Extinction Rebellion, an environmental activist group, has called for a ban of London Fashion Week in a bid to bring awareness to the excess and damage of over consumption.
Last month, Extinction Rebellion, together with Maria Chenoweth, CEO of Traid, and Safia Minney MBE, Founder of People Tree, delivered a letter to the BFC, calling on them to cancel London Fashion Week.
In their letter of response, Caroline Rush, BFC CEO agrees that “We are facing a climate change emergency and all need to act”. However, the BFC believe they can “use the platform of London Fashion Week to communicate not just to the industry, but to the wider public, that not all businesses are equal, that those that support a better future, are committed to change, are those that should be supported.”
Sara Arnold, from the Extinction Rebellion Boycott Fashion team and founder of fashion rental company Higher Studio, says: “We understand that the British fashion industry is trying to change its ways but Fashion Weeks are fundamentally at odds with the urgent need to stop needless consumption and to direct resources to regenerating nature. Humanity cannot afford for London Fashion Week to continue.”
Maria Chenoweth, CEO of Traid, says: “We want LFW to acknowledge that our planet cannot sustain this level of growth and to focus on how to stop fashion creating a climate emergency.’
Last month, the Swedish Fashion Council made the bold decision to cancel Stockholm Fashion Week, in order to set new sustainability standards in the industry.
In London, designers Phoebe English and Patrick McDowell have announced their support of Extinction Rebellion’s calls for London to be the first major fashion week to follow Sweden’s game-changing move.
Designer Patrick McDowell says: “We are running out of time and we must stop business as usual. We must slow down and stop supporting a broken system.”
Designer Phoebe English says: “Fashion is in a new era. Whether it likes it or not. We must start working together towards solutions and reject damaging practices at an unprecedented speed. It is only as a communicating body across the entire industry that we can build a new type of making, selling and using fashion. When the world has run dry of resources, it will look at the wasteful and excessive garment industry as the climate criminal it currently is.”
Why Cancel London Fashion Week?
The theatre of excess that surrounds fashion weeks is hugely out of step with the climate emergency that we face.
The fashion industry is one of the world’s most polluting and influential industries. Massive labour rights issues and animal abuse also plague this industy. As a cultural barometer of the times, fashion has a responsibility to Tell The Truth about its environmental impact.
Total greenhouse gas emissions from textile production is more than those of ALL international flights and maritime shipping combined.  At the same time, 34.5% of primary microplastics are due to laundry of synthetic textiles.  According to the Pulse Report 2019, global apparel production is projected to rise by more than 60% by 2030; from 62 million tonnes today to 102 million tonnes.  The effects on the planet are predicted to be beyond repair.
Image courtesy of Extinction Rebellion