The actress and activist is raising awareness about climate change through her wardrobe

By Katie Intner
November 08, 2019 01:43 PM

Jane Fonda is doubling-down on her commitment to raising awareness about the dangers of climate change.

While protesting on Nov. 1 on Capital Hill, the 81-year-old actress and activist told the crowd that she will no longer buy new clothes.

“You see this coat?” Fonda asked the crowd last Friday, pointing out the red jacket she has been arrested in four times. “I needed something red and I went out and found this coat on sale. This is the last article of clothing that I will ever buy.”

MANDEL NGAN/AFP via Getty

As a disclaimer, she goes on to say that it may not be reasonable to say she will never buy clothing again in her life. “I’m going to live to 100, maybe,” she joked in a video of her speech captured by journalist Nicholas Ballasy.

(Later, Fonda told NPR she’s “not buying anymore clothes. Period.”)

The Grace and Frankie star chalked up her movement to reduce waste to Greta Thunberg, the Swedish 16-year-old climate change activist, who recently graced the cover of Time Magazine. “Greta has also made me think a lot about consumerism,” she told the crowd.

Fonda added that she grew up in a time when “consumerism didn’t have such a strangle-hold over” her. She continued: “So when I talk to people and say, ‘We don’t really need to keep shopping. We shouldn’t look to shopping for our identity. We don’t need more stuff,’ I have to walk the talk. So I’m not buying any more clothes.”

RELATED: Jane Fonda, Amy Schumer, George Clooney and More Celebs Who’ve Been Arrested While Protesting

She ended her speech by jokingly saying she’ll have “a lot of free time” now that she’s quitting shopping.

Fonda’s now-iconic red coat is the same one she has worn all four times she has been arrested since early October during Fire Drill Fridays, an initiative to raise awareness about climate change.

Actors, Ted Danson, Catherine Keener and Rosanna Arquette have been arrested alongside Fonda within the last month. As of Nov. 1, a representative from the United States Capitol Police told PEOPLE in a statement that 46 individuals were arrested at the protest and charged with Crowding, Obstructing, or Incommoding.

In an interview with The Washington Post, Fonda said, “It’ll be called ‘Fire Drill Friday.’ And we’re going to engage in civil disobedience and we’re going to get arrested every Friday.” And the actress has kept her promise, wearing her long red coat each time. The actress styled her jacket with tinted sunglasses and a taupe fedora.

Fonda’s coat is reminiscent the Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi’s, memorable Max Mara coat she wore while visiting the White House last December. Pelosi’s blood-orange boule-shaped coat, which can be traced back to Max Mara’s Fall 2012 collection, gained so much attention, the brand re-issued it for 2019.

Andrew Harnik/AP/Shutterstock

RELATED: Nancy Pelosi’s Red Max Mara Coat Got So Much Attention, It’s Being Re-Issued

In a story by The Hollywood Reporter, stylist Micah Schifman, whose celeb clientele includes Patricia Clarkson, Camila Morrone and Isla Fisher, says Fonda’s choice to wear red “demands attention and is a statement of its own. “Almost in the sense that ‘red’ is a verb or an action word,” he adds.

London-based designer Rene Macdonald of the clothing label Lisou (Charlize Theron and Gwyneth Paltrow are both fans) told the outlet red is a “traffic-stopping color.”

“She’s protesting against something she feels passionate about, and her red coat reaffirms that,” Macdonald said. “She is more visible in red, so no one can miss her presence, and it makes her exude strength and glamour at the same time. Her coat says, ‘Don’t mess with me,’ and it also warns that she won’t tolerate being silenced for a cause that she believes in.”

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