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Climate Activist Group Extinction Rebellion wants to ‘cancel’ London Fashion Week

“The fashion industry has a huge part to play in the current climate disaster”


Climate change activists from Extinction Rebellion want to ‘shut down’ London Fashion Week to raise awareness for the environmental damage caused by the fashion industry.

The protesters plan to stop buyers, editors and models from attending some of the fashion showcases during the five-day event in September. They do not plan to invade the actual catwalk shows but rather gather in large crowds outside the venues to disrupt and delay attendees from getting inside on time.

“People need to get places quickly. And that is a way to disrupt Fashion Week,” says Bel Jacobs a member of the Extinction Rebellion Fashion Action group.

The targeted areas include the British Fashion Council headquarters in Somerset House and New Bond Street in London’s West End.

Earlier this year Extinction Rebellion staged protest in five major UK cities which caused roadblocks and major chaos. They also stripped down the House of Commons and held other protest around the world.

They demand from the British Fashion Council, who host the biannual fashion spectacle, to cancel London Fashion Week which is starting on 13 September.

Ramón Salgado-Touzón another member of Extinction Rebellion’s Fashion Action group, says that they want to have a peaceful protest but members of their organization are also prepared to be arrested.

“We are planning non-violent direct action civil disobedience. People taking part will be arrested. Let’s hope that they’re not going to be charged but if they are, everyone is prepared.”

“For us, this is the last fashion week. We think if fashion week is still happening next season, we're still at the point where we haven’t got to grips with this crisis quick enough,” said Sara Arnold, who’s running the campaign, in an interview with Dazed.

She continues saying: “The fashion industry has a huge part to play in the current climate disaster. We’re singling out LFW because they’re thought leaders, they’re cultural leaders, and for that they need to step up and alert people to this emergency. They have to use the platform they have to its maximum potential.”

Extinction Rebellion is also planning a funeral on the last day of LFW, 19 September.

“Join us for a funeral for LFW on the 17th of September, which will pay respect to its legacy and put it to rest forevermore. This will be a time to pause and reflect on the lives already being lost and that will be lost as a result of climate and ecological breakdown,” is the groups appeal on their Facebook page.

It is estimated that by 2015 the fashion industry will use up 25 per cent of the world’s carbon budget, making it one of the most polluting industries second only to oil.

Responding to Extinction Rebellion’s plans to “cancel” London Fashion Week, Caroline Rush, chief executive of the British Fashion Council, says: “We are pleased that we live in a country where we have a right to protest peacefully, and believe that more than any other capital London has an opportunity to be a part of a cultural change around sustainable business practices that put creative product at their core. London Fashion Week is a platform to showcase the very best creative businesses in our country. The unique DNA of London is based around creativity, innovation and cultural change, which is why we encourage the showcase of British businesses engaging in sustainable business practices. The BFC wants to give those designers a platform to demonstrate that business can be done differently. We believe that the platform of London Fashion Week can communicate to both industry and general public, that not all businesses are equal and that those that support a better future are the ones that should be supported to be able to encourage more to adapt better business practices of positive change.”

The Metropolitan Police has confirmed that it “will have an appropriate policing plan in place” during London Fashion Week next month.


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