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The role model

The role model

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Last summer, top Norwegian model Ada Martini Strøm made a pioneering choice: she’ll only collaborate with sustainable brands.

Last summer, top Norwegian model Ada Martini Strøm made a pioneering choice: she’ll only collaborate with sustainable brands.

The role model
Last summer, top Norwegian model Ada Martini Strøm made a pioneering choice: she’ll only collaborate with sustainable brands. Ada was prepared to receive fewer bookings, but has actually only received positive reactions to her pronounced focus on sustainability.

She also works towards lower consumption outside the reach of the camera lens through the savings app Spiff, where she is also co-owner.

Tell us a bit about yourself. Who are you and what do you do?

I’m Ada from Oslo and the past ten years I’ve been traveling the world as a model — in New York, Paris, Tokyo, Milan, London and Oslo, among other cities. I have also been taking part in developing the Norwegian savings app Spiff, which makes saving money easy, fun and social. Last year I decided to put sustainability first and today I only model for clients that do the same. I love to educate myself and to communicate what I learn as well as I can! I also have a small dog called Panda, who travels with me everywhere I go.

That’s so cool! What does a day in your life look like?

Before Covid I was on the go a lot, between bookings and castings in a big city. I’ve always had my laptop with me so that I can use waiting time and breaks on set or between meetings to work with Spiff. On shoots I normally carry a homemade smoothie with granola and berries. And I almost always carry Panda with me in my backpack!  

A day in my life before Covid would also always include a session in a pilates studio. Pilates is a mindful pause in my everyday life as well as an important form of exercise. I love it! These days I’m not on the go that much, but I still carry Panda in my backpack. There is a lot of screen time, but luckily also a lot of nature. The best part about slowing down my travels has been rediscovering my love of skiing and being outdoors.

What does “sustainability” mean to you?

To me, the word “sustainability” means a safe future for everyone. It has moved from something I know is important but don’t spend a lot of time or energy on, to becoming a great part of my everyday life. Not only in terms of making better choices for our planet, but also personally. If I spend more time offline and in nature, I tend to feel better. When I am less influenced by advertising, I buy fewer things. This isn’t just good for me personally, but for my impact as a consumer.

What led you to the decision to only work with more sustainable brands and labels?

It was a long process that started with noticing on my body how the collections grew bigger and bigger over time, while the quality was decreasing. Then I started learning more about the fashion industry’s influence on the planet and all of the breaches of human rights in production. Through Spiff I met a lot of inspirational people that experienced a great confidence boost by taking a step back and reconsidering the way they spend money, so I did the same with how I made my money.

Because of Covid I, like the rest of the world, ended up reading a lot. It became so clear that I was part of an industry that has been doing a lot of harm over many years. When society was opening up last summer and I was offered modeling jobs for a couple of fast-fashion brands, something inside me just said stop. I decided to use my platform and career as a model to learn more and to share my discoveries along the way.

That is truly inspiring. What are the criteria you go by to consider which bookings to accept?

I have developed a checklist that clients have to respond to before I potentially confirm the assignment. It includes the brand’s mission, production process, materials, improvements and transparency. Here is the checklist along with some more information in the caption.

Why is it so important that we take action for the climate now?

We are running out of time. The faster we get started, the better.

What do you find easiest about living more sustainably?

I’m motivated by how I feel better when I’m more conscious! And meeting so many people who feel the same way. Also, it is very cool to see how fast you’re able to change habits when you have the right motivation.

What do you find most challenging about living more sustainably?

It can be overwhelming to immerse yourself in a subject with a lot of big questions and challenges that need solutions. But again, that makes it more motivating to keep talking to people around me and educating myself. It’s also hard to live a more climate-friendly life when there are so few demands for transparency in production. Something might look nice on surface level, but when you dig a bit deeper you might find information that makes you wish you had dropped a product sooner. Without transparency it’s hard to know what the good choices are.

What advice would you give someone looking to live greener?

Start with something as simple as watching Netflix documentaries. Consider your own habits and see what you could change to live more sustainably and to feel better. There are a lot of things we think we need to be happy which we can do without. There are also a lot of inspiring podcasts, books and Instagram profiles out there. Personally, I find information and knowledge motivating.

We also need to remember that “perfect is the enemy of good”. This is the beginning of a great transformation, so don‘t be too harsh on yourself! And one more thing: Become a member or volunteer for an organization like Greenpeace or WWF, and spend that extra minute signing environmental campaigns.

What has 2020 taught you?

That we need to take care of each other and our planet. That we can make changes when we have to, and collectively as a society. 2020 has also taught me that nature gives me energy and that I am a social person who needs to be around people to feel my best.

Main image credits: Photo by Ole Martin Halvorsen. Sweater and pants from Bite Studios.

Last summer, top Norwegian model Ada Martini Strøm made a pioneering choice: she’ll only collaborate with sustainable brands. Ada was prepared to receive fewer bookings, but has actually only received positive reactions to her pronounced focus on sustainability.

She also works towards lower consumption outside the reach of the camera lens through the savings app Spiff, where she is also co-owner.

Tell us a bit about yourself. Who are you and what do you do?

I’m Ada from Oslo and the past ten years I’ve been traveling the world as a model — in New York, Paris, Tokyo, Milan, London and Oslo, among other cities. I have also been taking part in developing the Norwegian savings app Spiff, which makes saving money easy, fun and social. Last year I decided to put sustainability first and today I only model for clients that do the same. I love to educate myself and to communicate what I learn as well as I can! I also have a small dog called Panda, who travels with me everywhere I go.

That’s so cool! What does a day in your life look like?

Before Covid I was on the go a lot, between bookings and castings in a big city. I’ve always had my laptop with me so that I can use waiting time and breaks on set or between meetings to work with Spiff. On shoots I normally carry a homemade smoothie with granola and berries. And I almost always carry Panda with me in my backpack!  

A day in my life before Covid would also always include a session in a pilates studio. Pilates is a mindful pause in my everyday life as well as an important form of exercise. I love it! These days I’m not on the go that much, but I still carry Panda in my backpack. There is a lot of screen time, but luckily also a lot of nature. The best part about slowing down my travels has been rediscovering my love of skiing and being outdoors.

What does “sustainability” mean to you?

To me, the word “sustainability” means a safe future for everyone. It has moved from something I know is important but don’t spend a lot of time or energy on, to becoming a great part of my everyday life. Not only in terms of making better choices for our planet, but also personally. If I spend more time offline and in nature, I tend to feel better. When I am less influenced by advertising, I buy fewer things. This isn’t just good for me personally, but for my impact as a consumer.

What led you to the decision to only work with more sustainable brands and labels?

It was a long process that started with noticing on my body how the collections grew bigger and bigger over time, while the quality was decreasing. Then I started learning more about the fashion industry’s influence on the planet and all of the breaches of human rights in production. Through Spiff I met a lot of inspirational people that experienced a great confidence boost by taking a step back and reconsidering the way they spend money, so I did the same with how I made my money.

Because of Covid I, like the rest of the world, ended up reading a lot. It became so clear that I was part of an industry that has been doing a lot of harm over many years. When society was opening up last summer and I was offered modeling jobs for a couple of fast-fashion brands, something inside me just said stop. I decided to use my platform and career as a model to learn more and to share my discoveries along the way.

That is truly inspiring. What are the criteria you go by to consider which bookings to accept?

I have developed a checklist that clients have to respond to before I potentially confirm the assignment. It includes the brand’s mission, production process, materials, improvements and transparency. Here is the checklist along with some more information in the caption.

Why is it so important that we take action for the climate now?

We are running out of time. The faster we get started, the better.

What do you find easiest about living more sustainably?

I’m motivated by how I feel better when I’m more conscious! And meeting so many people who feel the same way. Also, it is very cool to see how fast you’re able to change habits when you have the right motivation.

What do you find most challenging about living more sustainably?

It can be overwhelming to immerse yourself in a subject with a lot of big questions and challenges that need solutions. But again, that makes it more motivating to keep talking to people around me and educating myself. It’s also hard to live a more climate-friendly life when there are so few demands for transparency in production. Something might look nice on surface level, but when you dig a bit deeper you might find information that makes you wish you had dropped a product sooner. Without transparency it’s hard to know what the good choices are.

What advice would you give someone looking to live greener?

Start with something as simple as watching Netflix documentaries. Consider your own habits and see what you could change to live more sustainably and to feel better. There are a lot of things we think we need to be happy which we can do without. There are also a lot of inspiring podcasts, books and Instagram profiles out there. Personally, I find information and knowledge motivating.

We also need to remember that “perfect is the enemy of good”. This is the beginning of a great transformation, so don‘t be too harsh on yourself! And one more thing: Become a member or volunteer for an organization like Greenpeace or WWF, and spend that extra minute signing environmental campaigns.

What has 2020 taught you?

That we need to take care of each other and our planet. That we can make changes when we have to, and collectively as a society. 2020 has also taught me that nature gives me energy and that I am a social person who needs to be around people to feel my best.

Main image credits: Photo by Ole Martin Halvorsen. Sweater and pants from Bite Studios.

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