XR Fashion Action: Media,Tell the Truth.
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On Tuesday September 22 at 8.30 members of Extinction Rebellion Fashion Action glued themselves to the front door of Condé Nast. The glass window was spray painted with the words “Publish the Truth” and branded with the Extinction symbol. Those taking part in the actions wore white dresses made from reused materials that were stitched with slogans such as ‘Ecocide = Genocide’ and ‘Slavery: 41 million people now.’
Condé Nast is the centre of the fashion print empire, and is the parent company of magazines such as Vogue, Glamour, GQ and Tatler. Each month their video content generates more than 1 billion views. They reach 88 million consumers in print, 427 million in digital and 423 million across social platforms.. This the group believes confirms that mass media companies have the choice to influence the changes our civilisation depends upon.
The group decided to take action on the last day of London Fashion Week following the release of an open letter to the fashion media published on September 18 on the Extinction Rebellion Fashion Action website and social media accounts.
Fashion media still relies on selling newness, glamorising destructive levels of consumptions and featuring brands that work against the planet. In a climate emergency, that is irresponsible. In the letter, Extinction Rebellion Fashion Action demands that the fashion media publish the truth about the industry’s contributions to the climate and ecological emergency and its complicity in the exploitation of both people and the planet.
“When I was a fashion editor, I churned out all the standard columns: Six of the Best, Get the Look. It’s all a game. If I’d known what fashion was doing to the people, planet and animals, I’d have stopped a lot sooner,” says former fashion editor Bel Jacobs. “While some fashion publications work to tell the truth, many do not - and that needs to change.”
The fashion industry is responsible for 10 % of annual global carbon emissions. If the industry does not accelerate its response to climate change, it will produce around twice the volume of emissions required to stay within the limits set by the Paris Agreement global warming pathways by 2030.
Fashion action members held up placards with the words ‘1 in 5 cotton garments are linked to slave labour in the Xinjiang region #SAVEUYGHUR’ ,To highlight the human rights abuses that fashion relies upon, and ‘The equivalent of one garbage truck full of clothes is burned or dumped in landfill every second.’, to highlight how levels of consumption and waste are contributing to the climate emergency.
Ellie Martin Art Student and XR activist who took part in the action today said ‘We cannot buy ourselves out of this crisis with ‘sustainable’ and ‘organic cotton’. The whole fashion system needs to be transformed. 20% of freshwater pollution comes from textile treatment and dyeing; entire ecosystems are being destroyed at the expense of fashion. The fashion press, as the hub of culture, has the responsibility to tell the truth about the destruction we are causing to all of life on earth.’
‘The fashion industry is not only contributing to polluting the planet and global warming, but it is also complicit in human exploitation and modern slavery.’ said Ruby Lennox, Fashion Student at London College of Fashion.
Martina Sorghi, spokesperson from Extinction Rebellion Fashion Action, said: ‘Humanity simply cannot afford to continue down this destructive path. The fashion industry urgently needs to clean up its act. Currently, the cost of ‘staying on trend’ is having disastrous implications for our planet, and fashion magazines are complicit in the setting of fast trends. This is an emergency. We target Condé Nast to make a statement for mass media companies. The media have the choice to influence the changes our civilisation depends on.’
The protest was organised by XR Fashion Action, a decentralised group of activists seeking to highlight the negative environmental and social impact of the fashion industry and push for collaborative change.
Notes to editors
More on XR Fashion Action
Extinction Rebellion Fashion Action actively supports and works in tandem with other campaigns including: #boycottfashion, #saveuighur, the #payup campaign by Remake and Remake’s latest project PayUp Fashion.
 Conde Nasté reports that each month they reach 1 billion views via video, 88 million consumers in print, 427 million in digital and 423 million across social platforms. https://www.condenast.com/about/
 The world bank reports that fashion is responsible for 10 % of annual global carbon emissions: https://www.google.com/url?q=https://www.worldbank.org/en/news/feature/2019/09/23/costo-moda-medio-ambiente&sa=D&ust=1600691459007000&usg=AFQjCNG1lnfHUzcGzRMjq-2q1bXux8WWog
 Fashion will produce around twice the volume of emissions required to align with the Paris Agreement: https://globalfashionagenda.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/08/Press-release-Fashion-on-Climate_GFA_McK_Embargo_270820_FINAL.pdf
 1 in 5 cotton garments are linked to slave labour in the Xinjiang region: https://enduyghurforcedlabour.org/news/402-2/
 The equivalent of one garbage truck full of clothes is burned or dumped in a landfill every second: https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2020/01/fashion-industry-carbon-unsustainable-environment-pollution/
ABOUT EXTINCTION REBELLION
Time has almost entirely run out to address the ecological crisis which is upon us, including the 6th mass species extinction, global pollution, and increasingly rapid climate change. If urgent and radical action isn’t taken, we’re heading towards 4˚C warming, and the societal collapse and mass loss of life that that implies. The younger generation, racially marginalised communities and the Global South are on the front-line. No-one will escape the devastating impacts.
Extinction Rebellion believes it is a citizen’s duty to rebel, using peaceful civil disobedience, when faced with criminal inactivity by their Government.
Extinction Rebellion’s key demands are:
Government must tell the truth by declaring a climate and ecological emergency, working with other institutions to communicate the urgency for change.
Government must act now to halt biodiversity loss and reduce greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2025.
Government must create and be led by the decisions of a Citizens’ Assembly on climate and ecological justice.
About Rising Up!
Extinction Rebellion emerged from the Rising Up! network, which promotes a fundamental change of our political and economic system to one which maximises well-being and minimises harm. Change needs to be nurtured in a culture of reverence, gratitude and inclusion while the tools of civil disobedience and direct action are used to express our collective power.