Supermodel Angela Lindvall is a celebrated figure in the mainstream fashion industry and the fight against climate change alike. An avid lover of eco-friendly beauty, Lindvall has long-supported the environmental movement (even before it was cool to do so): “After researching what was going on with our food, our water, and our waste, I was kind of mind-blown. I got a case of environmental anxiety and started wondering why people weren’t talking about these issues on the front page of the newspaper every day.”
Although the fashion and entertainment industry has become more supportive of environmental issues in recent years (some designers are even saying “buy less”), that wasn’t really the case when Lindvall was starting her career. She mentions that some of her peers found her a “little kooky” for her obsession with the challenges facing the planet. Nonetheless, the model remained undeterred in her advocacy for environmentalism and decided to make the most of the situation.
“Getting into fashion made me realize the power of the entertainment industry and showed me that people knew more about their favorite celebrity than they did about these issues at that time,” she says. “But I actually got kind of inspired by that. I wanted to use pop culture and media to get the issues out there.” Lindvall went on to found The Collage Foundation Inc, an educational entertainment platform promoting environmental awareness.
From that point, Lindvall’s career as an eco advocate burgeoned. She was selected to host one of the first major “green fashion” shows during New York Fashion Week, 2007’s Be Eco Chic. She became a founding board member of the Natural Resources Defense Council’s Clean by Design and even teamed up with luxury jewelry brand John Hardy to create charity bracelets made from recycled silver, the proceeds of which went to benefit ForestEthics.
In the midst of her successes in advocacy, Lindvall was dealt two devastating blows, however. In June 2006, she and her husband divorced. Two months later, she lost her younger sister to a tragic bicycle accident. The events challenged Lindvall to keep her head above water while staying active on behalf of her cause.
“I was going through one of the most difficult times of my life, and it really stopped making sense. Here I was, trying to save the world, and my own world was falling apart,” she explains. Instead of losing hope, however, Lindvall found a way to fortify herself while expanding her passion for taking care of the world—by taking care of herself.
“I really need to take care of me and look at where I needed to heal myself and stop taking this life for granted. It’s like that idea that you should put your oxygen mask on first. If you’re thriving, you can help others. The choices we make for ourselves affect us, but they also affect the planet.”
And so began Lindvall’s passionate commitment to self-care, which is now the foundation of her eco advocacy:
“Self-care implies not only caring for yourself physically and spiritually, it means taking care of the world we live in,” she says. “In that sense, self-care is probably the most important thing we can do for ourselves and for our planet.”
While something as simple as taking time for yourself may not seem like much, it goes a long way in keeping you at your strongest, most grounded, and most energized. We take in so much every day—especially if we’re following the news and keeping up with the battle for climate wellness (often not a pretty picture). While considering the plight of our world, it’s easy to feel that some time alone, focused on something that brings you joy may feel selfish, but that time and that special activity are actually fuel for your inner fire.
Lindvall herself has shown this to be true—her activism is as strong as ever, yet she makes time to practice yoga and meditation. Thanks to her grounded commitment to her activism, she’s been able to transform her home into an energy-minimalist space (relying on solar, nontoxic products, and a well). She’s also teamed up with various companies to spread a peaceful message, including Article 22, which refashions war shrapnel dropped in rural Laos into sustainable jewelry with a mantra: “I am love. I am light. I am peace.”
Let’s all show ourselves love, light, and peace.
How has self-care impacted your activism?
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Photo: Angela Lindvall via Instagram