Milan Fashion Week officially begins tomorrow with designer Alberto Zambelli kicking off shows in the city known as the world’s leader in style and production. What we see and how it’s made on the Milan catwalk will inform style and production standards for the rest of the world. This is due to the fact that clothes and shoes “Made In Italy” are produced under the highest standards in fashion. Everyone from Chanel to Off-White produce garments and footwear in Italy, this includes everything from textiles to manufacturing.
It only makes sense that conversation regarding fashion and it’s impact on the environment would be led here. It also makes sense that grassroots organizations regarding this same topic would begin to protest the government and Milan Fashion Week sponsor, Camera della Moda, regarding their lack of attention on the issue.
Hermann Josef Hack, a German artist, crashed a pre-fashion week party to protest greenhouse gas emissions from Italian textile production. According to the UN Climate Change organization, emissions from textile production are expected to rise by more than 60% by 2030. Currently, textile production’s greenhouse gas emissions are at 1.2 billion tons annually. That is more than all international flights and maritime shipping combined.
In an interview with the artist Hack stressed he is not against the fashion industry. He believes art and fashion are important to global culture, but he is concerned leaders in the fashion industry are irresponsible regarding production.
The purpose of his demonstration is to encourage fashion leaders towards positive climate actions, – less waste, use of recyclable materials, use reclaimed luxury and artisanal labour over mass production.
London Fashion Week is leaning towards these standards. This year London Fashion Week introduced a #positivefashion campaign with Burberry committing to a reclaimed luxury process. Burberry will no longer burn unsold merchandise, instead the materials will be recycled into future collections.
Now the question is, will Italy and the “Made in Italy” brand also do their part to institute responsible design and production principles? Most would say that Italy, more than any other fashion capital, should be leading the charge.
This week, the team at The Fashion Plate magazine will attend shows in Milan focused on these topics. We’ll keep you posted.
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