The concept of celebrity keeps morphing and changing in today’s world, so sometimes it’s easy to overlook the remarkable things that the rich and famous are achieving away from the red carpet. We’ve rounded up five of the biggest advocates for sustainability who happen to be amongst the most well-known names on the planet.
Duration : 2 min to read
Celebrity endorsements are so common that it is becoming easier to completely ignore them, but when seven-time Grammy Award winning musician, Pharrell Williams, curates a sustainable fashion line in a collaboration with G-Star RAW, people take notice. Williams is Creative Director of Bionic, a New York-based company that creates textiles from harvested ocean waste.
Most actors’ Twitter feeds don’t look like Leonardo DiCaprio’s – spend a few seconds on his to witness his commitment to the discussion of climate change, global warming, and renewable energy. His speech at the UN Climate Summit and his donations to causes such as the recent $2 million he gave to Oceans 5 raise widespread awareness of issues that need tackling today.
Speaking in support of the European Citizens’ Initiative to End Ecocide, legendary designer, Dame Vivienne Westwood, said that “the acceleration of death and destruction is unimaginable, and it’s happening quicker and quicker.” The deliberate destruction of the natural environment is a continued focus for the altruistic Dame of Fashion, as she works on community development and climate change at the Zeitz Foundation.
The 2006 documentary An Inconvenient Truth, about the former United States Vice President was a powerful turning point in raising awareness of the need for action on climate change and sustainability. A study conducted by The Nielsen Company and Oxford University found that 89% of their respondents who saw the film said it had made them more aware of the problem.
Focusing specifically on the sustainability of water, Matt Damon wrote last year for the Economist about his work with Gary White as co-founders of Water.org, which pioneers new solutions, financing models, transparency, and partnerships within the water sector. A different approach from the standard charity model, Water.org has been transforming lives for more than twenty years.
It’s sometimes difficult to see past the cynicism attached to celebrity endorsements or activism from people in the creative industries, but these five individuals and many others are striving to use their voices and public platforms to make positive, measurable change.