Extinction Rebellion held a ‘fashion funeral’ at London Fashion Week

Image via Extinction Rebellion
Words by Mariah Papadopoulos

Rest in Peace, LFW.

Climate change activist group Extinction Rebellion is maintaining a heavy presence at this year’s London Fashion Week, calling for radical shifts within the industry.

Extinction Rebellion, also known as XR, held a “die-in” at The Strand in central London on Friday, the first day of runway shows. Protestors appeared on the street, doused with buckets of fake blood to demonstrate that the fashion industry’s continued lack of response is worsening the effects of climate change and already causing death.

Extinction Rebellion is a non-violent activist movement with branches all around the world, including in Australia. It was founded last year and uses civil disobedience to broadcast the existential threat posed to the human race by climate change.

XR protestors swarmed Victoria Beckham’s LFW presentation on Sunday, gathering outside 180 Strand and the nearby Foreign and Commonwealth office. Just yesterday, they held a funeral procession where protestors in black veils gathered around two black coffins as it marched from Trafalgar Square towards 180 Strand.

They held up placards highlighting the fashion industry’s massive and increasing contribution to global warming.

XR spokeswoman, Sarah Arnold, told The Guardian that the fashion industry itself is responsible for 7 to 8 per cent of all carbon emissions.

Activists called for extreme and far-reaching changes to be made to the industry, beyond just improving sustainability.

The protests come in the wake of multiple public instances of climate-minded moves made by big fashion houses. Just last week Gucci announced its plan to be carbon neutral by the end of the month, and Collina Strada staged an up-cycled runway at a New York farmers market.

London Fashion Week takes place at multiple locations across the city, so activists are aiming to delay the commute of those travelling between shows. For designers, models and fashion writers, moving between shows quickly and efficiently is crucial to staging and broadcasting the events that make the festival.

The XR movement condemns complicity, holding industries, corporations and governments accountable for carbon emissions and related environmental damage.

An Extinction Rebellion protest in London last November saw filmmaker and YouTube personality Jack Harries arrested. With a following of over four million people, Harries’ platform garnered more publicity for Extinction Rebellion’s cause.

As the climate crisis deepens, XR is upping the ante to amplify the voices and make the severity of climate change known around the world.



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