Role Models Management: When Ethics & Sustainability Meets Social Justice

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The dismantling of power all over the world and the shift towards more transparent and just ways to operate in business has promoted a new wave of social entrepreneurs. It has become imperative for business owners, leaders, and administrators to ensure ethical business practices are adhered to. It is in this spirit that Role Models Management was established.

In a world where stakeholder economy – An economy regarded or conceived of as giving all members of society a stake in its success – is growing, it’s becoming more and more important to make sure your company is coming across as ethical and authentic. 

Role Models Management at a Glance

Role Models Management is an ethical talent and modeling agency that puts ethics, sustainability, and social justice at the core of its business. The establishment was founded in 2017 with the desire to create a platform where models are given a voice to speak freely about things they believe in. The company empowers its models and influencers to collaborate with social justice movements such as voter registration, wage inequality and climate justice. The company’s efforts are inclined to create a push in the direction needed for a better future.

The agency aims to represent models with healthy beliefs and values. Their definition of a role model is anyone who can be a positive influencer in the world and wishes to inspire others through their work, activism, social media, or any other platform.

Part of the achievement that Role Models Management has garnered includes working with top tier clients such as Nike, Nexxus, Metawear, SKIMS, Timberland, Thrive Market, The Detox Market, to mention a few.

The Ethical Aspect

The ethical front ensures that models feel safe and comfortable learning and growing and getting empowered to spread some positive vibes that will change the world. Role Models pairs their influencers with like minded brands to collaborate with. Brands that match their values and that they can be #proud to work with.

Another ethical aspect is wage transparency. Models are typically paid within one week at Role Models, making RM one of the only agencies in the world to do this with their independent contractors. 

Sustainability Aspect

Sustainability is at the core of the Role Models strategy and the agency takes great responsibility in helping assure that we head in the direction of a healthier world. The agency aims to work with brands and clients that are making an effort to drive positive change within the industry and loves brands that are socially & environmentally responsible, innovative and cruelty free. That is one of the main factors to why many models join the agency.

Although they try to keep production as local as possible, the agency is global with talent spanning from Australia to Paris and Los Angeles. On those occasions when models are asked to fly in from out of town, RMM works with their clients to offset their travel, making them theo nly “Carbon Neutral Modeling Agency” in the world. In early 2021, Role Models also launched a sustainability stamp of approval,  encouraging production to produce as little waste as possible on set.

Social Justice Aspect

Models and influencers in the past have had to shy away from controversial topics such as politics or even calling out a brand to do the right thing but in 2020 we saw that silence will no longer be tolerated from the people we look up to the most. This is a principal Role Models was founded on. Agents encourage models to speak out without fear of criticism or prejudice. They also have a sister platform Role Models EDU which helps educate models and fineliners on topics they can support.

Many companies are currently looking for role models to be the face of their products and incorporate their influence to create significant brand awareness around what they are getting right and what positive impacts they are working towards. Let’s hope other agencies can empower their clients to do the same.

The Future Of The Modelling Industry

Advertising and marketing took a huge hit this year and with that loss in revenue came slashed rates for contractors like models, influencers and actors. With rapid changes globally in how we could and should gather, models and agencies had to pivot to going mostly digital, but how did they do this? Unlike the previous approach to modeling that focuses mostly on physical appearances, the new normal is shifting towards incorporating an all around approach. Some in person shoots, some virtual events and lots and lots of content creation, making content to send brands and publications to use and also promote on an influencers social media. Giving models the ability to work from home instead of hopping from city to city and in and out of studios. The agency provided classes this summer to their models and influencers on how to pivot their social media to attract more clients and even classes on how to shoot content at home. Role Models will continue to educate their influencers and models to be able to make money and thrive in this ever changing climate as models and talents can now enter in the new age of being a Digital Nomad.

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