12 Activist Fashion Models Making Beautiful Change

If you’ve ever felt that models were just a symbol of capitalist exploitation of the planet, then think again. Activist fashion models abound.

Many models are deeply engaged in working to make sustainable fashion a reality.

We’ve got proof that many models care just as much about the planet as you do and these 12 models are all about making real and effective change in the world around them.

So, let’s meet 12 activist fashion models who are making beautiful change!

Renee Elizabeth Peters

Here’s what Renee says:

When it comes to pollution, we are all connected. There is an invisible toxic thread that links us all. There is no amount of wealth or power, that even the 1% can accumulate, that will protect humans from our toxic waste.

Peters became an activist because she knows that 9 million premature deaths take place each year because of the pollution we export across borders.

Renee is one of our favorite activist fashion models.

Check her out on Instagram here.

Shivani Persad

Shivani works to build a voice for models in the wider community and has her own podcast “More than Model Radio” which broadcasts from Chicago and features a wide-range of models all campaigning for a better world in their own way.

She is from Trinidad but now lives in Canada when she’s not in the United States working.

Check her out on Instagram here.

Aine Rose Campbell

Is a British model who was one of the very first organizers at @modelactivist on Instragam where you can meet many of the world’s most influential models trying to create a better world.

She’s based in London and, in case you were wondering, her first name is pronounced “on yer!”

She’s a strong believer that women are “stronger together.”

Check her out on Instagram here.

Cleo Abram

When she’s not modelling Cleo Abram is working as a producer for Vox Video, starring on Netflix’s Explained and appearing on her channel, “Glad you asked” on YouTube.

She’s also super active on Twitter promoting advocacy for a wide range of important social issues.

Check her out on Instagram here.

Hawa Hassan

Hawa Hassan is a Somali immigrant to the United States and she’s the SHeo of Bas Baas Sauce which is a fully Somali range of sauces and spicy condiments and chutneys. When she’s not making tasty things to eat, she out there campaigning on the topics of prison reform and immigration rights.

Hawa is living proof that hard work can take you anywhere in life.

Check her out on Instagram here.

Gelila Bekele

Gelila Bekele

Gelila Bekele is a model and a documentary filmmaker and you can check out her work on her website.

She is Ethiopian by birth but now spends most of her life working in both Europe and the United States.

She got her first modeling assignment back in 2006 and in 2017, she directed the feature “The Model Activists”.

You might also want to check out her 2018 book, Guzo! In which she explains the life of everyday Ethiopians.

Check her out on Instagram here.

Mari Malek Mbaye

Mari Malek Mbaye is one of the founders of “Models With A Purpsoe” an organization which helps models channel their energies into positive causes.

She’s also known as DJ Stiletto when she’s laying down some beats.

She’s originally from South Sudan but she’s a truly global figure, now.

Check her out on Instagram here.

Diandra Forrest

With an absolutely unmistakable look all of her own Diandra Forrest is the other founder of Models with A Purpose and when she speaks, people listen.

She exhorts everyone to “keep your energy clean and your heart full” and it’s a motto that she lives by.

Check her out on Instagram here.

Lauren Bfay

Lauren is the founder of The New Fashion Initiative which is a sustainable fashion consultancy that looks at how we can all make a difference in the way that we shop for and choose the clothes that we wear.

She wants us all to ask the simple question, “who made my clothes?”

Check her out on Instagram here.

Kayeli Taylor

Kayeli Taylor was one of the earliest members of the “Model Mafia” a group designed to help models force positive change in the industries in which they work and she says, “there is so much power in the collective voice of community.”

Check her out on Instagram here.

Leyna Bloom

Another big contributor to fashion events that change the world is Leyna Bloom who took part in the sustainable fashion show of the decade to highlight that fashion can be one of the dirtiest businesses on the planet.

Check her out on Instagram here.


Dossevia wants you to know that the fashion industry employs 60 million people.

That 80% of those people are black and brown and that almost none of them will be paid a living wage and they will be denied any opportunity for promotion or leadership roles. She wants you to help change that.

Check her out on Instagram here.

Want To Be Just Like An Activist Fashion Model?

Interested in making the move to ethical and sustainable fashion? A good starting point is our ethical & sustainable fashion starter guide. Or jump right in and join the Fashion Revolution!

And if you’re shopping for new clothing then consider one of the many sustainable choices we’ve included in our lowdown on sustainable clothing brands.

Or alternatively, shop at one of the numerous online thrift shops here. Keep it circular!