“We need action from everyone to make a difference.”
Marie Claire enjoys the support of its audience. When you make purchases through links on our site, we may earn commissions on certain items you select.
Star chats up the power of finding new passions, saving the planet, and collective transformation.
You may have heard of Karlie Kloss, the 29-year-old supermodel and entrepreneur who launched her nonprofit Code With Klossy—aimed at supporting teenage girls to follow career paths in the STEM industries—in 2015.
In front of the fifth iteration of Adidas’ Run for the Oceans campaign — a campaign that cleans up ocean pollution for every minute of a workout recorded on the adidas app — we got to run an exclusive interview with the star and chat sustainability. got to.
With the aim of bringing sports communities together to drive positive change, Kloss talks about finding new passions (running, FYI), overcoming gym anxiety, and the power of collective change. Keep scrolling—and while you’re here, don’t miss our guide to calculating your carbon footprint.
Karlie Kloss: “Sustainability can feel overwhelming — but we can all be part of the change.”
Jumping onto an afternoon Zoom call on Monday, the supermodel greeted me with a smile and a quick apology about being on her mobile — “Technical difficulties!”, she laughs.
Joining me from her home in Miyama, we chat with a quick explainer straight about why she decided to relaunch the Adidas campaign. “something I care about” All The aspect of my life is how we can collectively be a part of change,” she shares. “Everyone’s part, everywhere, is so important to the health of our planet and our oceans – and without everyone, we really wouldn’t make a difference.”
So why Adidas? And why the race campaign for the oceans? Sustainability is clearly close to her heart, but what about the brand she loves? Besides the fact that she rates the brand’s functional performance wear and sustainability credentials, she believes that if we all come together, we can help make a world of difference — that’s what the campaign is for. .
“It is an accessible way to be a part of the transformation of a global problem – one that can feel huge,” she emphasizes. “This campaign highlights the simple steps we can take every day to create a truly more sustainable future.”
Not sure what she’s talking about? From May 23 to June 8, for every ten minutes of recorded running or activity submitted by you through the Adidas app, Parle will collect a plastic bag from beaches and remote islands before reaching the sea. will clear the equivalent weight of the bottle. pretty neat.
Although the initiative is undoubtedly great, sustainable living can feel overwhelming at times, I have kept the star. So why is building a better tomorrow central to his agenda?
“I’m calling you from Miami and I’m looking at the ocean right now,” she smiles. Reflecting on how lucky she is to wake up every day and see a far-reaching body of water, she shares that growing up, sustainability was not at the center of cultural conversations or even her family’s. It wasn’t even discussed at the dinner table. “It’s not something I was hyper-conscious about,” she shares truthfully. “But over the years, it has become clear that the time has come to really make a difference.”
“We need action from everywhere, everywhere to really make a difference.”
That said, she reflects that she is someone who has worked in the fashion industry for half her life and has seen its negative impact on the environment. “I am acutely aware of the impact the industry has on our ecosystem – there is a lot of room for improvement,” she reflects. “As an industry, a lot of work needs to be done to continue striving for healthier oceans and a healthier planet.”
For Kloss, this was not a lightbulb moment, but, rather, a gradual acceptance that something must change in order to protect our planet—before it’s too late. “I started researching the impact of the fashion industry on water wastage and so on,” she explains. “As an industry, we are one of the most polluting ones, which got me thinking about how we can innovate, and how we create content as an industry. How do we get creative? and how to solve this problem?
first step? Awareness, and then, education. Campaigns like Run for the Ocean really highlight that we can all play a part in this work – all of us, in our daily lives, whether it’s recycling something or buying from certain brands. (Read our round-up of our favorite B Corp brands here).
So what has changed in her day-to-day that she believes is making a difference? She shares that she usually has a “Mary Poppins bag of things” at all times, from a large reusable water bottle (emphasis on the big — she says it’s a half-gallon) to a glass reusable straw. “I’m really someone who likes an iced coffee, so I keep my straw in my bag at all times,” she shares.
Not only that, but she cares more about the brand she shop with these days. It means how can we make real change. “If I’m thinking about buying something, I think holistically. I’ll ask myself, Will I wear it multiple times? If not, I won’t buy.”
She’s learned a lot from her code with classy scholars – she shares that they’re deeply passionate about sustainability and the future of our planet. “They are all talented young people who are using their coding skills to make a difference. Seeing their passion in this space made me realize that I have a role to play in helping me do whatever I can,” she Tells.
So, has she always been a passionate runner and will she take part in the Run for the Oceans Challenge? Not in the traditional sense—”I was never a runner growing up,” she admits—but she’s always been super active, doing football, tennis, basketball, ballet, and swimming as a teen.
She took up running after starting modeling and never looked back — but she had to overcome a mental block before she tackled the New York City Marathon in 2017.
“I’ve always found it quite intimidating mentally,” she explains thoughtfully. “I figured it wasn’t for me – in the end, I definitely picked myself out of it because I found it had a very high mental barrier.”
That said, she found a newfound love for the sport after training for that first marathon. Not already a regular on the marathon distance? “I’m crazy like that. I think it’s a window into how I work,” she laughs. “I loved training slowly and slowly building up my endurance, you know? It was just one foot in front of the other.”
Her third collection with Adidas also launched this week, which has everything from fit kits to footwear. Before she leaves for more press calls and shoots, I ask her for any last words of wisdom. How has she embraced a more sustainable lifestyle, and what advice does she have for those who find eco-living a bit, well, overwhelming? “No task is too small,” she says confidently. “We all have the power to choose – whether it’s reusing the water bottle or throwing it away. It’s all up to us.”
Adidas x Karlie Kloss Seamless Knit Layered Top – £43
Adidas x Karlie Kloss Crew Sweatshirt – £50
Karlie Kloss Trainer XX92 Vegetarian Boots – £70
You don’t need to be a marathon runner to participate in the campaign—far from it, in fact, as of this year, all sporting activities have been recorded. Tennis? Squash-lover? Zumba-enthusiast? Record your workout to give back to the ocean. “Even recording one minute of a workout will help steer clear of the plastic bottle, which is important,” she explains.
For more information on the Adidas x Parle Run for the Ocean campaign, visit adidas.co.uk/runfortheoceans,