From CTRL to Good Days, Solána Imani Rowe, or as we all know her, SZA, has made waves over the last few years with her music, creating a huge global fan base that can’t wait for her next release (“Shirt” anyone?). Along with her soulful RnB hits and the constant lying (if you know, you know), SZA has also been passionate about social and environmental justice, working on numerous different projects to help create a safer and healthier planet for us all. Want to know more about what our favorite singer’s done to continue “Staring at the sun?” Here’s a few snippets of her work!

Teaming up with TAZO & American Forests to fight Environmental Racism 

Understanding the intersectionality of the numerous issues that our world faces has been at the forefront of justice movements recently. This applies to issues with the environment as well, which is what SZA is working towards repairing. Most environmentally-dangerous initiatives, like clearing of forests and air-polluting factories, tend to be implemented in areas that have a large population of black and brown communities, causing damage to the health of these people and the area surrounding them.

Taking heed of this, SZA teamed up with TAZO, a bottled tea company, and American Forests a nonprofit forest conservation organization, and started “TAZO Tree Corps,” an initiative bringing “paid, locally hired workforce that will use tree planting and maintenance to help combat climate change and create new jobs in economically disadvantaged neighborhoods and communities of color – because trees have the power to transform neighborhoods,” as explained in a press release

In the same press release, SZA also spoke about the initiative and what it means to her: “Across the country, BIPOC communities are facing the worst effects of climate change because they live in neighborhoods that are disproportionately burdened with more pollutants and fewer trees,” said SZA. “Planting trees can help improve everything – from air quality to economic opportunity to mental health – and everybody deserves these benefits. I’m proud to partner with TAZO and American Forests to stand up for environmental justice and start making an impact in neighborhoods that need it the most.” 

She even posted about it on her Twitter, with instructions on how members of these communities can get involved

SZA’s work with this project will shine light on the racial aspect of environmental justice, allowing for more awareness of the issue and for a larger number of people to get involved with it as well. Currently, The TAZO Tree Corps will consist of 25 locally hired fellows who will receive training in climate justice awareness as well as reforestation practices like tree planting and maintenance. As of now, they will work over the next two years to achieve measurable “Tree Equity,” the practice of ensuring people from all different backgrounds can enjoy the benefits that trees provide us. The project is currently planned for five cities – Minneapolis, Detroit, the San Francisco Bay Area, Richmond, and The Bronx – where “historical discriminating zoning practices have left many low-income communities and communities of color with less green space.”

“Ctrl Fishing Company”: Her plastic-free clothing line 

Announced in 2018, SZA’s plastic-free clothing line, Ctrl Fishing Company, was a part of an ambitious eco-friendly campaign that she was spearheading. SZA announced the line in an Instagram post with the caption, “Who tryn save da ocean.” The brand aims to be completely sustainable and features witty catch phrases on the clothes like “puck flastic” and “sustainable gang.” 

The items are made from reusable old clothes as they’d be better repurposed this way, rather than just allowing them to biodegrade in a landfill, she explained in one of the posts. Some of the clothes from the label are made with the fashion company Champion’s “Eco Fleece,” which is a material created by recycling plastic into polyester and mixing it with dead stock.

As of 2021, the singer is now collaborating with Céline Semaan from the Slow Factory Foundation to begin producing the clothes in a sustainable factory based in Los Angeles, an article by POPSUGAR reported. 

“We created our own fabric based off quilted pieces of landfill fabric in different colorways. We’re just trying to make sh*t that I really want to wear, but also in a way that doesn’t f*ck up our carbon footprint or my karma, and that’s really difficult,” she said to the news outlet. 

“It’s all literally made from recycled clothing, clothing that was already thrown away and headed to the landfill, not even clothing that was slated to be purchased again. We repurposed that,” SZA added.

The line is yet to be launched, but it seems likely to be dropped in 2021 as production is already underway. For more updates, follow the instagram page to know more about the release and what the brand is all about. 

Aside from being a star-spangled musician, SZA’s passion for the environment is at the core of her work and future goals. In fact, the singer is planning to take a break after her next album to focus more on these goals.

“I just want to learn. I definitely want to get into environmental science and environmental politics, learning a lot more and preserving what’s left of the world. That’s such a sacred circle to be in. I’d love to contribute to that.” 

While I sit here in anticipation of her next album and going through CTRL again to just make myself cry for the next few nights, stay tuned to Planet Home to see what our favorite singer’s next big eco-friendly initiative is, and how she’ll make sure that “Pretty Little Birds” come back to the skies again.