Looking out across the Whitsunday’s iconic turquoise water after a day of shooting on an isolated beach off Hamilton Island, Robyn Lawley is confused. “The ocean is so beautiful and fragile. I don’t understand why everyone’s not fighting for it,” she says, shaking her head. “Our seas produce half of the world’s oxygen, yet we’re dumping a garbage truck of rubbish into [them] every minute.”
Lawley, 30, grew up planting trees with her mum every Sunday in Sydney, and infamously protested against Queensland’s Adani coal mine by writing “stop coal mining” on her bare stomach in lipstick and using social media to spread the message. Based in New York but in the midst of a month-long trip Down Under, she’s raising her daughter Ripley, four, to be an environmentalist, and teaching her how to compost. “We were in Bronte [Sydney] ... and my daughter picked up some plastic. I was super proud of her,” she says.
Not surprisingly, the fierce activist has a few words of advice for us, too: “Stop burning fossil fuels, go vegan and pick up plastic every time you go to the beach. Do it for your child’s future. We need direct action today, not tomorrow.”
This article originally appeared in the November issue of marie claire magazine.