Issa Barte On Reaching Out To People To Fight For Our Planet
The For The Future founder dedicated her heart to saving the planet, one small effort after the next.
This World Earth Day 2021, Metro and sustainable skincare brand Bioten celebrate three environmental advocates who have used their platforms and talents in creating more awareness for the most pressing issues that the planet is facing. Like Bioten, these three advocates put purpose to concrete action and commitment to the environment.
Bioten and Issa have partnered together to raise funds for 88,000 trees, representative of the 88% ingredients of natural origin in Nadine Lustre's favorite skincare line. This is done in partnership with MAD Travel and For the Future. Read on below to check out Issa's story, as founder of For the Future.
For artist and For The Future Philippines founder Issa Barte, art is one of her tools to spread the word on the climate change the world is currently facing. “Art has really been the way we decimate information about our advocacy. It’s the way we share the stories with our friends and connect people to the issues we bring up,” she shares.
Having the heart for mother nature is deeply rooted in her, recalling the spark of interest towards the cause at a young age. “I remember being in my classroom, and learning about how plants are able to turn carbon dioxide and light into their food. It turned me into that kid who’d be breathing on the plants during recess time to make sure they were getting enough to eat,” she muses. “It was in understanding that they were living things that I awakened this love for them, and somehow this duty to protect them, too.”
But tackling these issues through her craft isn’t enough—she knew she had to take further action. It was after she turned 23 and spent her birthday on a tree planting trip in Yangil, Zambales, when it all clicked.
“It was my first time meeting young people who dedicated their time and careers into protecting our world. It was that day that had started all of this,” Issa recalls. Memories from that outreach, where a group of 20 youth planted almost 800 trees in a single afternoon, is quite the unforgettable experience. She can’t stop thinking about it.
That’s how For The Future was born, with a mission to provide avenues of action through stories in service of the people and planet.
In thinking of ways on how to reach more people, Issa and her team got into a conversation about tapping actress and role model Nadine Lustre to jumpstart their campaign. “Imagine if each and every one of Nadine Lustre’s followers pledged to plant a tree—we’d have a whole forest by now! It was such a simple idea, yet, I couldn’t get it out of my mind,” the green advocate says of what the advocates now call ‘The Nadine Lustre Incident.’
Call it luck, or maybe it’s just fate, that the organization and the Wildest Dreams singer crossed each other’s paths and aligned their beliefs. Along with other partners Make A Difference (MAD) and European eco-friendly beauty brand Bioten, the 88,000 Trees campaign finally came to life.
Apart from her reforestation efforts, Issa is actively pursuing other environment-related endeavors as well. For this year’s Earth Day, for example, the For The Future team celebrates it through the One Million Letters campaign together with Reserva, Centre for Sustainability, and Kids for Kids. Through this movement, young people from all over the world can write a letter to our world leaders to protect 30% of our planet by 2030. Each letter sent also gets $3 donated to protect our forests.
The group is also gearing up into finding more long-term ways to help those who are affected by intensifying typhoons as well as preparing for planting season with the Yangil tribe.
Personally, Issa switched into an eco-conscious lifestyle through small changes that ultimately assists in the advocacy in the long run. “I’ve switched most of my personal care items to sustainable and ethical items but also have been aware of those brands who use being eco-friendly to green wash themselves. It’s just being aware of what’s going on and choosing the right path for yourself,” the founder tells Metro.Style.
Organically growing her presence as she moves towards the goal, this passionate woman advises to begin the changes from our roots—in our own country. “So many in the Philippines are experiencing the consequences of these man-made crises, and we need to think of them in this fight. Environmentalism is a social issue as well, so the systems that keep people having so little have to be changed. In lifting each other up, we will also be empowering ourselves to protect our home,” Issa ends.
Artwork by Mawee Borromeo
Art Direction by Raff Colmenar