Rachel Avalon, 2009 Project Green Search winner
Have you followed the progress of Project Green Search? It’s a recent contest that closed recently with winner, Rachel Avalon, being “crowned.”
Aysia Wright of Greenloop and Remy Chevalier of Lu Magazine, who co-hosted the event, say Greenloop’s education, outreach and fund raising arm naturally evolved into Project Green Search, a platform aimed at inspiring people to start thinking about how to align their careers with their environmental ethics.
Wright saw this inspiration as opportunity to reshape a particular economic landscape, to support progressive, triple bottom line business models, media projects and non-profit organizations seeking to move forward in the realm of sustainable living.
In the case of Avalon, Wright admits she’s beautiful, but much more than just a fresh face.
“People relate to other people, especially people who tell a good story, who are accessible and authentic,” says Wright. “For many companies, non-profits, and media projects, telling their story in a compelling manner is a huge challenge. With the right person, this monumental task is so much easier. It’s usually pretty clear when a cause is only skin deep to the person relating it, which affects its ability to take root and grow. When the right person tells the story though, a person who lives and breathes the story themselves, you can see it and feel it, and it resonates. ”
Wright says that is her goal with Project Green Search: to educate, inspire, make the connections and serve as the platform where all of this can take place.
Chevalier agrees, but has his own spin.
“Models and actors in ads or commercials need to believe in what they’re selling, so they’re not just doing it for the paycheck, prostituting their image to pay the rent,” Chevalier says. “We want to create an environment where that can happen, grow and expand, so as to transform the entire industry, which has always been led by where the next ‘it’ girl wanted to be.”
Based on Chevalier’s remark about transforming the idea of what a model is or represents for a brand or even for our culture is massive, especially when you’re standing out for the eco-world. There’s a lot more to be hold accountable for.
Avalon has a lot of weight on her shoulders now, and I’m not talking about the Swarovski crystal-embedded crown. What makes her the green girl to stand tall?
I asked all the Project Green Search judges one question: Was your choice to crown Rachel Avalon as the next green “it” girl based more on her being a fresh face or for her ease in being an advocate for all that is green and good?
Here’s what they had to say.
Darren Moore, Alter Eco Co- host on Discovery’s Planet Green and Ecovations Founder:
“The reason Rachel Avalon was chosen as the next green girl was because all the judges considered her to be in the top two of their list. For me, Rachel represented the qualities we agreed were most important as judges:
1. History of work in the field
2. Relateable to the masses (look included)
3. Knowledge of green priorities (what’s most important)
This was a challenge to choose because each of the contestants had strong points with unique talents, skills and looks that were difficult to place in comparison with each other. This being the first competition, we had to devise our own criteria and all of us judges had a opinions on who they thought was the best public figure. We were essentially deciding on who we felt would be the choice of the people.”
Deborah Lindquist, Eco-fashion designer combining environmental responsibility with cutting-edge aesthetics:
“I suppose a bit of both. We needed to pick a girl who was commercially viable as a model but who also could speak well and was knowledgeable about the green lifestyle.”
Anna Griffin, Editor-in-Chief of CocoEco Magazine:
“My main criteria in choosing the Project Green ‘It’ Girl was to find a fresh face that was accessible to both big brands and the general public, who could also walk her talk in our green space, was passionate and had super integrity. In order to make green a mainstream conversation, it is imperative we start considering what is commercially viable, and build bridges between our industry, large brands and the general public. Rachel has the ability to transcend each area, and has all the qualities needed to be that spokesperson.”
Starre Vartan, author of The Eco Chick Guide to Life: How to Be Fabulously Green and publisher of Eco Chick:
“I chose Rachel Avalon for three particular reasons: she has an amazing face that telegraphs natural beauty, she is graceful, well-spoken and easy on camera, and most of all, her passion for a greener planet is contagious and genuine. After interviewing Rachel, and speaking with her both formally and informally, her love for the planet was palpable, like something that spread from her and infected everyone around her. That is the quality I was hoping to find and several of our contestants were incredibly dedicated to various environmental causes, but Rachel Avalon’s love for the Earth is like a living thing and as we all know, Mother Nature needs representatives who can communicate both the challenges and the joys of going green.”
Josie Maran, Professional model and founder of Josie Maran Cosmetics:
“Rachel is our ‘It’ girl because she is fresh faced and a great advocate and spokesperson for all that’s good. She’s beautiful inside and out!”