I consider myself to be a student of the world. My career has taken me from independent films, to CNN in LA, to modelling in Milan, to the intersection of Business and Technology in Toronto, and now, finally, to writing about my passion: Sustainability.
Being a working model in Milan was one of the happiest and scariest times of my life. I was in my mid 20’s and this work proved to be what I needed to help me indulge in something inspiring and exciting. Milan was a wonderful experience because it exposed me to the institutions of luxury and fashion. It also helped me to cut my teeth in a world where being young and beautiful is both a blessing and a danger. Impossible beauty standards, fierce competition and predators seeking out naïve and impressionable girls taught me how to be brave, smart and bold. I am a kind and deeply compassionate person but I’m not someone to be messed with. This is called being fierce and what living in the wild will teach you.
Sustainability has been ingrained in me since my years as a young girl growing up in Germany. The Europeans have always been forward thinking, in fashion and conservation. We always took cloth bags to the market for our shopping, never plastic, and nothing was wasted. No doubt this came from both my great grandmother, and grandmother, surviving two world wars.
It makes sense to me that I am drawn to writing about these things because they give me a sense of comfort, knowledge and joy. I love beauty. Nature and luxury are meant to be admired and enjoyed. For this reason, I love writing about luxury and sustainability.
I feel compelled to write now about the world because we have just collectively experienced an Environmental 9/11 and I’ve had to take some time to muster the courage not to rage against the powers that created this, but to instead transmute this energy into one of healing and strength. The destruction of a continent, the deaths of innocent people countless dead animals loss of livelihood, loss of habitat and a common trauma for us all, who have a conscience, about the damage that’s been done.
This is a consequence of climate change, drought and ignorance, and the flames were fanned by an ongoing campaign of lies and misinformation to confuse and convolute so the actual perpetrators, the real climate change villains manage to get away scot-free, once again.
I have come to realize that I am done with this narrative. It’s time for the story to change. And we hold the power to change it.
Luxury is political, let’s at least agree on this. Conservative ideology is a fomenting influence on the climate change discussion because of its insistence that emissions are not to blame. They are and this support of massive consumption in order to keep stock value high and status intact, is also supporting an economic boom that is not sustainable. We said back in 2017 that we had reached our max on natural resource consumption. That was 3 years ago. Well before Australia burnt to the ground. We simply cannot keep consuming at the rate that we do.
No wonder Greta is so mad. This young woman is watching, on behalf of her generation, as are we all, the destruction of our planet, the death of species, whales filled with plastic, droughts, floods, fires, and the piece de resistance, Conservative bots telling us that it’s not us causing all this carnage. Never mind the needless butchering of elephants for their ivory, but until we begin to understand how everything connects to everything else, we may never know what the actual tipping point is before we sink this ship. This isn’t about the sky falling, but do we really want to continue destroying eco systems and the only place we can currently inhabit in the pursuit of ‘stuff’?
It would be wonderful if our luxury leadership would engage with Chinese leadership to help find solutions to these problems, considering that they are indeed linked with one another in terms of ‘status’ and ‘prized acquisitions’. We need to teach each other about how we can help nature to flourish and be restored, instead of destroying it in an effort to show off a prized bauble that only ends up collecting dust. If that argument isn’t enough, then perhaps consider that economically speaking, it’s no longer in anyone’s best interest to bet against climate change. BlackRock is coming for you.
LVMH is not helping the cause, even after bringing the brilliant Stella McCartney on board to support its sustainability efforts. The internet makes everything transparent when you know where to get reliable information. Being trusted is an important asset.
While you may exit before Greta and her generation, we see you, and we aren’t in alignment with you dismissing her efforts. Millennials and Gen Z, your target audience, also aren’t having it. This is the current image you are fostering at this moment in time. Knowing what you do about the damage currently being done, do you care about making these very important changes? Do you care if these young people abandon your brands?
I still believe in your leadership and believe there is a real opportunity for you to look to guidance from another powerful woman who has had a very calming influence on the world in times of great trouble.
The Queen of England has been a stabilizing force through chaotic historic transitions and the message of tree planting. is yet another persuasive piece of wisdom bestowed upon us in this time of ‘climate’ change. We cannot solve the emissions problem overnight, I understand Greta’s urgent plea in Davos. And we all agree that the time for change is now.
But in the meantime, let’s plant some trees. Let’s create more green space and encourage conservation. There are already efforts underway and it’s wonderfully healing to see nations come together at this difficult time to help, in whatever way possible, to make things better. We need more leadership we can trust at the helm. If luxury is emotion then what greater emotion is there than a sense of unity brought by a concerted effort to correct the damage that our consumption has done. It’s a time to show love and to give back, to say thank you for all the abundance we have reaped as a result of our desire for beauty and status.
Nature is a powerful healer. There is immense political and economic power to be gained from revitalizing nature and reinvesting in the natural world. To co-exist with nature instead of destroying it. It also creates the space for animals to return and reinvigorate biodiversity.
I’m not naive enough to think we are going to create utopia. There will still be those intent on destruction. But wouldn’t it be beneficial to both business and the collective population to be part of the solution and not part of the problem? I encourage anyone who has the power to make significant change to listen to our wise elders as they help to guide us through these difficult times.
Up next on the site: How we can individually support global efforts to change for the better and the monetization of being green.