British-American model Arizona Muse may once have been known as "the new face of American fashion" (a title bestowed on her at the age of 19 by Anna Wintour) but these days she's using her platform to campaign for greater sustainability across the industry.
Now more of an activist than a working model, she was on the picket line outside London's Australian embassy in January, calling for action in the wake of the country's devastating wildfires. For her latest project, she's teamed up with environmental action group Extinction Rebellion to make a powerful video ahead of London Fashion Week.
"The industry I love and represent is in crisis," she opens the video by saying. "Every year, 100 billion pieces are made, taking a toll on the planet and the people that make them. This happens because the people that buy them are unaware. But the industry knows." Calling out mass production and the speed of fast fashion, she goes on to highlight the environmental damage already done to the planet, with millions of species facing extinction and the dangerous levels of greenhouse gas emissions.
Muse posted the moving call to arms to her Instagram page, commenting: "This week in London, the fashion industry is flying in to show off the designs they have for us next season. But all I can think of is what the seasons of the future might look like." Rather than call for a cancellation of London Fashion Week, though, in the video Muse goes on to champion the brands pioneering sustainable fashion (think Stella McCartney, Bethany Williams and People Tree) and spotlights new modes of wearing clothes, such as renting, alongside the joys of shopping secondhand.
"While small changes made by brands are good news, they are miles from being sufficient. I love fashion, and to see the beginnings of the systems change we so badly need, fills me with enormous hope for the future. This fashion week, I challenge you to share, re-wear and re-love your clothing. And if you do buy something new, consider carefully its environmental and social impact."
Extinction Rebellion will once again have a physical presence at London Fashion Week, having held a funeral for the event in September for SS20. The group is inviting people to join them on Saturday at the British Fashion Council's main show space, 180 The Strand, as they call for "radical change from the BFC". Watch this space to see how their actions unfold this weekend.
As Muse says: "The ball is in our court; 2020 is the year for change."