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I never thought I would call myself an activist. Perhaps because in my younger years, I connected it with behaving badly…with swimming upstream rather than moving things forward. But I realize now that activism is the ONLY way to move things forward, because it turns out, the world is the backward thing. I’m not going to press into you with my politics, or my stance on women’s rights, or environmentalism in this newsletter. I hope to give you resources to engage with on the subjects you feel personally invested in. That’s when activism works best…when our personal passions and plights intersect with change (hopefully for the better).

 

BUT, the thing I WILL challenge you with here is to VOTE on November 6th. A couple people have told me, “I’m just not really into politics.” Not caring is privilege. So if you can’t care for yourself, at least care for the sake of the people around you who are affected deeply by policies and politicians. And just vote. Let your voice be heard. Be an ally.

For more from me on activism, check out my advice column, Ask Chinae, over at The Chill Times.

See you at the ballot box,

 
This month, we’re shaking things up a little. Rather than bringing you my favorite beauty buys, I’ve rounded up incredible products, books, documentaries and more that I’ve found inspiring or helpful in my activism journey. Whether you’re passionate about the environment, politics, or social issues, I hope there’s something here for you.

Keep Cup  |  Adidas Parley Shoes  |  Podship: Earth  |  Pod Save America  |  Who Thought This Was a Good Idea? by Alyssa Mastromonaco  |  Project 2021  |  Make Trouble by Cecile Richards  |  Feminitees  |  13th

Women. Are. Angry. And it’s time to talk about it. A host of new books on female rage—which delve into its causes, its repression, and its release—couldn’t have come at a better moment. With our current political dumpster fire and the remarkable rise of the #MeToo movement, it’s no wonder that women are filled with fury. Read this wise (warning: pretty long) take from Rebecca Solnit on the power of our outrage.
Because being informed is so hot right now.

Zanna van Dijk is a lot of things: personal trainer, blogger, YouTuber, author, podcast host, Adidas Ambassador, and co-founder of her just-launched swimwear company, Stay Wild. But at the heart of it all, she’s an environmental activist passionate about protecting oceans and educating people on how they can live more sustainably.

WHEN DID YOU FIRST DISCOVER YOUR PASSION FOR SUSTAINABILITY?

It was actually at an Adidas event with Chinae. I had already turned to a plant-based diet for the planet but hadn't looked beyond what I ate. Then we went to an Adidas event in NYC for the launch of the Parley trainers made of ocean plastic. The introductory talk blew my mind and sparked an interest in me. I never looked back!

HOW DID YOU TAKE THAT PASSION AND TURN IT INTO ENVIRONMENTAL ACTIVISM?

It was scary. I remember sharing my first posts about sustainable eating and sustainable packaging and being terrified of the response, but it was overwhelmingly positive. I got a huge influx of support and thought "screw it" and started talking about it more. I created a sustainability Facebook group, did a sustainability YouTube series, and started writing articles too.

YOU JUGGLE BLOGGING, FITNESS, YOUR SWIMSUIT LINE, AND SO MUCH MORE IN YOUR CAREER. WHY ADD ACTIVISM INTO THE MIX?

In short, because it gives me a purpose beyond myself. Blogging and fitness are interesting but they don't satisfy my soul. Sustainability allows me to focus on something more important than the depth of my squats!

HOW DO YOU NAVIGATE BEING A PUBLIC FIGURE WHO'S VOCAL WITH HER VIEWS? DO YOU RECEIVE ANY BACKLASH?

I definitely 100% receive backlash, but about 99.9% of the feedback I get is positive. I try to focus my mind on those messages, and just block the haters. I ain’t got time for that :) I know that overall I am having a positive impact and that is what continues to motivate me.

WHAT CAN PEOPLE DO TO BE MORE ENVIRONMENTALLY CONSCIOUS IN THEIR EVERYDAY LIVES?

There are so many things that it can be a little overwhelming, but here are a few key starting points:

  • Buy a reusable water bottle, coffee cup, grocery bag, cutlery set and straw. Use them instead of single use alternatives.
  • Reducing packaging consumption, especially with food. Buy in bulk when you can and if you need packaging, buy recyclable when possible.
  • Switch a few meals a week to plant-based options, reducing overall animal product consumption. Animal agriculture is one of the worlds biggest polluters.
  • Rewear your clothes over and over again. Clothing production is resource-heavy and often unethical. The less clothing we can buy, the better.

RAPID FIRE ROUND...

Your last meal: A vegan chocolate caramel truffle that my boyfriend brought back from NYC. For breakfast. #balance

Best advice you ever got: Great things never come from comfort zones.

Favorite eco-friendly beauty brand: Zao. Their makeup products are totally refillable! REN Clean Skincare also makes packaging from ocean plastic.

Activist you admire: Will McCallum. The head of oceans at Greenpeace, he shares amazing insights in his book, How to Give Up Plastic.

Guilty pleasure or weird obsession: Shane Dawson YouTube series. I don't watch TV but I can watch Shane Dawson for hours!

Project or product you want to plug: My swimwear brand made from ocean plastic, stitched with recycled plastic bottles and produced by a social enterprise who educate young women from disadvantaged backgrounds. Premium, ethical and sustainable: www.staywildswim.com. Just launched!

CHINAE ALEXANDER
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Editorial Director: Liz Deadrick
Copyright © 2018 Chinae Alexander, All rights reserved.

27 W24th ST. #10B NY, NY 10010

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