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The Power Of Finding A Higher Purpose | Exclusive Interview

Photographer: Theo De Geultzl  Stylist: Camila Nickerson

As she showcases Chloé’s vibrant SS22 collection, model and climate activist TINDI MAR tells AMANDA RANDONE about living in a self-sustaining ecological community and using her platform to champion the protection of the planet

Photographer: Theo De Geultzl  Stylist: Camila Nickerson

For model Tindi Mar, whose job entails promoting fashionable finery, an outfit is a state of mind. How you dress is an opportunity to communicate something about yourself, your heritage and your relationship with your surroundings. That’s why she’s most comfortable in a huipil – a tunic-style garment made by indigenous craftspeople in her native Mexico – or something just as vibrant and colorful.

“What I’m wearing really affects the way I feel and the energy I emanate,” Mar tells me over Zoom from the self-sustaining ecological community in Guadalajara she now calls home. This idyllic setting is fitting for a conversation centered around Mar’s thoughts on how existing in harmony with nature could be humankind’s saving grace; a way to help heal the damage we’ve inflicted on the planet.

Most mornings, Mar takes Lana, her husky, on a hike before participating in activities with her neighbors, including painting, gardening, swapping clothes, or assisting with a sound-bath healing ritual. Her house, like all the others in the vicinity, is made from adobe – one of the earliest building materials and also known as mudbrick. Bright lights in these residences are not allowed, as they could frighten animals wandering through from the adjacent forest.

This life is a far cry from European catwalks flanked by photographers, iPhone flashes and mega-celebrities. Does she miss this place when she’s called away for work? “I miss the community when I’m traveling,” Mar answers. “I really need it for grounding – it just makes my spirit happy.”

Mar, who turns 28 in March, began modeling after finishing her studies in sustainable agricultural sciences and nutrition in late 2019. Despite entering an already turbulent industry days before its upheaval due to the pandemic, her star rose quickly, landing her on the cover of what was formerly Vogue Paris in September 2021, shot by Mikael Jansson and styled by Emmanuelle Alt. The otherworldly image features Mar slathered in full body paint – a look that took artist Johannes Stötter two hours to complete. Subsequent covers for Vogue Mexico and Vogue China, plus collaborations with fashion titans like stylist Patti Wilson, have marked a wildly auspicious start for Mar.


While she’s embraced this rapid success with gratitude, it’s the ability Mar’s career has afforded her to finance various environmental initiatives that she finds most rewarding. She’s vocal about animal-rights issues and the urgent need for food systems favoring indigenous forms of production that are designed to nourish people rather than accumulate capital. She has ambitions to bring the Miyawaki tree-planting technique of establishing urban forests in abandoned spaces to her hometown, too.

“Modeling is giving me the platform to spread a message, as well as the monetary resources to do something that honors me and my truth in service of a higher purpose,” Mar explains. “I think that following traditional ecological knowledge will help us to lead the way [in combating climate change], and to remember that sustainability is a by-product of justice.”

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