Some supermodels date rock stars. Some supermodels chuck phones at their assistants. And some stay up late at night, worrying their high fashion lifestyle might be harming the planet.
Sound like a drag? According to Lily Cole, a face of Marc Jacobs and TopShop and The Tiffany and phew! – it doesn’t have to be. “My job largely prevents me from legitimate preaching,” says the London native about her eco-stance, “but one of the more useful consequences of being a model might be to encourage more people to ask questions about the global clothing industry, and what we can do to change it.”
She does just that in the forward of Green is the New Black, an imminent earth-friendly style bible by fashion editor Tamsin Blanchard. Here are some of her tips:
IT’S OKAY IF YOUR JEANS GET RIPPED UP
“I would encourage sewing together your own stuff, and keeping that stuff even as it falls apart (a good look, I really believe). I would also encourage a change in attitude… what’s a good sweater without a hole?... Please remember, or at least consider, that holes are beautiful, too!”
DO YOU REALLY NEED BABYDOLL DRESS #12?
“I was once the prototypical material girl. But I went from the little girl who didn’t have much and wanted everything, to the girl who would buy piles of stuff and didn’t know what to do with it…I used to burn for the fanciest clothes in the fanciest shops, but I now look back fondly at my mum stitching up a torn designer dress with parts of my window curtains.”
KNOW WHERE YOUR CLOTHES COME FROM
“Rarely do we consider something as simple as the inexpensive socks on our feet. Not many of us realize that it has likely taken a cupful of unregulated pesticides to produce the cotton in those socks… Cotton, harmful? Who would have thought? But the [Environmental Justice Foundation] report on it was so overwhelming, I was forced to fight back tears while reading it on a train across London. I’ve never felt so hypocritical.”
DONE WITH A DRESS? PASS IT ON
“My favorite step is to buy and wear more second hand clothes…I’ve begun to strangely enjoy monthly culls of my wardrobe – giving to charity shops, my family, my girlfriends. Nothing warms my heart more than to see my friend Lorna enjoying a pint in my old striped sailor shirt.”
Green Is the New Black is available soon in the US, or you can get it from Amazon UK right now.