Amber Valletta

Amber Valletta on Bridging the Gap Between Fashion and Sustainability

Show Notes


You might know her as a supermodel, actress, and an activist. She's worn many different hats both on and off camera, but she also plays the role of sustainability ambassador to a diverse roster of  partners, such as Karl Lagerfeld, British Vogue, and New York City’s FIT. In this episode, we talk about the joys of creativity, Amber’s love for the fashion industry, her passion for continued education—an effort to make a greater impact along the way—and the challenging task of reconciling the disparity between a traditional growth model and a sustainable one.

Episode Highlights
  • Amber talks about her journey in fashion and at what point in her career she realized the impact that fashion has on the environment and more.
  • When Amber was in her 20s she felt disconnected and started looking for things outside of modeling that fulfilled her as a person, such as education and the environment.
  • When she first moved to Los Angeles, she became more aware of and better understood  pressing climate change issues, and started working with various NGOs. One, in particular, The NRDC, was working inside the fashion industry and it was doing something called “clean by design.”
  • When Amber decided to come back to fashion a few years ago, she had launched a platform for responsibly made fashion, Master & Muse. Once she started that, she found that she needed to match her values to what she was doing in her career, whether it was acting or modeling—anything that she was doing. The lens through which Amber looks is directed by environmental and social justice.
  • For Amber, it all started with an insular group of people who are still at the table talking about environmental and social justice today;some belong to charities,  organizations, NGOs, B2B conferences, or sustainability panels.
  • The climate crisis is here. It's not something far off in the distant future. It's already happening, and we've seen and experienced all of the changes in conversations around diversity and equitable living wages for people, but there needs to be more.
  • According to Amber, the biggest conversation that we are having right now is about these issues, and if you are not talking about them and you are not thinking about them, then you are doing something wrong.
  • “You can't support a brand or a company if you don't know what it is doing,” says Amber. “Our perfectionist mentality is causing paralysis. It doesn't actually create solutions. We don't create solutions from being in this sort of negative mentality.”
  • “Optimism is such a fundamental driver behind creating any real change because if you can't see beyond, to what can be, then you don't really have a great deal of fuel behind whatever it is you're trying to achieve and you will just continue to repeat the same thing day in and day out.” says Christopher.
  • “Growth is possible, but it doesn't necessarily need to be in the way we are thinking. If we become a circular industry, we start using all of our waste as a new source for materials.” says Amber.
  • “If we go back to what's been, the source of life for billions of years, it's way more intelligent than we are.”
  • “When we think back to a period of time, we think about the clothing and the hair and makeup. It defines a moment, and if fashion could harness that power and move it through the supply chain to make it fair and equitable and sustainable, then the sky's the limit.”
  • “If you get stuff in your mail that's like signing this petition for XYZ that's for the environment or human rights. If you believe in it, sign it. Don't just delete it.”
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