Who Said Environmentalism Wasn’t Cool?
Diandra Marizet’s stylish guide to fighting climate change
If you thought that environmental activists had only disdain for the fashion industry, take a peek at Diandra Marizet’s social media.
Consciously clothed, the Texas-based content creator and Earth warrior posts her calls to action and sustainability thoughts through profound texts and trendy images that could very well appear in Vogue.
Being stylish has always been a part of her life. “I began my journey learning about climate change while also working in the fashion industry and uncovering harmful supply chain practices that were connected to environmental degradation,” Diandra says. “I knew then that it was so vital that we approach environmental solutions with those most directly impacted by the climate crisis first.”
When it comes to our wardrobe, one shouldn’t sacrifice their style. Fashion is a way to express ourselves — yet we must be aware of what we buy, checking that the fabric is organic and sustainable; that the companies pair their workers fairly, or that our garments are either second hand or upcycled. Equally important is to understand that “climate change is deeply connected to capitalism, mass consumption and extractive practices,” Diandra reminds us. “We must come together to ensure that marginalized voices who are largely our planet’s greatest stewards of the land are protected and supported so they can thrive and we can make room for Indigenous wisdom and sustainability practices that BIPOC communities have been practicing for generations.”
Clothing, race and gender — these topics intersect in Diandra’s daily life. She’s well aware that environmental degradation isn’t just the result of us chopping down rainforests or polluting our oceans. Instead, it’s a melange of different issues that must be addressed, including racism and the patriarchal standards that guide society these days.
“I am most afraid of silent ‘allies’ who will allow white supremacy to persist in an effort to maintain peace within their families, networks and communities,” Diandra noted “Black, Indigenous and women of color are often the most directly impacted by environmental degradation.”
Her approach might seem unconventional, but in a country like the U.S. where climate change is still being debated, sometimes it’s easier to tackle environmentalism through more digestible concepts and presented in an upbeat manner, the way Diandra’s pictures always speak.
The outcome is Intersectional Environmentalist, a platform she launched with fellow green activists taking over the Internet to address climate change through the many different moving pieces that comprise it. “As the head of business development at Intersectional Environmentalist, I am working to ensure that our community has a platform to tell their stories and see themselves and their communities reflected in the environmental movement in a way that goes beyond inclusion, but rather reclaims a narrative that belongs to historical contributions of BIPOC communities.”
In a way, there’s an analogy between Diandra’s work and throwing an eye-catching outfit together; while each of the different elements that compose it has great value on their own, it’s only when they come together that they create an attire worthy of being highlighted. “Fashion is not something that exists in dresses only. Fashion is in the sky, in the street, fashion has to do with ideas, the way we live, what is happening,” said designer and businesswoman Coco Chanel.
The future of environmentalism is multi-dimensional and poli-disciplinary; perhaps that’s why, if Diandra had a million dollars to spare, she wouldn’t launch her brand but instead use them to “purchase gentrified land that belongs to Black, Latinx and Indigenous communities and fund local programs directly linked to the economic and educational growth of women as well as non-binary folks in those communities to rid local leadership of male-centered solution narratives.”