What it means to enter Hollywood as a Climate Activist
Dominique is an Arctic Angel, Youth Climate Justice Activist, public speaker, writer and model based in the U.K who mobilises people for climate action and uses creative means and the arts to unite people.
In March of 2023 she attended the Green Carpet Fashion Awards in LA. She shares with us her experience and reflections after attending the event.
Earlier this month with the support of Global Choices, I was invited to visit Los Angeles and attend the Green Carpet Fashion Awards in West Hollywood where I was honoured as a ‘Young Leader’!
As you can imagine, I was over the moon when I received my invitation - just reading the words “Simone Ashley, Cate Blanchett, Livia Firth, Quannah Chasinghorse, Viola Davis, Tom Ford and Simu Liu cordially invite you to attend the Green Carpet Fashion Awards” had me glowing with excitement.
My fellow ‘young leaders’ included incredible activists, changemakers and educators, and it was a pleasure to share this achievement with them, and to be introduced by the wonderful Annie Lennox. It felt particularly rewarding for myself and my fellow activists to be recognised for our work, particularly black, indigenous and activists of color, who so often are neither recognised or platformed.
Dominique with Annie Lennox and Livia Firth
It is true that I have attended ‘high-level’ and ‘public-facing’ climate events before, including in fashion, entertainment and politics. However, coming to Hollywood during the Oscars season felt different. As a climate activist, speaking at the pop-cultural capital of the world at an event focussed on sustainable fashion, it felt like a turning point - we won’t be shut away anymore - we are here, in these spaces, and we won’t leave until we are heard! We are driving a cultural shift and, if the media and the high-profile figures in these spaces won’t talk about the climate crisis, then we will do it ourselves! Also, entering this space shows more people that sustainable fashion and protecting our earth can be joyful, fun and can even look glamorous.
Dominique on the Green Carpet with fellow young changemakers.
My time in LA wasn’t entirely positive - although I had many productive, inspiring conversations,particularly at a ‘Sharing the Table’ event which took place prior to the Award show, some moments reminded me of just how detached some people are from the day-to-day realities of the 99%, and to the stark reality of the climate crisis. Truthfully, by the time I headed home, the alluring glamour of Hollywood had begun to feel rather superficial. I understood why people call it ‘la la land’, it truly started to feel like a dream, detached from our world.
Ultimately, however, I am so glad that I went to an event highlighting fashion that works for the planet. Sustainable fashion is about empathy, and love, and addressing the symptoms of disconnection. Fashion does not have to cost the earth, or its people, and it is interconnected with so many issues that I focus on as a Climate Justice Activist. Sustainable fashion is a feminist issue, and an environmental justice issue. It is connected to exploitation of marginalized people and natural resources, waste, the fossil fuel industry, workers rights, and a system which seeks endless profit no matter the cost.
Hollywood might feel quite far from the Arctic ice-sheets, but it is important to remember that protecting these vital life-support systems requires an entire system change - the everyday choices we make about what we wear can be some of the most impactful day-to-day decisions we make. To be given a platform to draw attention to this often overlooked fact felt real, and as an Arctic Angel I feel proud to be making my voice heard. As an Arctic Angel, I share Global Choices’ mission to protect our global commons and most importantly our Arctic sea ice. As a network of young, women climate leaders, we illuminate the intersectionality and interdependence of climate systems.
Being an Arctic Angel inspires my activism by being in a network of brilliant climate leaders who work incredibly hard to protect our life system, Earth. We focus on a variety of areas across climate and environmental issues, and have come together for the Arctic sea ice, and this empowers me and gives me the courage to keep on fighting, knowing how much change is being pushed around me for our ecosystems.
Dominique with fellow Arctic Angel Sophia Kianni
We must all unite like our ecosystems, to protect the one earth we have, and demand justice for all. As I said in my speech on stage, another world is possible. There is hope that comes with action, however we must rise and stand up for Climate Justice in every space.
Protecting our planet is still not yet mainstream. To have the climate action we need, the people must demand it, as we have seen we can not rely on politicians who are in the pockets of the fossil fuel industry, and leaders who prioritize profit over people and the planet. This change primarily is pushed by grassroots action, but it is also created by people shifting things everywhere, this includes fashion, and the arts. I like to think of protecting our planet as a puzzle, with everyone working on their piece. To be an activist is to act, wherever you are.