One of K-pop’s biggest stars has become the first to come out and help the crisis in the Amazon.
Changmin, of the long-running Korean group TVXQ!, donated a reported 70 million won (about $58,800) to efforts in helping the wildfires currently ravaging the Amazon forests. A representative of Greenpeace’s offices in Seoul shared that the money will “aid research on the destroyed area and restoration of damages after the Amazon Wildfire.”
Changmin donated a portion of the proceeds from his personal, limited-edition fashion line “RE:MAX”—which was created alongside customized merchandise retailer Represent—announced in May. The collection was co-designed by the singer with the 31-year-old promising that a portion of its sales will be donated to “charities involving environmental causes” even before the Amazon wildfires began.
With K-pop acts considered some of the world’s “biggest influencers,” an artist like Changmin speaking out to help the Amazon could have significant impact. Not only is TVXQ! popular in Changmin’s native Korea, but the band is hugely influential in Japan seen when they moved one million tickets for their Begin Again tour last year, the first for a foreign artist.
Month-long wildfires have ravaged the Amazon forest, destroying thousands of miles of forest that’s home to indigenous people, endangered animals and plants, and acts as an important source of oxygen to the planet. Changmin’s contribution to relief efforts give hope that the rest of the world continue to look into and pay attention to the environmental crisis.