At not even 20 years old, model Achenrin Madit is part of a rising generation promoting inclusivity, diversity and sustainability in fashion. These are not trends, but meaningful ways of transforming a broken industry; reconnecting us to each other and Mother Earth.
It was only natural that Achenrin walked in our Summer 2020 show and fronted our campaign. She was shot alongside Amber Valetta at the Brunello factory in Italy, where we source our organic cotton and forest-friendly viscose. Summer 2020 is our most sustainable collection to date, consciously created with over 75% responsible fabrics.
We spoke to Achenrin Madit about sustainable fashion, where she came from and where she hopes to go and grow.
Hi Achenrin! Can you tell us a bit about your family and upbringing?
I was born in Nashville, Tennessee, to South Sudanese parents. I am a second-generation immigrant, along with my siblings Yara and Madit, and grew up with a single mother in Nebraska. My knowledge of fashion was exactly like everyone else’s, and those were dark times for my closet. Despite that, I was always curious and yearning to learn and grow – so, naturally, art and fashion kind of fell into my lap.
What have some of your most memorable fashion moments been thus far?
As cheesy as it may sound, my number one show experience was Stella McCartney Summer 2020. I couldn’t tell you exactly what was different about the environment of that show, but it literally changed everything. I still remember putting on that blue dress for the first time and walking for Stella and the team – the love all of those women made me feel in that moment was invaluable! Then to walk the show and have every one of my agents tell me something really special happened out there was unforgettable.
That’s lovely to hear! Why do you think sustainable and responsible fashion like Stella’s is important moving forward?
Sustainable and responsible fashion is essential because it’s one of the systems we can change to save our planet. This industry has got to be one of the most wasteful and, if we wish to continue creating our art, we have to make sure we’re doing it responsibly. Fashion also has a huge global influence and changes here can cause ripple effects everywhere, and really get the world moving in the right direction.
What was your experience shooting our Summer 2020 campaign at the Brunello factory in Italy?
Shooting the Stella campaign was like a dream. The first thing of course that shook me to my core was that I was shooting with the Amber Valletta – it was another experience of witnessing the effects of a strong woman, and it was beautiful. I had never been in a textile factory before, so seeing the huge machines, and the way everything came together was so eye opening. Shooting with some of the women who worked to make the clothes I was wearing really warmed my heart; I got to see this brand is a family, and everything comes full circle.
What did you think of the sustainable clothes and vegan, cruelty-free accessories?
Every piece I wore felt like it had its own life because I got to really see the conception. Especially because it was a summer collection, everything was delicate on the skin, light and airy – and, most of all, beautiful. It blew my mind how effortlessly this collection seemed to be sustainable and cruelty free. I can’t tell you how empowered I felt knowing everything I wore had no part in another person or creature’s pain. It means a lot that such a huge brand like this, that doesn’t have to care, actually does.
Where do you hope to see your fashion career go and grow?
I want to do something that matters, that has an impact. I hope my career continues to blossom and that I’ll be able to use my influence to make real changes in our industry – and possibly even our world.
Is there anything you want our audience to know right now?
Yes! Something that I think has become increasingly important for us to understand is that one choice can have enormous effects, which also means that you have the power to change the world. Everything you do today will impact tomorrow, so just be conscious.