Billie Eilish isn’t just a seven-time Grammy Award winner, she’s also a climate change activist. When the 21-year-old artist was set to appear on the video cover of Vogue this month, she asked if she could share the honor with a group of climate activists and organizers.
Eilish knows the planet is important, and it’s something she cares about. But she also knows there’s an effective way to use her huge platform—107 million IG followers—to spur change.
“I’ve spent all of my effort trying not to be in people’s faces about it,” Eilish explained. “Because people don’t respond well to that. It makes the causes that you believe in look bad, because you’re, like, annoying the s--- out of everybody.”
During her tour for her 2022 album Happier Than Ever, she set up “eco villages” at each concert venue in partnership with Reverb, a nonprofit. At these stations, fans were able to fill their reusable water bottles, register to vote and learn about environmental nonprofits, especially women- and BIPOC-owned organizations.
Eilish and the eight activists chosen, who represent a wide array of causes, starred in Vogue’s first-ever video cover.
“The climate anxiety that I feel is really strong,” Eilish starts the video saying. “People just so much of the time can’t see things if they specifically experience them. It’s hard when life seems perfect like, ‘how bad can it be?’”
The group wore sustainable fashion while filming the video shoot, with the “Bad Guy” singer dressed in Balmain. The hours of filming came together for a beautifully moving 11-minute video sparking a discussion around Eilish’s “greater goal of saving the planet.”
Eilish, who recently turned 21, shared a snippet of the video on Instagram.
“Our future ♥️ directed by mike mills,” she captioned the Jan. 4 post. “Thank you @voguemagazine for letting me share this message about community, justice and the future of our planet with these important voices.”
Eilish used to be known for her baggy outfits since she wanted her presence to be about her music and not about the way she looked. But she stepped out of her comfort zone at the 2021 Met Gala—her first appearance at the biggest night in fashion—with a tulle ball gown from Oscar de la Renta. Simultaneously, she secured a guarantee from the designer’s creative directors to stop selling fur.
“What was most inspiring to me from the creative side was to see this 19-year-old powerhouse look us in the eye and say, ‘I want to do something that scares me,’” creative director Fernando Garcia recalled to Vogue. “She inspired me to think outside the box and do things that scare me, too, because it usually means we’ll grow from it.”