Friday, 26 September 2014

Livia Firth: Give Fashion A Seat At Climate Change Talks

Livia Firth, founder of the Green Carpet Challenge (the initiative that gets sustainable clothing onto the red carpet at Hollywood premieres) wants ethical fashion to be taken seriously. But more than that, she believes that the industry has a place around the table at climate change talks.

In the week after a climate change march that saw 650,000 people take to the streets around the world to demand action, Livia pointed out that fashion has a pivotal part to play in helping that change to happen.

She says:
" is a full spectrum industry. It extends from the farmers that grow cotton to the women beading in ateliers, it encompasses millions of people from agriculture to the creative marketing and selling. It is also dependent on the animal kingdom and some of the most fragile ecosystems on earth. Therefore fashion touches on every great environmental theme: climate change, declining available resources, lost wilderness, flooding, through to the flipside of flooding - drought. And of course, all of these are interconnected.
 But while human kind continues to treat fashion as a frivolous side line, it pollutes and squanders with impunity. In pursuit of selling fast and furiously, it can transgress ecological boundaries and leave social justice in tatters."
There are some very important points to made here: Livia isn't just trying to hop onto a bandwagon. Fashion is a voracious consumer of precious resources. It takes thousands of litres of water to make one pair of jeans. It also consumes people by the million. Badly paid and treated workers are at the heart of the industry. By changing the way we make and consume clothing, we can take enormous strides towards a better, healthier world. Effective green legislation has to be at the core of that change, with government and business working together to ensure that big conferences like the upcoming G8 make the most of the limited time frame that's open to them.

Livia Firth has always been a persuasive advocate for the role fashion plays in society, and how that role can be a positive one. By expanding the remit, she shows just how entwined fashion, climate change and social justice
really are, and how important it is that future laws and action include the industry as part of the solution.

Read the whole thing at The Huffington Post. 

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