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Using Her Platform To Advocate For Change, with Lindsey Coffey

by Wolf & Badger

Lindsey Coffey is a fashion model, climate activist and WWF ambassador. We talk to her about her journey in environmental activism and how she uses her growing platform to advocate for real change.

Tell us a bit about yourself and where your passion for environmental activism came from.

Growing up in a small rural town, I was always surrounded by nature and I fell in love with the life that flourished outside my door. Yet, I saw great disregard for our environment and I decided to adopt a highway to do my part. As I grew, I travelled the world and saw the beauty of our planet, in addition to the destruction. Humanity was constantly taking from our earth while giving nothing in return. We needed to change and I felt an overwhelming responsibility to become a voice for the Voiceless. 

Do you think using your platform to promote sustainability has impacted your career at all?

Evolving in my career, my platform has affected me negatively and positively. Surprisingly, I had an agency release me because they felt “my priorities had changed.” As upsetting as it was, I knew I would find an agency that aligned with my morals. I’ve also had clients work with me BECAUSE of my platform. There are environmentally conscious designers that look for a model with the same passion. Collaborations exist not only to align ourselves with other passionate individuals but to strategically team up to promote our platforms to spread our message to a new audience. Being a model in an industry that emits the second largest amount of emissions, I have felt an obligation to be a part of the change. 

Photo credits: Reza Venegas

Having worked with some major publications, photographers and tastemakers in the fashion industry, would you say you’ve noticed a shift towards shopping responsibly?

Although fast fashion is still a major issue, the industry is changing for the better. We have a growing number of environmental activists demanding brands and corporations hold themselves accountable. Accountability is also falling on the consumer, giving them choices on where to buy and what to do with their clothing. Being eco-conscious is now trending as we hear the terms sustainability, eco-friendly, vegan, cruelty-free, and organic more than ever before. Awareness is growing, and that is the first step towards real change. We have the resources, technology and overall capability to enter a green era. 

We’re huge fans of your Eco-Ed series. What are your plans to keep growing this Community?

In creating the Eco-Ed series on my Youtube channel, I wanted to provide a quick and informative vlog with educational bits for my audience. The series has a range of twenty different topics: from major issues of the climate crisis and eco “fun facts,” to new climate technology. The purpose of the series was to evolve the educational aspect of my platform, by giving the viewer an up-close look at the beauty of the world as well as the destruction humanity has caused. My goal is to educate those who are willing to listen while creating a personal connection to nature, hopefully inspiring others to take action. 

Photo credits: The Code Creatives

Can you tell us a little bit more about your Climate Story and your connection with Nature?

A climate story is a personal connection you have to your environment. It can be from experiencing a natural disaster, health issues from your environment, or an emotional connection to nature. It may be difficult, but there are many different ways to find your climate story. What I can guarantee is that every single person has one. I have two. 

My first climate story occurred when I was young, but I wasn’t aware of it until I became much older. I had a difficult time growing up, I was hurt, confused, broken, despondent and could not envision a future that was any better. I often searched for quiet areas in nature that instantly calmed and distracted my mind. Unbeknownst, nature became my sanctuary. I was emotionally and energetically connected to my surroundings. There was a vast world in front of me filled with beauty and wonder. A world that had a lot to offer and I wanted to see every inch of it. Looking back, the tranquillity and wonder of our world gave me hope for my future. There was life beyond the life I knew, and I wanted to see it.

My second climate story occurred in 2018 when I was living in Cape Town, South Africa through the worst water crisis in history. The phrase “Day Zero'' was written across international headlines, the day we would officially run out of water. I lived each day in confusion and dread, we were completely helpless.  How did this happen? What will we do when we run out of water? How do I live my daily life? What was a necessity turned into a luxury. We used the bare minimom of water. Some homes no longer had water at all, and residents lined the street to fetch buckets from city officials. All water was sold out of stores and other countries came to our aid, sending as much as they could. I was terrified and wanted to fly home. Then, I realised although Cape Town was one of the first countries to run out of water and it would not be the last. So I stayed, I endured, and I celebrated when we did not reach day zero. 

Living through a natural disaster is one of the cruellest yet most effective ways to receive a wake-up call. If we do not take preventative measures they will occur more often and we will spend our moments surviving instead of living, while constantly restoring what once was.

Photo credits: Reza Venegas

What are you most excited about as you continue with environmental projects in 2023?

I am excited to see what success we bring working together. Through mission trips, seminars, clean-ups, and digital campaigns as well as more hands-on projects, 2023 will be another year of growth. Continuing my work with Climate Reality and WWF, this year we will focus on our youth by educating our future leaders, designers, and industry heads, while targeting policymakers to hold our nation, as well as other nations, accountable. I’m looking forward to forming new partnerships and creating lasting projects with other like-minded individuals and organisations who want to make the world a better place.

You’ve shown Wolf & Badger and our designers tremendous support, thank you! What do you love about our platform?

Wolf & Badger is leading the fashion industry into a new era with designers who are mindful and conscious of life in all forms. As Wolf & Badger has thousands of pieces to choose from, I personally love the filter options where you can choose pieces specifically related to the cause you support. It’s very easy to search for vegan, organic, recycled and plant-based materials, fair treatment, and non-toxic and artisan designs to name a few! There are 15 markers that adhere to a specific cause and I have yet to see that with any other brand. Wolf & Badger is truly a frontrunner in reimagining the fashion industry and I am so grateful for the time we have ahead of us.

Photo credits: Oscar Ozbay