The leather industry is leading to deforestation in the Amazon, the textile industry pollutes rivers with hazardous chemicals, and the habitat of Sumatran tigers is being destroyed for low-cost pulp packaging. As Greenpeace puts it, “fashion is too beautiful to be involved in this mess.” The environmental organization challenges fashion to clean up its act with The Fashion Duel, encouraging brands to use their power and influence to create positive change.
Greenpeace has asked Chanel, Versace, Louis Vuitton, Prada, Salvatore Ferragamo and ten other luxury brands to guarantee consumers that their products aren’t tainted with ties deforestation and hazardous chemical pollution by taking a 25-question survey on their production processes and policies. Which ones rose to the challenge?
This video of a crazy catwalk is pretty rad!
Out of 15 brands, only nine responded to the survey. Alberta Ferretti, Chanel, Dolce & Gabbana, Hermes, Prada and Trussardi have apparently decided that they don’t have time to let customers know where they stand on these issues – or simply don’t want to be transparent about it. Roberto Cavalli gave a minimal response, but doesn’t make any guarantees that its policies are respectful to rainforests and water resources.
A number of other brands are on target in some areas, and off in others. Dior, Armani, Gucci and Louis Vuitton all come close, with zero deforestation policies in regards to leather, pulp and paper, but no commitment to detoxing their textiles. The sole brand to come through with a high score in all three areas was Valentino.
The duel was brought to fashion week in New York, Milan and Paris. Greenpeace activists walked down a catwalk of their own, bringing their messages directly to the industry. Activists also parked outside the posh Paris shops of Hermes and Chanel, asking them not to remain silent on these pressing issues.
If you believe that fashion shouldn’t cost the Earth, you can help: sign up at TheFashionDuel.com to send an email to these fashion brands pushing them to take further action, and learn about other ways to get involved.