Climate change awareness group Extinction Rebellion has planned a five-day protest against the London Fashion Week. The protest is to highlight the impact of the fashion industry on the environment. People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) has also joined Extinction Rebellion at the 180 Strand, London venue to get their own message across about the impact of the leather industry.
London Fashion Week (September 13-18) is a clothing trade show where fashion designers and fashion houses from around the world showcase their talent. However, Extinction Rebellion wants to point out how irresponsible the fashion industry is towards the environment.
Extinction Rebellion activist Sara Arnold is the founder of a fashion rental business. She told the Daily Mail that instead of choosing sustainability for the environment, most fashion houses choose sustainability for their business. This profit-centric approach of the industry has resulted in a steady increase in the carbon footprint of the industry. Extinction Rebellion estimates that the footprint of the fashion industry is greater than that of the aviation and shipping industry combined.
The organisation is planning a global protest on October 7 to pressure governments around the world to take steps towards solving the climate change crisis. Extinction Rebellion had asked the British Fashion Council to cancel this year's event to support the movement. However, the event was not affected by the activist's request.
Before the event began, Extinction Rebellion started staging their protest at the event venue. A "Die-in" protest had activists in white T-shirts throw fake blood on the payment and lie down in it as if they were dead. Another protester read a poem talking about the impact of the fashion industry on the environment. Five other activists with fake blood on their face and clothes created a human chain blocking the venue entrance. Police removed the activists while they chanted "You choose profit over the planet, profit over people, profit over our future."
Separately members of PETA were seen protesting the leather industry. The protesters drenched themselves in black "toxic-slime" and sat with signs that read "Leather is a dirty business." On a previous occasion, PETA members had thrown fake blood at models walking the ramp wearing fur.
Both the activist groups have targeted the highly publicised event to highlight their causes.