You only partner with brands that align with your personal values and that share some of the same beliefs. Why is The Body Shop a good fit for you?
"The reason why I partner with brands that align with my values is because I wholeheartedly believe that we vote for what we believe in every single day with our dollar. Supporting The Body Shop for me means supporting more Community Trade opportunities, more fair trade programs, equality [and] empowerment. So it goes without saying, it comes really naturally for me to want to tell other people they should do this too!"
What does ‘empowerment’ mean to you?
"I've written a little poem about this from my last trip to Ghana with The Body Shop... It goes like this -
What does empowerment mean to me? It looks like choice. The ability to help others And too, yourself. It looks like courage. The bravery to step up and speak your truth when it is needed. Empowerment is a seed that can be given But can only be watered by willingness and pure intentions. And like a flower, when it blooms it bursts its pollen everywhere Spreading vibrancy and life. - m"
What inspires you as an activist?
"I've always been inspired by the ability to instigate the change the world needs. I always start with myself, then my inner circle, and the more I journey throughout life the bigger that inner circle gets. It sounds kind of corny, but now that I'm preparing to be a mother, knowing that I am shaping the world that my baby will be born into motivates me every day. And I want it to be the best one possible - not just for her, but for all of us. Call me incredibly optimistic - but I find it hard to believe it's too late."
You travelled to Ghana and India this year and met some of The Body Shop’s Community Trade suppliers. Can you tell us what it was like to see first-hand impacts of Community Trade in these communities?
"It gave me the chance to see that it's REAL. It's not just fancy words or marketing schemes - it's real people, with real lives, REALLY benefitting. The biggest thing I took from these trips was to see the generational change and the pride in their eyes when they spoke of the responsibility and choice these programs allowed for them."
What is your proudest activist moment or achievement?
"I'd have to say it's going to take a lifetime to contest the experience I had at the end of last year going to the United Nations with The Body Shop to deliver the petition against animal testing in cosmetics worldwide."
What do you think is the most important issue facing your generation?
"It's a bit of a double edged sword, but it all comes back to waste, for me. What is being produced or consumed wouldn't be as much of an issue if we had adequate disassembly and recycling plans. So I think while we work on increasing consciousness and responsibility when buying, we need to also be working on what the second or third life is of everything we bring into our homes"
You also helped us deliver our Forever Against Animal Testing Petition to the United Nations last year. How did you feel being part of this experience and what is next for you this year?
"It made me feel like my voice mattered. And that in our hands were over 8 million signatures from voices just like mine, demanding the change that the world both wants and NEEDS. Right now I'm focusing on using my art to convey stronger activist messages through my own little program called Murals for Change. I want to bring art to rural communities and kids who fall outside of the traditional academic system and show them that their voice MATTERS. The whole model is to teach them the skills they need, pair it with an activist-led cause and paint it on the biggest wall we can find in the community. We want to do this to not only spread awareness and bring community together, but also fundraise for much needed research and solutions for the causes."