Lily Cole models “much less” because she only works with brands who are “trying to solve a problem”.
The 32-year-old model, actress and environmental activist – who started her modelling career when she was just 14 – is “ever more selective” about the work she takes on and would rather work for companies who are committed to making changes to their practices in order to reduce their carbon footprint.
The ‘St. Trinians’ star says it’s important to have an open dialogue with friends and family about such issues.
Lily told Stylist: “I model much less these days than I used to and I try to be ever more selective about who I work with; either creatives I really admire, or products that are trying to solve a problem (ideally both, like with Material Focus). To create little changes, buy less, buy better, educe waste and support ethical companies where possible. It’s important to share information with friends and family and remain open minded to new perspectives. Let others – including politicians – know we care.”
Lily has recently worked with Material Focus, who recycle unwanted electrical appliances into gold jewellery.
She said: “When researching for my book ‘Who Cares Wins’, I was horrified by the amount of electronic waste that is produced every year, and how little of it is recycled. Yet electronic waste is unique as it’s highly valuable – e-waste often contains precious metals and finite materials which can be transformed and reused.
“So when Material Focus reached out to me with their campaign to give away rings made from recycled e-waste, I thought it was a beautiful initiative to demonstrate the value in objects we might consider “waste”.
“If we recycle electronics more, we will help slow one of the planet’s fastest growing waste streams, prevent millions of tonnes of valuable resources being lost, and reduce the overall pressure on the extraction of raw materials from the earth. I learned that nearly 100 tonnes of precious metals including gold, silver and palladium – equivalent to £857m – could be recycled from unwanted electricals each year in the UK – that’s enough to make over 858,000 gold rings.”