Eco-Warrior Profile: Livia van Heerde Fights Social Injustice and Climate Change With Style
“If we understood better our condition as connected beings, it is said, we would see that harming the environment is effectively harming ourselves and this is irrational.” - Andrew Dobson’s Environmental Politics on “ecological consciousness”
Looking to spice up your feed? Livia van Heerde explores the world of sustainable fashion and climate change activism through vibrant and irresistible posts on Instagram. She’s from Vienna, but moved to London, where she graduated with a BSc in Environmental Science from Queen Mary University of London. She’s on the avant garde of sustainable fashion with seductive images promoting ethically and sustainably-made fashions like arm candy handbags from Mashu London, and sustainable and fair business brands like Miss Green Fashion. We caught up with Livia after we included her in our list of top eco-warriors from Europe on Instagram, and asked her about her latest efforts and views in the fight against climate change.
Was there an event or cause that compelled you to fight climate change?
I have been interested in the environmental damage humans are causing for years which is why I studied a BSc in Environmental Science. Through that I got more and more educated in our earth systems and environment and I learned more about climate change. The more I learned, the more I realised that I could not ignore this problem. I wanted to use my platform to speak up.
What aspect of climate change do you think isn’t talked about enough?
I think the aspect of social injustice is not talked about enough. Climate change is also a social justice problem. The world’s poorest countries (and people) will feel the effect of climate change the most while the countries that are contributing to climate change the most, will not feel the consequences as much. People that are dependent on agriculture and have less mobility (meaning they cannot easily move to somewhere else) are more vulnerable because of their higher exposure, higher sensitivity and lower capacity to adapt to climate change.
If you had a million dollars to donate to a cause, which would it be?
This is a tricky question. The first thing that pops in my head is where the money comes from. I personally don’t think that our world’s problems can be solved by donations alone. What we really need is systemic change. I think that has a bigger impact. But donations can help for sure. So I’d say I’d donate the million dollars to climate research because there is still so much uncertainty in many areas of science around the topic of climate change that need to be researched more and funding is always needed.
“Our melting, shifting, liquid world won’t wait for manifesto or mandate, each warning a reckoning” - Maura Dooley, Poet
Who would be on your list of the top 3 eco-warriors on Instagram?
It was very hard to only pick 3 but my current favourites are:
1. Madeleine Darya Alizadeh from @dariadaria
2. Chloe from @thegreenmonki
3. @climemechange (which might not be what you’d expect but this page is not just hilarious but also very educating)
4. Bonus: Kristen Leo @kristenleo who makes great Youtube videos
The fashion industry has a clear opportunity to act differently, pursuing profit and growth while also creating new value and deeper wealth for society and therefore the world economy. Fashion-forward influencers like Livia van Heerde are a critical part of a revived “green consumerism” with her artistic Instagram posts that pair the promotion of sustainable products with an urgency to think differently about our critical role in the environment.