Activist group Extinction Rebellion will protest at London Fashion Week this weekend to raise awareness for the industry’s negative impact on the environment. Guests are encouraged to “dress as though you are going to the most glamorous funeral”.
The organisation have previously blocked bridges and glued themselves to the gates of Downing Street in a bid to stop climate change. Extinction Rebellion’s next protest will take place on Sunday, starting at midday outside Temple station – not far from London Fashion Week’s official venue at Somerset House.
The group will “swarm the streets calling on the industry to wake up to the climate and ecological crisis and use its influence to help to create a just and sustainable world”. Claire Farrell, a sustainable fashion lecturer and a founder of Extinction Rebellion, said that while LFW couldn’t be blamed for the state of the planet, it is part of the problem.
“We need to hold thought leaders and creators of culture to account,” said Farrell. “The fashion industry’s influence permeates deep within culture and radiates globally.
“While the fashion industry is not responsible for the unsustainable system it exists within, it is a key driver of global trends and a significant source of ecological devastation. In the context of ecological catastrophe and mass extinction, influence like this can and must be used responsibly.”
A spokesperson for the British Fashion Council said Extinction Rebellion has the right to peacefully protest and stated that as a governing body, it is “committed to support businesses to do more and to develop through green growth. Our hope is that London fashion week becomes synonymous with responsible business in the years to come.”
The BFC and Extinction Rebellion yesterday met to discuss how the industry can be more sustainable and drive cultural change. The activism group described the meeting as “the beginning of a conversation”.
“However, right now people are flying in from across the world to celebrate an industry that has fuelled and applauded our high consumption lifestyles,” read a statement made on behalf of the organisation. “We will swarm, using the platform of Fashion Week to raise the question (a question we need to be a asking ourselves and all who our lives touch all the time): what more can we do to tell the truth about the climate and ecological collapse and act as though that truth is real?”
LFW will be fur-free for a second consecutive season, following numerous protests over the past few seasons.