Model Khadijha Red Thunder talks advocacy, fast fashion and sustainability on the move

When you’re a model, life can be pretty surreal, but it’s no more surreal than having famous fashion photographer Annie Leibovitz sing “Happy Birthday” to you while taking pictures on a cliff in the middle of the Highlands. Scottish.

“At the end of the day, we were exhausted and on the last shoot I was freezing cold with wet hair,” model Khadijha Red Thunder remembers her birthday earlier this year while filming Canada Goose’s new fall/winter campaign. “One of the producers said to me ‘I hope you have a good birthday’, and Annie asked ‘wait, this is your birthday?’ She then started singing “Happy Birthday,” and everyone on set started joining in. It was such a magical moment.’

The 28-year-old model, who made her acting debut in 2019 in the film After, is currently in the middle of AW22 fashion month – a process that sees her regularly traveling the world between New York and Paris. When it comes to staying sustainable on the go, she says the words “reduce, reuse, reuse” immediately come to mind.

Canada Goose

“I really want to reduce my use of plastic,” she tells us. “When I’m on set, I try to pack my own water, but I also try to reduce my carbon footprint by getting up early in the morning to walk to work, or taking city bikes instead. to call an Uber or a Lyft.”

When it comes to fashion, the model – who has worked with DKNY, Marc Jacobs and Puma – says it’s important to stay conscious when it comes to investing in high-quality clothes and choosing items Used vintage, through Etsy and Depop. , rather than buying in “fast mode”. But, having grown up in a single-parent household, Red Thunder says she knows how difficult it can be to tell others about the dangers of “fast fashion” when finances are tight.

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“I grew up with a lot of single parents, and it’s hard to convince them that even if clothes are cheap, there are other ways,” she admits. “Second hand has been a big thing for me and my family. I constantly preach to my loved ones to shop at thrift stores and make it more of a family bonding activity. But at the end of the day, it is more efficient to To display people the alternatives to ‘fast fashion’, rather than telling them.’

I constantly preach to my loved ones to shop at thrift stores

As for her top tips for fall shopping, the model advises shoppers to buy “with intention.” ‘Be aware of what’s in your wardrobe and use what you already have and what you need to incorporate… I love taking clothes from my wardrobe and selling them to stores where I can then buy other used items.

canada goose

Canada Goose

“Right now it’s fun to layer up, whether it’s wearing a puffer jacket under an oversized blazer or throwing on some cool sneakers with a chunky sock. Since the pandemic, we’ve all been very worn on tracksuits, so [think about] experiment with different pieces, like thermal leggings with turtlenecks or a bomber jacket with a vest. Go to sleep !’

In addition to being a model and actor, Red Thunder – who is of Native American, African American and Spanish descent – has worked to help raise awareness of educational and mental health issues facing communities living in the reservations and within the Native American community. community.

“My community means everything to me. I grew up dancing at powwows from the day I could walk, camping all summer with my grandma, going from powwow to powwow,” she says, calling her grandma -mother and her mother of “strong, independent and dynamic women”. “My tribe is Chippewa Cree, my grandmother is from Saskatchewan, Canada, and I’m so grateful to have grown up in such a beautiful and amazing culture.”

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For the model, it is imperative to use her platform and profile as a model to bring about positive change in the world she travels frequently. “It is important for us to have conversations [about activism, environmental issues and advocacy] when we’re on set,” she says. “I often find myself asking friends, who are influencers, models and actors, what their intentions are regarding their careers and platforms, and what role they think we can play in helping people and our communities.”

Red Thunder is currently starring alongside actress Jodie Turner Smith and model Soo Joo Park in Canada Goose’s new campaign, which puts the power and strength of women first. Speaking about why she works with the brand, the model says, “I love Canada Goose’s holistic view of human nature.

canada goose

Canada Goose

Inspired by the company’s Live in the Open philosophy, Red Thunder encourages everyone to “immerse themselves in their environment, wherever they are, whatever it is, from the cold winters of New York and Toronto, as well as rock climbing, rock climbing, hiking, horseback riding and above all daring.’


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