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Sunday
Dec252011

Eric Guillemain's Model 'Amazons' for Environmental Justice Foundation 2012 

Lindsey Wixson, Katlin Aas, Katie Fogarty, Mohini Geisweiller and Irina Lazareanu are lensed by Eric Guillemain in support of the Environmental Justice Fund campaign to raise our consciousness about wearing earth-friendly clothing.

Eric’s commitment to the EJF is a significant one and these models are only some of many he has recruited to pose for the cause of environmental justice.

Eric Guillemain for Environmental Justice FoundationI had private reasons for wanting to know more about Eric — who is on my good guy list anyway. Yes, I keep such a mental list of photographers. The ones who ‘get it’ and the ones who don’t.

Photographers’ images reveal their Smart Sensuality sensibilities or lack of them. This life lens is quietly nuanced, but also in plain sight for anyone who cares to observe with scrutiny.

One line of Eric Guillemain’s blog says it all, writing about these images EJF 2012: Xmas Girls Save the Future.

It reads: ‘More proud amazons to come in January … ‘.

Bingo.

Eric spoke previously with Modelina about his work for EJF, reflecting on why the environment is important to him. His words and life philosophy don’t surprise me in the least:

I grew up as a singer, writing my own lyrics; now I use my eyes and my heart to take photos. If you don’t connect to your world, if you don’t feel you must have a relationship with your environment based on sanity and generosity how could you pretend to create something and deliver it to the people. It would be nonsense to pollute what you are made of. In my opinion, literally pirating in every way to satisfy endless appetites and then calling yourself an “artist” would be an extremely degrading attitude.

Asked why he includes models and not just celebrities in his Environmental Justice Fund campaign, Eric reminds us that models are people, too.

I was relating to what was in danger in their very bodies: Their specificities as women, their child hearts, their vulnerabilities. It is not acceptable to refer or to defend a supposed endangered world if you are not ready to relate or to connect as an individual. This is what we did. Even when you create—especially in the fashion world—you cannot do it at the expense of making people suffer. Beautiful clothes need beautiful minds.

Eric Guillemain’s campaign for the Environmental Justice Foundation comes in a week where my alma mater Victoria’s Secret is caught in a wrenching scandal around fair trade cotton from Burkina Faso. No blistering words are required from me when the headline from Public Radio International reads: Children treated like slaves to produce supposedly ‘fair-trade’ cotton for Victoria’s Secret.

Lest you think this is some kind of liberal media conspiracy against Victoria’s Secret, it’s Bloomberg that has conducted the in-depth investigation of cotton-picking children in Burkina Faso, an initiative that follows earlier, substantiated reports of child labor in the country. On the ground in this land-locked country in west Africa for six weeks, Cam Simpson wrote:

“These are kids often who are abandoned, children of unwed mothers, sometimes. Quite often, they’re children who are sought for their labor,” Simpson said. “What we found was when you overlay incentives for, small farms, to make big money from fair trade products, like fair trade cotton, it created an incentive for people to get into this business and use these kids to do the work.”

Returning to the Environmental Justice Foundation, Lily Cole follows the supply chain of a climate neutral t-shirt, from the hand cultivation of organic cotton right through to the factory built out of recycled materials. The result is a T-shirt whose carbon footprint is 90% smaller than that of a conventionally manufactured equivalent.

Climate Week: Lily Cole in India

We applaud Eric Guillemain’s work on behalf of environmental justice worldwide. Nonplussed by the attention, Eric told Modelina:

I think this is my duty. I don’t feel either proud or brilliant. I had no choice. Some people indulge cynicism in that matter. But this is not an intelligent option. This is not easy to be generous and this is not easy not to fall for negativism and open up yourself to gentleness and compassion. You need courage.

Enough said. Anne

Eric Guillemain AOC editorials

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