Top model Cameron Russell is one of the strongest voices in the fashion industry, and her 'Model Mafia' roared in May 2017, boarding a bus ride to Washington DC, to participate in the People's Climate March. The message on Russell's website is clear:
Models are uniquely poised to become fantastic activists because they are some of the few women who have very direct access to media. Especially on the issue of climate change, our voices are important and powerful. Fashion is one of the dirtiest industries in the world, but it's also one of the biggest and most influential, that's why if we can change how our industry works we have the potential to make an enormous difference and lead the way to a sustainable future.
Fashion is the second largest industrial polluter, second only to oil, writes the 'Model Mafia', in Glamour magazine's coverage of their busride from New York to DC. Who is better than models -- increasingly true global citizens coming to the industry from all over the world -- to address climate change from an intersectional perspective?
Related: Recent Articles About Sustainability in the Fashion Industry:
Fashion in new bid to be truly sustainable The Guardian
Members of the Model Mafia weigh in:
I was born in Somalia, and I came to America as a refugee escaping from war and turmoil. I understand how climate change is causing and will continue to cause more turmoil, and create even more refugees. We’re already in crisis mode: according to UNHCR, the UN refugee agency, the number of displaced people is now at its highest ever, even more than after World War II. And in the next 20-30 years, there’s no question that tens of millions of people—some estimates go up to 1 billion—will be displaced by drought and other effects from climate change. The term ‘climate refugee’ isn’t officially accepted yet, but soon it will be unavoidable.
Somalia, my birthplace, is currently experiencing yet another drought, the second in only six years. We’ve had so much war and so much famine—for all that we hear about extremist threats, the cruel reality is that people are now being devastated by man-made, weather-related calamities. Yes, it’s very personal to me. ~ Hawa Hassan
I am a child of renewable energy, who grew up off-grid on solar power in the middle of the Australian bush, so I can tell you we've had functioning solar technology for longer than most realize. We also collected our own rain water, disconnected from any nearby towns...so I learned to appreciate water as a finite. Emissions from burning coal for heat and energy fuel global warming, and the coal industry uses enough fresh water to meet the basic needs of one billion people! There's no need to keep running with a system that degrades our environment or drains our natural resources. - Jessica Jones
My family made the issue meaningful for me. My sister runs a farm in Amherst, Massachusetts, and my parents now live in Telluride, Colorado, a tiny town in the Rocky Mountains, both of which will be severely impacted by changing weather patterns. We were a political-debates-over-dinner kind of family, and they always stressed the importance of policy based on data and scientific research. I tookthat ethos seriously: I now run my own explanatory newsletter @svbycleo, and I care deeply about how we interpret and understand data and news. To say we shouldn't act against climate change, you have to ignore the 99.99% of peer-reviewed scientific articles indicating global warming is caused by human activity. - Cleo Abram
More 'Model Mafia' Washington DC People's Climate March 2017 Images by Gabriela Celeste