Arizona was one of the first bonafide fashion stars to rise up after the end of the ‘90s age of the supermodels, bursting onto the scene in 2009 and remaining firmly at the top ever since. She has a genuine passion for and adoration of the creativity of fashion, but as time has gone on she has developed an even stronger interest in seeing her industry (and its close cousin, the beauty industry) become environmentally friendly. Now in her new role as Aveda’s very first Global Advocate for Sustainability, Arizona was open with us about grappling with the complexities of potential eco-hypocrisy, and why she sees making small changes that are right for each one of us as the best way forward.


“I’ve changed a lot of things in my own life to be sustainable where possible.

For our home, we shop for the sustainable alternative of everything, including toilet paper (bamboo or recycled), bars of soap rather than bottles of lotion, organic vinegar cleaning products housed in metal bottles and reusable beeswax wrappers instead of cling film. For my work, I always suggest to shoot locally wherever that’s doable, and to use as local a team as possible. This reduces air travel magnificently. For our holidays we now don’t travel long distances purely for fun, and instead we try to do road trips and train journeys. In the future if we do go and visit a far away place, we’d only do so either to see family members or to immerse ourselves in nature and learn about the local biodiversity, bringing ourselves closer to understanding the earth.

I doubt this is a perfect plan, and I can surely be criticised for still being in the top half of the population who are responsible for most emissions.

In fact, most of us who live in western cities are high emitters, as cities were built in a time when we didn’t think much about nature and our connection with it, or our impact on it. My ultimate aspiration is to be a biodynamic farmer – then I would have a net positive impact. Ideally, we’d all be living in small, vibrant communities, making the things we need, spending time with those we love and growing the most nutritious food. Let’s see if we have time to get there.

Fashion sustainability is important on a global scale because each one of us will buy so many pieces of clothing over the course of our lifetime. If each piece is not sustainable, then that has a huge negative impact.

I feel very positive about the direction the fashion industry is headed in. I think it would have been more appropriate that we started on this path about 40 years ago, but we are starting now, and this is truly an instance of ‘better late than never’. I feel more strongly about the goal of creating products that are biodegradable, rather than recycled or recyclable. In a perfect world, I’d like to see us get to a point where everything is compostable and turned back into nutritive soil.

Aveda is amazing, not only in terms of its sustainability initiatives, but also because their products do not compromise.

Knowing they are made with the utmost care for the environment and are high-performing makes working together a dream partnership for me. And their aromas are absolutely mood-changing (they’re so good!) We are very aligned in our ambitions for the future. Together we are going to wave the sustainability flag even more vigorously.

My hair is wavy and the strands are fine but there are lots of them, so I don’t use traditional conditioner much because I find I get a better texture just using shampoo.

My fave combination at the moment is washing with NutriPlenish Hydrating Shampoo Light Moisture, and then I like to spray on a bit of the NutriPlenish Vitamin Leave In Conditioner Spray right after I get out of the shower. I also love the Botanical Repair Intensive Strengthening Masque: Light and have been applying that once a week to get to work while I’m in the bath. In normal, non-lockdown times, I keep my hair short hair and get regular trims so it’s usually in pretty good condition. This mask really helps repair damaged hair, which is especially great at the moment when I haven’t had a hair cut in a while! Other Aveda products I particularly enjoy using are Phomollient Styling Foam for texture and the Rosemary Mint Hand & Body Wash in the shower.

When it comes to skincare, I always choose products that have organic and biodynamic ingredients.

I enjoy using products from Fushi, which is a company that makes organic and biodynamic pure ingredient oils. I particularly love their rosehip oil, which is rich, yellow, and has a musky smell. I find it changes my face overnight, making my skin fuller and brighter. Every day, I like to use apple cider vinegar mixed with water and vanilla extract as a toner. I apply some on washable cotton pads that I use in place of makeup removing wipes (they are actually a better texture than the single use, throw away ones I used to buy). I was recently introduced to a brand called Oppidum that uses tree sap as its active ingredient, and I’ve found that those products are fantastic to work on both breakouts and irritations.

I have two favourite tricks when it comes to foundation application.

Firstly, I like to mix a drop or two of oil in with foundation, to make it go on more smoothly. And second, always use a brush that is bigger and wider than you think you’ll need. Charlotte Tilbury makes my favourite one that is super wide, her Hollywood Complexion Brush. It’s also a 2-in-1 with a smaller brush on the other end for contour or concealer. It’s brilliant! For a nighttime look, I used to love a dark smudgy eye pencil, like YSL’s Dessin Du Regard Waterproof Eye Pencil in black or brown, because it’s quite soft and malleable. I hope I get a night out soon, before I think I have forgotten how to dance, haha!

My parents are both minimalists when it comes to grooming and makeup.

My mom’s greatest beauty lesson was the very less-is-more one to not over pluck my eyebrows, and my dad has always preferred a wide-headed toothbrush with natural bristles. I suppose he was into sustainability long before it was trendy!

There are so many things to love about beauty, but also elements that make it difficult to love, as someone who loathes waste.

I love self care rituals, and so much of beauty, from skincare to body care to makeup application, is tied up in that for me. And yet beauty is also responsible for a lot of waste. For example, I can’t stand brands making products that don’t deliver on their promises and end up in the bin.

I feel my best when I follow a keto diet, where you simply cut out carbs. (I would add, though, that this diet does not work for me when I am pregnant, at which point I introduce the right amount of carbs and enjoy them).

For me, it’s the simplest way to eat because I feel so satiated and energetic. And I find it sustainable in the long term, because it’s not about reducing the amount of food I eat at all. I need to know I can sit down at a meal, not be stressed about it, and feel full at the end. Also, for sustainability reasons, I call myself a ‘vegan of the sea’: I do not eat fish, as I believe that the ocean is extremely underpopulated right now due to ocean toxicity and overfishing.

I’ll be honest – my morning routine is all out of whack right now.

I’m not even sure anymore if I’m a coffee person or a tea person! I have to say, love cream in both even though I am dairy intolerant. I used to exercise a lot and really miss the communal class spirit of a real brick and mortar gym. I love going to Equinox and Oona.

I love my work as an activist so much.

It’s the most amazing thing I’ve ever done, and I consistently wake up feeling excited about what the day will bring. I have a purpose! And I invite everyone to join in; activism can happen in small and big ways and alongside anything else you do.”

Interview and story by Zoe Briggs. Select images, including main image, via Instagram @arizona_muse. With thanks to Aveda.

Comment (0)