Backstage at Vogue’s annual Forces of Fashion event last Fall, Stella McCartney arrived for her panel on the changing beauty landscape just as Xiye Bastida, the charismatic climate activist, was finishing hers. Bastida headed to the green room, which is where the two women crossed paths. They hugged. “I’m so excited to work with you,” McCartney said to the 20-year-old, ahead of an as-yet-unannounced initiative tied to her new, sustainable Stella skincare launch. The interaction was brief, and McCartney was mum on any further collaboration details. But today, she’s ready to do some talking.
“I’ve never not approached things differently in my entire career, so this was never going to be any different,” McCartney says of Stella Voices, her responsible beauty brand’s new initiative that unites eco-conscious campaigners with her three-piece line of skincare essentials, offering a platform for them to amplify their messages while building a like-minded community. “I didn’t just want to get beautiful women, with beautiful skin,” McCartney continues of the impetus behind teaming up with Bastida, the cofounder of the Re-Earth Initiative; Poppy Okotcha, an “ecological home-grower,” who focuses on reconnecting with the land through foraging and farming; the digital content creator Tammy Gan, who is devoted to making climate justice activism digestible and accessible; and Christabel Reed, whose platforms, EcoResolution and Advaya, focus on climate action and education through an emphasis on well-being. They will also be joined by Dr. Jane Goodall, DBE, who now runs the Jane Goodall Institute, a community-led conservation program with locations in 25 countries.
This is not about putting these women in the construct of a classic “beauty campaign” with adjacent product shots, McCartney insists, stopping our interview momentarily to marvel at the fact that Goodall agreed to be a part of the initiative in the first place. “Can we just pause for a second?” she says, getting visibility excited. “Because it’s not normal for Dr. Jane Goodall’s name to come out of your mouth when you’re talking about a beauty launch, let’s just take a second to let that land! I can’t even believe it. I’m so ecstatic.” Instead, McCartney’s goal is awareness. “It’s about informing people that don’t know about the work that we’re all individually doing, and bringing to the forefront this idea that caring about beauty and beautiful things means you can also care about the planet.”
McCartney plans to do this via her websites, her social channels, and her stores. But the messaging will also live “anywhere we choose to react to the world and how the world moves,” she adds, revealing that there is no set formula for how she hopes the five activists will engage with her products and her platform. “This is really just about learning, and doing something better with your purchase,” she continues, “and still at the same time having glowing, beautiful skin.”
This article was originally published on Vogue.com