Extinction Rebellion is the international social movement focuses on climate change mitigation, conservation, and environmental protection. It’s members advocate for radical change through nonviolent protests under the motto “Rebel for Life.”
Protesters from showed up at this year’s London Fashion Week to call attention to the fashion industry’s collateral impact on the planet, and urge the British Fashion Council to declare a climate change emergency.
As models walked the runway to showcase the top designers’ fall 2019 collections, Extinction Rebellion demonstrators held their own catwalks, wore grass coats, and chanted and held signs that read, “There’s no fashion on a dead planet,” and “The climate is changing, so should we.”
Approximately 150 people demonstrated, using themselves as human blockades to cause disruption at events like Victoria’s Beckham’s show.
Wearing on the Environment
The fashion industry as a whole is among the most pollutive on earth.
According to Qauntis Intelligence’s “Measuring Fashion: Global Impact Study,” apparel and footwear industries generated between 5-10 percent of global pollution impacts in 2016. The study found dyeing and finishing materials, and fiber production to be the biggest drivers of pollution due to their effect on freshwater supplies, use of toxic chemicals, and the energy required to fuel operations.
The World Resource Institute reports that “about 20 percent of industrial water pollution is due to garment manufacturing, while the world uses […] 1.3 trillion gallons of water each year for fabric dyeing alone, enough to fill two million Olympic-sized swimming pools.”
In total, it takes 659 gallons of water to make one T-shirt, according to the Water Footprint Calculator; A pair of jeans takes 2,108 gallons; cotton bedsheets, 2,839; and leather shoes, 3,626. The average lifespan of these garments falls between 3-6 years.
The Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) latest figures show Americans toss out 16 million tons of textiles; nearly 11 million goes directly to landfills. Waste is only expected to rise as apparel consumption is expected to grow 63 percent by 2030.
Designers also destroy millions of dollars of unsold stock every year. A 2018 Forbes’ report uncovers “Fashion’s Dirty Little Secret;” the piece described how companies including Burberry, H&M, and Nike regularly burn or ruin their products.
Where There’s Need, There’s Opportunity
Thanks to movements like Extinction Rebellion — who target the industry not only for its wastefulness but its potential to be a leader in sustainability — eco-friendly fashions are on trend.
Ethical apparel is a $5 billion dollar market in the U.S., reports Inc.com. “Google trends shows that searches for “sustainable fashion” are rising faster and more steadily than searches for “organic food”,” the site added.
Sustainability is a top priority for customers purchasing fashionable items. It’s becoming a priority for the brands that make them, too.
According to the “Pulse of Fashion” report, 75 percent of companies within the industry made progress. The annual report measures the industry’s environmental and social impact — or pulse — on a scale of 1-100. As per the report:
“In the past year, the Pulse Score of the fashion industry improved from 32 to 38 […]. The Pulse Survey […] confirms that the topic is rising on the industry’s agenda. Of the executives polled, 52 percent reported that sustainability targets acted as a guiding principle for nearly every strategic decision they made – an increase of 18 percentage points from last year .”
“Eco-friendly fashion involves so much more than a label simply being environmentally conscious,” reports InStyle Magazine. “It spans across the entire production line, from the materials your clothing is made from to the factories the clothes are made in.”
Sustainable materials include hemp, linen, or organic cotton, known to require significantly less chemicals, water and energy to produce.
Reused or recycled materials are among the most eco-friendly (and affordable) fashion alternatives. One of the best ways to reduce waste is to purchase clothing at secondhand shops. Brands that offer the ability to rent or sell used clothing — like Rent the Runway, ThredUp and the RealReal — are growing in popularity.
Brands like Reformation, Veja, and Patagonia, and luxury styles from Stella McCartney, and Rag and Bone, offer clothing made from recycled or ethically sourced materials. Plus, the hemp clothing revolution is producing fashion-forward brands like THTC and Seeker.
10 Best Dressed from the 2022 BAFTAs
The BAFTAs returned to London’s Royal Albert Hall on 13 March, attracting a slew of major stars ranging from Hollywood actresses to British supermodels — and there was no shortage of drama when it came to the coveted best-dressed category.
Daisy Edgar-Jones’ fringed, sparkly Gucci number caught our eye, while Lady Gaga oozed elegance in a green satin fishtail dress by Ralph Lauren, Naomi Campbell’s sleek black velvet Burberry gown was perhaps our favorite we’ve ever seen her in, and Lady Gaga’s green satin fishtail dress by Ralph Lauren oozed elegance.
Peep the 10 best looks in this video from Harper’s Bazaar.
Visionary Designer Virgil Abloh Dies Aged 41
Virgil Abloh, the visionary founder and CEO of Off-White and menswear designer for Louis Vuitton, died Sunday of cancer, according to a post from his verified Instagram account.
“We are devastated to announce the passing of our beloved Virgil Abloh, a fiercely devoted father, husband, son, brother, and friend. He is survived by his loving wife Shannon Abloh, his children Lowe Abloh and Grey Abloh, his sister Edwina Abloh, his parents Nee and Eunice Abloh, and numerous dear friends and colleagues. For over two years, Virgil valiantly battled a rare, aggressive form of cancer, cardiac angiosarcoma. He chose to endure his battle privately since his diagnosis in 2019, undergoing numerous challenging treatments, all while helming several significant institutions that span fashion, art, and culture. Through it all, his work ethic, infinite curiosity, and optimism never wavered,” the Instagram caption read. “Virgil was driven by his dedication to his craft and to his mission to open doors for others and create pathways for greater equality in art and design. He often said, “Everything I do is for the 17-year-old version of myself,” believing deeply in the power of art to inspire future generations.”
In a statement, Louis Vuitton Moet Hennessy CEO Bernard Arnault said, “We are all shocked by this terrible news. Virgil was not only a genius designer and a visionary, he was also a man with a beautiful soul and great wisdom. The LVMH family joins me in this moment of great sorrow and we are all thinking of his loved ones on the passing of their husband, father, brother, son and friend.”
The 2021 Met Gala Red Carpet: Weird, Wonderful & Political
The Met Gala Red Carpet was rolled out on the steps of the Metropolitan Museum of Art after a year off due to Covid-19. There were multiple show-stopping outfits from Lil Nas X while Kim Kardashian and her estranged husband Kanye West turned heads by dressing entirely in black, even their faces.
Amid the glamour, some guests highlighted social issues. The Democratic congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez had ‘tax the rich’ written in red across the back of her white gown and the sports star Megan Rapinoe carried a clutch bag with the words ‘in gay we trust’.