7 Truly Inspiring Eco Friendly Fashion Models

These eco friendly fashion models have beautiful faces – and hearts!

By Chiara Spagnoli Gabardi

While the model stereotype is that of a narcissistic, self-centred bimbo, in most cases, nothing could be further from the truth! Many models are actually humble, sweet, charitable – and highly eco-conscious.

Whether by championing animal rights, speaking out against climate change, rainforest destruction or eliminating toxins from personal care products, each of our top eco friendly fashion models brings her personal angle to spreading awareness on the importance of sustainability.

But who’s at the top of the list, and who’s almost off it altogether, and why? Let’s find out!

7 Truly Inspiring Eco Friendly Fashion Models

gisele eco friendly model

1. The Queen of Green, Summer Rayne Oakes

Summer Rayne Oakes, an environmental scientist-turned-model who is globally renowned for her commitment to the environment, is at the top of our list, and for good reason!

This brainy beauty is a graduate in Natural Resources, Entomology and Geographic Information Systems of Cornell University, and was named “A Global Citizen” by Vanity Fair. She’s a true nature lover and eco-advocate with her own YouTube channel that focuses on plant life.

Indeed, Summer has channelled her passion for the environment through several other means, too. For one, she decided to align herself with more environmentally and socially relevant companies and projects as a model. Secondly, she’s written the best-selling book, “Style, Naturally: The savvy shopping guide to Sustainable Fashion and Beauty”, and designed a line of recycled optics and shades called eco by Summer Rayne Oakes. She’s produced an award-winning environmental art short eXtinction and co-founded the online sustainable materials marketplace  Source4Style. Whew! Could her list of achievements be any more impressive?

Well actually, they do go on! Summer Rayne was featured in Steve McCurry’s 2013 Pirelli Calendar, which focused on women with environmental and humanitarian causes. Additionally, she is a Udall environmental scholar, PERC Environmental Fellow and National Wildlife Federation Fellow.

The combination of her impressive academic background, very successful modelling career and incredibly skilful media and marketing approach has made her one of the most inspiring and acclaimed eco friendly fashion models today, by far.

Image above: Wikicommons

2. Miranda Kerr is Top of the Green Tops

One Victoria’s Secret Angel who decided to make her own line of eco-friendly cosmetics is Miranda Kerr, owner of the organic skin care brand Kora Organics. A vegan who eats mainly organic food, Ms Kerr is a great supporter of many eco-organisations, including Greenpeace, and has been deeply involved with the issue dealing with the preservation of the koala’s natural habitat, a matter that is dear to the heart of this Australian native – in fact, Miranda even posed nude on the cover of Rolling Stone to draw more attention to the cause.

As a longtime supporter PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals), she has long been crusading against animal testing, and she delights in stating that her own Kora products are only tested on the gorgeous face of…herself!

Image: Wikicommons

miranda kerr

3. Angela Lindvall

Former Victoria’s Secret Angel Angela Lindvall has appeared on the covers of most major fashion publication around the globe, and is one of the few models to have worked with nearly every major fashion house from New York to New Zealand. But what this American beauty likes to be known for the most are her ecological conservation efforts.

Unlike a lot of models and actresses who talk the talk, Lindvall really walks the (cat)walk, too, doing whatever she can in terms of working partnerships to raise awareness about the environment. For example, in 2009, she was one of the first ever models to team with eco-fashion label Edun and Yoox.com to design a line of ‘green’ clothing, whose proceeds were donated to the Green Cross International.

Lindvall is also is the founder and president of the Collage Foundation, an organisation promoting sustainability and environmentally conscious choices among young people. She has also created an NGO to educate younger generations, particularly younger girls, about their role in the world’s environmental issues and how they can make a difference in a number of ways.

This philanthropist/entrepreneur also aims to act as the perfect role model when it comes to saving the planet: she lives in a house with a filtration system to cut back on bottled water, planted fruit trees and herbs to consume in her own kitchen, and set up a charging station for her hybrid car. She also created a guest house in the garden that is fully biodegradable: it’s a yurt, armed with solar panels for energy.

Image: Wikicommons

eco friendly models

4. Lili Cole 

This multi-millionaire British supermodel and actress with a Cambridge double-first in the History of Art never ceases to amaze. The doll-faced beauty who has worked with Alexander McQueen, Chanel, Louis Vuitton, and Marc Jacobs to name a few, supports a variety of environmental and humanitarian causes.

Awhile ago, she launched her own label  The North Circular  (clothing made of the wool from rescued sheep), which supported the Environment Justice Foundation with 5% of its profits (it has since closed down, though). In terms of what she chooses to model, Lily promoted The Climate Week T-Shirt designed by Kishimoto, and modelled an Environmental Justice Foundation T-shirt with the slogan Save the Future to promote the battle against child labour in the fashion industry.

Over the years, she has been supporting various great environmental causes, including WaterAid, The World Land Trust’s Emerald for Elephant Exhibition, Global Angels and the Environmental Justice Foundation. Her outstanding contribution to environmental and humanitarian causes has been recognised by a variety of organisations.

Lily isn’t shy about expressing her love of this gorgeous planet. “I’m not like some cliche hippy, but I really love trees and I love nature. And that appreciation has grown as I’ve got older,” she says.

Image credit: Wikicommons

lili cole

5. Daniela Christiansson

This blonde beauty from Sweden has been keen to promote more environmentally friendly living practices for over half a decade now. She is the co-founder of Italy’s Green Fashion week, and has been a faithful judge of the Eluxe Awards for four years now.

Recently, she has been involved in promoting various eco-friendly fashion and beauty brands and develops projects with companies to help make their products as green as possible, and has been working on several environmental projects with the UNFCCC (Climate Neutral Now), and Ferrero. She also regularly supports the Fashion Revolution’s “Who Made My Clothes” campaign and is an Ambassador to the Allcot Group’s Brazilian Rosewood Conservation project.

Daniela is particularly passionate about combating climate change, and often talks about it on her Instagram account, @thegreenfashionista. She says: “Climate change is real and we have all the resources to fight it, we just all need to gradually change our consumption and lifestyle habits. I hope to influence as many people as possible with my work.”

eco friendly models

6. Heidi Klum

Heidi makes a great green role model for her children. The blonde supermodel has divulged the importance of sustainability through her activities as a television host in ‘Project Runway,’ where contestants compete with each other to create the best clothes and are restricted in time, materials and theme. Incredible, green creations by the likes of Leanne Marshall and Erin Robertson are the result of Heidi’s eco-instructions.

As for the way she manages her personal closet, she has become deeply involved with green brands: lately she has been spotted wearing pieces designed by M. Patmos, who uses zero-waste seamless knitting technology, faux fur made from wool and alpaca, and vegetable tanned leather.

Finally, Heidi has a blog where she promotes the use of a series of ‘green’ products that spans from bamboo hair brushes to recyclable razors.

Image: Wikicommons via Glenn Francis/Pacific Pro Digital Photography

eco friendly models

7. Lastly…Gisele

The world’s highest paid supermodel, Gisele Bundchen, has been a long-standing supporter of the environment and a goodwill ambassador for the United Nations Environment Programme since 2009. Gisele grew up in Brazil and witnessed nature’s splendour, along with the destruction of forests and its effect on the surrounding communities. As a result, in 2008 Gisele started a green blog to promote eco-awareness, and in that same year she and her father launched the Projeto Agua Limpa in her hometown of Horizontina, in order to implement sustainable environmental management and provide clean water to local people. The Brazilian star of the catwalk has also been involved in several environmental campaigns over the years.

However, Gisele has also disappointed us in terms of her eco-footprint. Her 22,000 sq foot mansion, built on virgin land in Brentwood, California, is a big downer. The model claims the mansion’s solar panels and use of reclaimed wood (perhaps from the trees she cut down to build it?) make it eco-friendly, but these facts about her abode negate any good solar panels could do: her house is so big that 30 1 bedroom apartments could fit into it; it has a 6 car garage; it has 8 huge bedrooms and en suite bathrooms (for a family of 4); you need elevators to get to other floors; it’s surrounded by a moat. There’s simply nothing that could justify calling this house ‘sustainable’!

Oh, and she and her husband also have mansions in Boston, Costa Rica, and Brazil.

Come on Gisele, practice a bit more of what you preach!

Image: Wikicommons

Eco Friendly Fashion Models

Main image courtesy Kora Organics

Chiara Spagnoli Gabardi

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