team whose main objective is to reshape the manufacturing industry by reducing time, cost, and waste.
Her approach has transformed from sparking community initiatives like Walk to School Day to altering systems through technology, and her passion for sustainability continues to grow.
“Whether it is being part of Meatless Monday or upcycling, I truly believe that we shouldn’t need to protect the environment. Instead, we should aim to create an environment that does not require protection.” — Sherry