Paris Fashion Week Fall 2013 has once again united the fashion world’s elite from all corners of the world but, this year, some uninvited guests have made an appearance among the droves of high fashion gurus. Greenpeace Activists greeted fashion show attendees with bright yellow signs that read, “Clean Up Fashion!” and “Toxic Week?” In the previous month, activists in New York covered the windows of high end stores, like Prada, with scenes of forest destruction and other areas effected by the harmful methods of production used by such brands as Dolce & Gabbana, Chanel, and Hermés. In Italy “The Finger”, a well known sculpture by Maurizio Cattelan was covered in a giant version of the Fashion Duel’s signature green glove. In Milan a vertical catwalk spanned the side of the Sforzesco Castle as a suspended model struck poses completely perpendicular to the wall, also sporting the organizations green glove.
Greenpeace Activists cover”The Finger” by Maurizio Cattelan
Greenpeace Activists install their catwalk in Milan
Greenpeace is an organization that defends the environmental well-being of the planet through investigation, activism, and the spread of awareness. In their efforts to bolster an eco-friendly fashion industry, Greenpeace has created a “Fashion Duel”, in which 15 luxury clothing brands have been asked to complete a survey of 25 questions addressing their leather, packaging, and textile production methods. The goal of this survey is to inform customers of the impact that these brands have on the environment, and in turn, encourage the companies to adopt ecologically sound production policies and processes.
Upon filling out “The Fashion Duel” survey, participating brands are then ranked in order of how environmentally sound their production methods are. So far, Valentino has proven to be most committed to eco-friendly policies. As for Chanel, Prada, Hermés, and Dolce & Gabbana? Not so good. None of these companies would take the survey, leaving their customers contemplate what secrets these brands are trying to hide. But this just gives Greenpeace activists more reason to pick on them as they’ve already done during New York, Milan, and Paris Fashion Weeks.
The fact of the matter is that the Amazon Rainforest is being plundered and replaced by cattle ranches used by the leather industry. Pulp production used for company packaging threatens the habitat of endangered species. Waterways in China, Mexico, and Indonesia are being contaminated with textile factory wastes. Resources are being destroyed and the creatures with whom we share this Earth are left defenseless as their fates are left in the hands of relentless industry. Though some companies refuse to comply with Greenpeace’s requests, no battle is ever won without a fight.
Fashion Duel’s Campaign featuring Valeria Golino