FOR FOSSIL FUEL FASHION
Dear fashion industry, we're staging an intervention. Its time to break up with fossil fuels...
We know beyond doubt that the fossil fuel industry is responsible for driving the climate crisis and causing widespread ecological damage. Ending our reliance on fossil fuels in the only way we can feasibly keep the rate of global warming below 1°5c of warming. So why are global and industry leaders not taking immediate action to phase out the use of oil and gas?
Many consumers of fashion do not realise that synthetic materials such as polyester are made from oil and gas. The mass production of synthetic materials has enabled the rise of the fast fashion industry, as these materials are quick and cheap to produce. The rate of fashion production has now doubled since the early 2000s and synthetic fibres represent over two-thirds of all materials used by the apparel industry. The environmental footprint of these garments is huge. Not only do they require the continued extraction of fossil fuels, but they will shed plastic microfibres when worn and washed which will contribute to the pollution of waterways and oceans. Then, at the end of the garment's life cycle (which is very often after only a few wears), the fabric will be unable to safely decompose due to its plastic composition.
To learn more read our open letter to the fashion industry calling for the urgent transition away from synthetics.
AUGUST 2021 SELFRIDGES ACTION
Four brave XFRA rebels glued on to the doors of Selfridges to raise the alarm about the fashion industry's addiction to fossil fuels. The rebels were linked together by a purpose-built dress inspired by designer Issey Miyake's 'A Piece of Cloth', which acted as a banner bearing the messages 'fashion is addicted to dirty oil' and 'code red for fossil fuel fashion'. Protesters supporting the action poured (fake) oil over the glued on rebels and over the windows of the department store as a symbolic demonstration of fashion's reliance on dirty oil. All four glued on rebels were arrested, as well as the rebel who doused them in oil.
Selfridges Group is owned by the Weston family, who also own Primark. Primark was exposed as one of the worst offenders in the Changing Markets report 'Synthetics Anonymous: Fashion Brands' Addiction to Fossil Fuels', appearing in the red zone for 'transparency, use of synthetic fibres and commitments to phase them out'. However, the report found that fast fashion isn't the only sector of the market that relies on the use of synthetic materials. Many luxury brands, such as Burberry, Louis Vuitton and Gucci were also found to be using synthetic materials extensively throughout their collections without providing any evidence of commitments to phase out fossil-fuel derived synthetic materials. Read the full report