Behind Green Warriors Asia: ‘We Want To Show That Sustainability is Sexy!’

5 Mins Read

The Green Warrior 2018 series, shot by French creative duo & fashion photographers Flavien Prioreau and Zoe Kovacs, aims to raise awareness about waste and its perception in our society. We need to curb and rethink our waste now more than ever.

The campaign features some of Asia’s most inspiring and effective social and environmental including Hannah Chung, Jill Robinson, David Yeung, Peggy Chan, Cristina Lopez McLauchlan, Craig Leeson, Ellie Tang, Doug Woodring, Pol Fabrega and many more. It also features Green Queen founder Sonalie Figueiras for her work with Green Queen and Ekowarehouse. 

Sonalie sat down with Green Is The New Black founders Stephanie Dickson and Paula Miquelis to find out more about this incredible campaign and their mission to make sustainability sexy.

How did the Green Warriors campaign come about?

Stephanie Dickson: At Green Is The New Black, we’re all about make sustainability mainstream and sexy through powerful yet fun and engaging communications which use pop culture codes. We would like to educate consumers/ourselves to take #littlegreensteps while maintaining a modern and comfortable lifestyle.

Sitting down back in 2016 and thinking about how we could reach as many people as possible, including people outside of our sustainability space, we thought that organising an annual visual campaign celebrating Green Warriors from all over the region in an artistic and unusual way would attract attention!

The Green Warriors series was created in response to current popular rankings such as the Forbes Billionaires list. We just realised there was no mainstream awards or series celebrating sustainability change makers.
View the full Green Warriors 2018 series.  

What is the mission of the Green Warriors campaign?

Paula Miquelis: Through the campaign we hope to first celebrate our Green Warriors and give exposure to the incredible work they do. The second goal is definitely to reach as many people as possible outside our sustainability bubble through appealing imagery; to show that sustainability can be sexy and mainstream.

Why waste for the 2018 campaign?

Stephanie Dickson: Our 2017 photo series focused on flowers and leaves. This year, “Waste” was selected as the inspiration for the shoot. A pertinent, pressing issue in today’s society, waste is often wrongly perceived as something dirty that we should get rid of. The truth is that waste should be seen as wealth, which can be turned into useful raw materials to produce new consumables such clothes or even architectural infrastructure. This is part of a new model of thinking which might just save our planet from dying: It’s an integral part of the Circular Economy.

Everything we create out of raw materials extracted from Earth should simply be reused, or repurposed, upcycled or recycled! We have this tendency to perceive trash as dirty, useless, something we want to get rid off as quickly as possible. But waste is actually wealth.

So for this year’s shoot, the team decided to shoot the Green Warriors “au naturel” and covered with waste. We used all types of waste to adorn our models: Food waste, plastic and even textile waste, to match the type of project the model was/is involved in. Sadly, it was incredibly easy for the team to collect a huge amount of waste (for the shoot) very quickly; with plastic bottles and food leftovers from hotels, clothing samples from fashion brands and even just rubbish picked straight off the streets of Hong Kong and Singapore. The results, however, are breathtaking.

Go behind the scenes: watch Green Warriors 2018 being made here.

Why nudity?

Paula Miquelis: Unfortunately, common sense isn’t that common and that’s how and why we’re facing the biggest climate catastrophe the planet, with humans on it, has ever faced. And despite growing awareness and ongoing environmental efforts over the last literal decade, not enough has changed.

Which is why we’re talking a different spin to it – and hey, if a little skin and trendiness get environmental issues the kind of attention they need, and spreads the right messages, why would it be a bad thing? Not everything that’s trendy is bad. Sustainability, slow-fashion and ending single-use plastic is ‘in’ right now- and we’re 100% on board.

At Green is the New Black, we believe that the typical scaremongering methods of raising environmental awareness just aren’t working. Which is why we’ve created something which celebrates the good and encourages everyone to take #littlegreensteps everyday in their lives and through their work.

After all, you’ve got to admit that we got your attention; and while we have it, we’d like to encourage you to have a further browse along our site and see what #littlegreensteps you’d like to take to save the earth today.

How do you choose your Warriors?

Stephanie Dickson: After a very successful campaign in 2017, the Green Is The New Black team was overwhelmed with over a hundred applications from people all over wanting to be part of this series in the future. The finalists were chosen by the managing team and a group of designated advisors based on two main criteria: First, the nominees had to have been (and have to still be) crucially engaged with a project impacting the world (with special regard for Asia-specific projects). Secondly, they had to be able to voice out a specific sustainability message, and be able to carry it out beyond borders as true Green Warriors and eco-ambassadors.

How did you start working with Flavien Prioreau and Zoe Kovacs?

Paula Miquelis: Flavien Prioreau and Zoé Kovacs are prominent fashion photographers whom I had the chance to meet in Paris. I just fell in love, not only with their work, but also their personalities and ability to empower their models and to make them feel comfortable and pretty, which is a must have when you work with nudity. On top of that, Flavien and Zoé have always been engaged in social and environmental artistic projects whether through photography or side projects. Zoé actually opened one of the first organic fruits and vegetables shop in Paris and Flavien worked on several social photo projects including in Calais to cover the migrants crisis back.

On a side note, when we did the first campaign together  last year, it was the first time Flavien and Zoé had worked together, and a year later, they just welcomed two beautiful twins!

As told to Sonalie Figueiras, Editor-in-Chief.


All photos courtesy of Green is The Black Asia and Flavien Prioreau & Zoe Kovacs. 

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