Climate week preemptively kicked off with a bang as hundreds of thousands of people took to the streets to protest for better climate action. As fashion is slowly waking up to the very real issues we've created for people and planet, sadly but not surprisingly most governments are still slow to make any real changes that create a more positive impact.
Why This Strike Is Different?
Not only were there an estimated 250,000 people in New York City, 100,000 people in Berlin, Melbourne, and London, but the crowds were largely compromised of students (New York Times). And this isn't the first Friday students have skipped class for climate action. Friday's strike is the culmination of weekly strikes made every Friday across the world known as the Fridays for Future movement, founded by Greta Thunberg in August 2018 when she was only 15 years old.
Who's Greta Thunberg?
The most fascinating of them all is Greta Thunberg the Swedish 16 year old who is the face and muscle behind this youth movement. But don't let her age fool you, she means business. On Monday, following a very successful strike turnout, she addressed world leaders in New York at the United Nations, “You are failing us. But the young people are starting to understand your betrayal. The eyes of all future generations are upon you. And if you choose to fail us, I say: We will never forgive you. We will not let you get away with this. Right here, right now is where we draw the line. The world is waking up. And change is coming, whether you like it or not."
What Businesses Joined?
Professionals hit the streets as well. Even Amazon workers organized their own walk out to get the attention of company leaders. In response, Amazon is committing to a goal of carbon neutrality by 2040 and 100,000 electric delivery trucks so it seems steps are being taken (New York Times). Of course some fashion brands are already widely on board with this mission so it was no surprise that Patagonia and Burton closed their stores so employees could protest and the Mara Hoffman team took to the streets together as well (Fashionista.com).
What Can Fashion Do From Here?
At THR3EFOLD we are privilege to have a seat at the table to the conversations really big brands are having about their ethical and environmental strategy, but the steps are painstakingly slow. Recent conversations with major labels have showed they're exploring new sustainable textile options but coming up short as they are too expensive to meet their current margins. Sadly this is where we find the efforts stop. So we urge decision makers at these major labels to be open to more creative solutions for recycling their product, textiles, packaging and beyond. There are more ways to improve your environmental footprint than just the textiles you source, although that's a great option, and only considering one path before you give up is not enough.
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