Extinction Rebellion activists last week glued themselves to the shop window of H&M in Oxford street in London. The activists were completely naked, except for strategically placed placards that made a statement about social and environmental injustice in the fashion industry. The signs read ‘Fashion is F*cked, Rather Be Naked’, ‘Won’t Wear Injustice, Rather be Naked’ and ‘Not Buying This Bullshit, Rather Be Naked’.
This followed a protest at Arcadia Group HQ, where members of Extinction Rebellion Youth delivered a giant shopping bag to symbolise the disparity between the wages of the chief execs and the wages of garments workers.
Activists also took part in a ‘Guerrilla Repair Workshop’ just off Oxford Street, a peaceful protest to oppose the fashion industry’s many human, animal, and environmental injustices by sharing some creative ways of repairing, remaking, and elongating the life of your clothes.
Extinction Rebellion wants to raise awareness that the Western world now consumes 400% more textiles than we did just 20 years ago and this drastic upward curve is predicted to continue. 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.
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.
The protest was organised by Extinction Rebellion Fashion Action, a group of activists seeking to highlight the negative environmental and social impact of the fashion industry and push for collaborative change.
Images by Natasa Leoni for Extinction Rebellion