Greta Thunberg Vogue cover 2021

Vogue‘s Greta Thunberg cover arrives the same week as the UN‘s worrying climate wake-up call. Scorching wildfires and catastrophic floods are on the way. Temperatures, it is predicted, will soar 1.5 degrees in the next 10 years. We have done as much damage to the atmosphere in 30 years as all of our ancestors combined. 

Greta Thunberg steps into paradise

What does that mean for fashion? The question seems trivial at first. Given the fashion industry alone accounts for 10% of the world’s carbon emissions, it is actually a very serious one.

Facing climate catastrophe, the world is looking for leadership. Fortunately, we have Greta Thunberg. Now 18, the climate activist appears on the cover of the very first issue of Vogue Scandanavia.

Her photographer is Alexandrov Klum. The Swedish environmentalist surrounds Greta with dreamy and green-saturated imagery. This emphasizes Greta’s connection to the planet. And its animals. Thunberg appears with an adorable Icelandic horse by her side.

It echoes the playful and eccentric fashion we have recently seen championed by Harry Styles. With one improtant diffrence. Greta’s outfit is entirely upcycled. These clothes have been reused in such a way as to create a product of higher quality than the original.

Thunberg's Vogue cover
Thunberg’s Vogue cover

Greta Thunberg addresses greenwashing

Thunberg sits on a bank of woodland grass in a layered trench coat and a flowy, yellow, maxidress with massive sleeves. Both pieces of her outfit greatly complement one another and the form of her silhouette. Thunberg’s outfit radiates a fragile tone. The statement she makes is not.

Her surreal cover complements the powerful cultural critique Thunberg makes in the accompanying interview. Fashion, she notes, is one of the largest contributors to the current climate crisis. “The fashion industry is a huge contributor to the climate and ecological emergency,” she shares, “not to mention its impact on countless workers and communities exploited around the world for some to enjoy fast fashion that some may treat as a throwaway.”

Thunberg continues by adding that the fashion industry uses promotional campaigns to maintain a sustainable image without doing anything to protect the environment. She labels these campaigns ‘greenwashing’. In other words, a deliberate attempt by big polluters to conceal their incriminating acts.

A Gucci clad Harry Styles
A Gucci clad Harry Styles

What makes Greta Thunberg’s outfit powerful

What makes this outfit so powerful is Greta’s ability to incorporate her values and beliefs into how she dresses. With the help of stylist Konca Aykan, she looks incredible. Greta’s cover reinforces many of the messages young climate activists are attempting to get across. Especially in light of the UN’s recent report. Extra points must also be given here for the incredible gusto of Great to express her disdain for fast fashion in a fashion magazine.

Greta shows sustainability and trendiness can come hand-in-hand. Hopefully, this will strengthen the rising popularity of thrifting and upcycling. Her outfit has many soft-superficial features appealing to the eye, but it also conveys a powerful message.

Final thoughts on Greta Thunberg

Greta has done incredible work popularising the idea of sustainability. She actively demonstrates how its principles can be applied. She lives by her ideals.

And we can do the same. If we cannot influence companies to play their part, we ourselves can change. We can reinvent the way we recycle, the way we sustain our items, and the amount of energy we use. As consumers, we can choose where we buy our latest outfits from. This is exactly what Greta is doing here. This cover shows how an outfit really can make a difference. 

Elizabeth Davis

Elizabeth Davis is a contributing writer at The Glitter and Gold.

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The Glitter and Gold is a digital magazine and record store in Fortitude Valley, Brisbane.
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