The activists were completely naked, except for strategically placed placards that made statement after statement about social and environmental injustices in the fashion industry.
If passers-by didn’t take these messages on board, they were forced to confront them now. Signs stating Fashion is F*cked, Rather Be Naked, Won’t Wear Injustice, and Not Buying This Bullshit made the case that people, planet and animals are suffering for an industry which is increasingly engaged in producing luxury and disposable fripperies.
At the same time, more activists also took part in a Guerrilla Repair Workshop just off Oxford Street, a peaceful protest to stand up against the fashion industry’s many human, animal and environmental injustices by sharing creative ways of repairing, remaking and elongating the life of your clothes.
Covid19 has exposed and highlighted the major flaws of our fashion industry both in terms of its impact on the climate and ecological emergency, and the unethical and exploitative practices of fashion brands towards their suppliers and garment workers, many of whom are in the global south. The global south is already the most vulnerable to the impacts of the climate and ecological crisis.
A spokesperson for Extinction Rebellion Youth, Kayla Leeson aged 22 stated: “We have become aware that the impacts of fast fashion affect garment workers in factories in the UK. After seeing these billionaires companies profits rise over lockdown and their garment workers suffer more than ever, due to them refusing to pay for their orders, we are standing with Remake (https://remake.world/) to demand the CEO’s #payup now!”
The Western world now consumes 400% more textiles than it did just 20 years ago and this drastic upward curve is predicted to continue (1). In order to meet this demand 100 billion pieces of clothing are produced every year to keep fashion cheap is resulting in millions of garment workers suffering under modern slavery. (2)
Martina Sorghi from Extinction Rebellion Fashion Action said: “Humanity simply cannot afford to continue down this destructive path,” says Martina Sorghi, from XR Fashion Action. “The fashion industry urgently needs to clean up its act. Currently the cost staying ‘on trend is having disastrous implications for our planet, but it doesn't have to be this way'.
“Although '˜fast fashion' is commonly targeted for its heavy reliance on sweatshop labour and processes that cause ecological damage, it should be acknowledged that these practises exist across the industry from budget to luxury fashion. In fact, it is not uncommon to find workers in the same factory producing both designer garments and their high street imitations. Most luxury brands simply do not publish sufficient information about their environmental policies or provide any evidence of a commitment to ensuring that their workforce receives a living wage or safe working conditions.
“We'™d rather be naked than wear injustice. We believe that fashion at all levels should take responsibility for ensuring that the supply chain is free from human, animal and planetary exploitation.”
XR Fashion Action has just launched FASHION ACT NOW, a new campaign in collaboration with industry leaders. Fashion Act Now wants to drive an urgent transformation of fashion from an industry and culture that consumes and exploits our planet's resources to one that replenishes the natural world and supports the world'™s most vulnerable people.
Cover photo: Immo Klink http://www.immoklink.com