Climate Change Protests Continue at LFW — But These Major Shows Had an Eco-Friendly Bent

As protests over the climate crisis persisted throughout London Fashion Week, two top British labels gave their shows an eco-conscious bent: Burberry and Christopher Kane.

Extinction Rebellion (XR) has staged protests throughout London Fashion Week, beginning with a die-in at The Strand on Sept. 13 and ending with a funeral procession on Sept. 17.

But as the climate activists picketed outside shows aimed to draw attention to fashion’s contribution to environmental degradation, eco-conscious statements were also being made indoors and on the runways.

Christopher Kane explicitly focused on the planet at his Sept. 16 LFW show with a collection titled “Eco-Sexual.” Nature served as a motif across runway looks — including clothes with stars, swirling planets and daisies.

Model on the catwalkChristopher Kane show, Runway, Spring Summer 2020, London Fashion Week, UK - 16 Sep 2019
A model in an “eco-sex” shirt at the Christopher Kane spring ’20 show.
CREDIT: Shutterstock

The designer told “Vogue” that he abides by the sustainability standards of Kering (among the industry’s strictest), even after leaving the conglomerate. Kane added that he’s hoping to make further progress on the eco-friendly front.

Meanwhile, Burberry delivered a star-studded show with Bella and Gigi Hadid and Kendall Jenner later that day. In addition to generating buzz for its cast, the label made headlines for its carbon-neutral production, a practice designed to help offset the extreme environmental destruction caused by the widespread fires blazing now in the Amazon rain forest.

gigi, hadid, spring, 2020, burberry
Gigi Hadid at Burberry spring ’20.
CREDIT: Shutterstock

“We have offset our impacts, such as the flights of guests travelling to London specifically for the show and the build and production of the event, through VSC-certified REDD+ projects, which prevent deforestation and conserve tropical rain forest in the Brazilian Amazon,” a Burberry statement read.

The British heritage label’s eco-friendly show marks a 180-degree shift from July 2018, when it was criticized by climate-change activists for sending 28.6 million euros ($32.7 million) worth of products to the incinerator.

The eco-conscious shows come at a time when the fashion industry is making strides toward sustainability. Just last week, Gucci announced a commitment to 100% carbon neutrality, including for its upcoming Milan Fashion Week show. At the G7 summit in August, the Italian house was one of 150 brands to sign the Fashion Pact, an initiative aimed at reducing the industry’s environmental impact.

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