A climate change activist disrupted the most recent Louis Vuitton fashion show by storming the catwalk, while holding a banner that rightly criticised the effects of excessive consumption on the environment. The banner stated; “The planet is burning, but fashion looks elsewhere.” The activist performed this statement under the name of the environmental organisation called Extinction Rebellion.
The luxury brand Louis Vuitton is one of the best-known in the world. People spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on the brand’s clothing and accessories, which are revealed every season. Louis Vuitton claims on their website to be “committed to reducing our direct carbon footprint,” yet these items they produce every season indicate the opposite.
The company’s stated goal in regard to climate change is to have 100% renewable energy in its production and logistic sites by the year 2025, as well as 100% LED lighting in their stores. While the initiative itself is laudable, they are avoiding an obvious predicament, namely the fact that their excessive production of clothing is the real problem and is fuelling the process that is climate change.
A spokesperson named Alma Dufour told the media; “[Louis Vuitton] is the world leader of luxury and has a responsibility when it comes to trends that push the textile industry to constantly renew collection faster and produce more.”
The fall in garment prices has enabled us to own five times as many clothes as our grandparents did in the last 20 years. As a result, the continual reduction in production costs allows garment manufacturers to continue to produce cheap clothing, which in return has severe effects on our health, environment, and the lives of the workers who are producing the clothing.
Luxury brands serve as a way for designers to convey their messages through art; however, there is the option to translate these messages in a more sustainable way. By using recyclable materials, and using fewer resources, other clothing brands have shown to the world that it is possible to produce incredible garments that are received well by their target market, while also remaining environmentally friendly.
The impact that climate change is having on the world right now is so critical and so pressing that it is unacceptable for these luxury clothing companies to pretend to be unconcerned with the negative effects their clothing is having on the planet.
Luxury brands like Louis Vuitton are not being asked to stop their activities, but rather to switch to more sustainable practices. We can change this problem by encouraging brands to choose more sustainable alternatives. Here, we are dealing with people who are ignorant and unwilling to accept responsibility for the current state of our planet. By manufacturing more sustainable garments, luxury brands will open a floodgate for the rest of the retail industry to follow suit. If manufacturers were able to adapt to the way they produce clothing, pollution and emissions would decrease dramatically.
As long as we encourage and applaud fashion shows and catwalks like these, we are encouraging the rapid decline of our planet’s health. Rather than an issue of clothes, the issue is about the wellbeing of people affected by climate change. Luxury brands possess some ignorance when it comes to producing their clothing, and it is the responsibility of society to voice its position on this issue if we are to make change.