Long before sustainability was a standard discussion in fashion, Angela Lindvall was spreading the word about environmental causes. As a longtime advocate for a clean, green lifestyle, Lindvall has seen perceptions about conscious living gradually shift within the industry, and has always done her part to raise awareness.Balancing the roles of mother to her two boys, model at The Lions, activist for green causes, and certified health and wellness expert, Lindvall has found peace of mind in Topanga, California. Here, the supermodel shares her green-living diary with Style.com, and her thoughts on everything from conspicuous consumption to the power of inner healing. You’ve become known for your environmental activism, but how did you first get interested in this? It’s been an interesting journey for me over the years, because pretty much when I first moved to New York, whenever I was about 17, 18, I just started educating myself on what’s in our food, what’s in our water, what’s in our environment. And I was kind of blown away, ’cause I grew up in the country, outside of Kansas City, and had never really been that aware of the state of things. That’s when I became a huge activist for the environment. I was like, “Oh, my God, this stuff needs to be on the front page of the newspapers. This is serious,” and decided to, all enthusiastically, start my own nonprofit, to use pop culture and media as a means to stimulate awareness. Why do you feel self-healing is such an essential part of the process? We now live in a world that is so busy compared to our grandparents’, and we’re bombarded with so much information, and we’re expected to do so much and keep up with so much and all the technology—it’s like information overload. Sometimes you have to go, “Wait a second, what are we here to really do? Like, what is living all about?” That’s what I’m questioning now. It’s like, “How is it that I really want to live if I’m here for only such a short time?”
What would you say are some small steps that people can take to improve their relationship to the environment? I think starting with our food is number one because the choices that we make, in terms of what we buy, are supporting industry in a way that has an effect on our environment and also has a huge impact on our health. And I know that buying organic can seem very costly and it is more expensive in some way, but I think there are a lot of ways to make conscious choices and healthy choices that are still affordable. And that would be, like, supporting your local farms, your local CSA, ordering bulk organic grains, even sharing an animal with other families. That can cut down costs and you know where the animal came from and how it was raised and it wasn’t pumped full of synthetic things. Food is a great way to start, because it’s our immediate environment, being our body, and it’s affecting the larger whole in a huge way.
There is definitely a limit to how much consumption— [rooster crows] Is that a rooster crowing? It sure is. That’s how we got baby chickens. We only had hens for a while. I was like, “Let’s get a rooster!” And sure enough, two of my hens just didn’t leave their nests, they wanted to sit on their eggs and be mommies. It’s amazing—I didn’t know this—chickens sit on eggs for three weeks straight, and they do not get up. They’ll get up once a day to go eat a tiny bit and take a poo, and then they go right back to their nest. Isn’t that amazing? Like, talk about dedication! How would you say that the fashion world could improve on its commitment to the environment? I’ve learned so much by supporting and being part of the NRDC’s Clean by Design initiative, learning about the textile manufacturing process, and how many ways the standards could be improved that would then reduce the impact of waste in a huge way. Not to mention the dyeing processes and the resourcing of textiles. But there’s a real disconnect between the actual designers and the textile mills. I think that the fashion industry really stepping up and asking for this of these mills and these facilities will really push that. And it’s happening—it is happening, slowly. How would you say that the fashion world could improve on its commitment to the environment? I’ve learned so much by supporting and being part of the NRDC’s Clean by Design initiative, learning about the textile manufacturing process, and how many ways the standards could be improved that would then reduce the impact of waste in a huge way. Not to mention the dyeing processes and the resourcing of textiles. But there’s a real disconnect between the actual designers and the textile mills. I think that the fashion industry really stepping up and asking for this of these mills and these facilities will really push that. And it’s happening—it is happening, slowly.
Fashion is this trendsetting world, so you got to be up to par with making fashionable pieces. So getting these same resources into the hands of some of the most talented people will be really exciting, to say, “Hey, look, this doesn’t affect the quality of the way your clothes look, but it has a huge effect on the quality of your garment and the way it affects the world.”
Consumers are definitely responding to that. Consumers are becoming just as conscious about buying sustainable clothing as they are about organic food. That was a huge trend that happened. It’s a slower trend, because it’s harder to connect all the parts of the process. I feel fashion is a perfect catalyst to step forth and say, “These are the times we live in, and this is the new trend, to be conscious of this.” I don’t know how to solve the whole issue, because there are a lot of components involved. But I think as consumers, we don’t need so much. I believe in quality over quantity, and we just consume, consume, and we think we need 365 outfits for a year. And really, it’s about your own self-expression, not dressing for the trends, dressing for your body type and your style, and finding those pieces that maybe you spend a little bit more money on, but they’re quality, you know, they’re quality fibers and they’re pieces that will last. View Full Article Here