Jane Goodall Becomes Inspiring Barbie Made of Recycled Plastic


Barbie’s Inspiring Women Series™ pays tribute to incredible heroines of their time; courageous women who took risks, changed rules, and paved the way for generations to dream bigger than ever before. This year, for World Chimpanzee Day on July 14th, Barbie is recognizing renowned ethologist and conservationist Dr. Jane Goodall with the first ever Inspiring Women doll made from recycled ocean bound plastic and certified CarbonNeutral created in partnership with the Jane Goodall Institute (JGI). 


This year, in continued collaboration with Dr. Jane Goodall and in tribute to her contributions to conservation, Barbie is introducing the Eco-Leadership Team as the 2022 Career of the Year, created in partnership with the Jane Goodall Institute (JGI). JGI worked with Barbie to identify careers roles that impact the future of the planet and that young people may not be familiar with.  

The Eco-Leadership Team, with certified CarbonNeutral dolls made from recycled ocean bound plastic, features Barbie in four unique careers that work to protect the planet and promote sustainability, encouraging kids to play out their own sustainability stories.  The Eco-Leadership Team includes Chief Sustainability Officer, Conservation Scientist, Renewable Energy Engineer, and an Environmental Advocate.


As part of the celebration of Dr. Jane Goodall’s historic accomplishments as a conservationist and humanitarian, Barbie and JGI are using global platforms to inspire curiosity about the environment in young people of all ages through Roots & Shoots by encouraging them to learn more about Jane’s story, to explore the outdoors, and to increase green spaces in their communities. By observing the world around them and making daily compassionate decisions for people, other animals, and the environment, Barbie and JGI remind kids that they can BE ANYTHING and can create a better world for all. 

The co-branded challenge, available for free on RootsandShoots.org/naturally-curious-jane, encourages young people to get Naturally Curious Like Jane. They will discover what they can do to create big changes with little steps by joining Jane and Barbie to explore nature themselves, connect others to nature, and create opportunities to grow natural spaces in their communities.  

Together, Barbie and Roots & Shoots have created a nature walk guide and digital observation journal – just like Dr. Jane Goodall used to keep – for kids to choose their own adventure. Challenge prompts include:  

  • NaturallyCuriousJane Guide/Observation Journal – Encouraging families to get out into their local community to observe the natural world around them. While they’re out with their Jane Goodall Barbie, they’ll become #NaturallyCuriousJane to identify the local wildlife and green spaces and the ways to help grow green spaces locally.  
  • Community Mapping – This challenge will encourage kids to become a researcher by mapping out their local community and identifying the needs of people, animals, and the environment around them, then making a plan to support those needs.  
  • Increase Green Spaces for All – Families can explore their own home or town with Jane Goodall Barbie to find the best way to make difference, whether that’s planting a tree, growing native flowers, or protecting the green spaces they already have. 


This program serves as another proof point in Mattel’s larger sustainability story, having significantly progressed their goal to achieve 100% recycled, recyclable, or bio-based plastic materials in products and packaging by 2030. Additional key milestones include: 

Barbie has already achieved 95% recycled or Forest Stewardship Council (FSC)-certified content in the paper and wood fiber used in packaging, and all of the brand’s 2022 fashions sold in Barbie Fashion Packs are now made from 100% recycled textile fibers, excluding fasteners and trim.    

About Author

Ashley Sullivan is the Director of Storytelling & Marketing for Communications & Partnerships at the Jane Goodall Institute USA, where she works to connect individuals with Dr. Jane Goodall's vision, and the JGI mission to create a better world for all by protecting the interconnections between people, other animals, and the environment. Ashley graduated Stony Brook University with a Bachelor's Degree in Anthropology and a minor in Biology, and is pursuing a Master's of Science in Environmental Science & Policy at Johns Hopkins University with a focus on Environmental Justice. Originally from Brooklyn, New York, now a D.C. resident, she has a varied background including 10+ years of expert communications and digital marketing in the social and environmental non-profit sector. Her intersectional approach to this work has been shaped by a holistic world-view, having traveled to Madagascar and Ecuador for conservation research projects, leading communications for youth social justice filmmaking organizations, and as a part of several professional groups advancing Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in environmental spaces including Greens REALIGN. With skills ranging from conservation fieldwork, policy and advocacy campaigns, strategic communications, art, digital media, and design, Ashley believes in sharing information to empower and in the magic of storytelling to transform hearts and minds. Through growing understanding, empathy, and justice, she is igniting positive change to create that better, more equitable world, every day.