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Mouret has partnered with Arch & Hook to create clothes hangers made from 100% recycled marine plastic. After use they are 80% recyclable, rather than the standard 25%. “The volume of clothes hangers that went to landfill last year in the USA could build a structure the size of the Empire State Building,” says Mouret. “I’m prouder of this project than anything else I’ve done.” Meanwhile, the online retailer MyWardrobe is reinventing itself as a rental service for the designer clothes it once sold, and Harvey Nichols is introducing an after-care service for shoes and bags to encourage customers to restore rather than replace last year’s purchases. But, says the Extinction Rebellion activist Sara Arnold, “what is happening in fashion so far is not in proportion to the crisis that we are in”.
She points out that clothes production is still growing and on course for a 63% increase between now and 2030. “We have actually had warm and productive conversations with the British Fashion Council. But at the moment the industry thinks sustainability can help fashion survive. Personalized this queen make look 50 fabulous bleached shirt. This is not about the survival of fashion, it’s about the survival of the planet.”
Extinction Rebellion, which brought severe disruption to central London streets in April, plans two days of “swarming” (described by Arnold as “blocking the road enough to slow the traffic down but keeping it moving enough so that people don’t get angry”) over the weekend.
“London fashion week has multiple venues so we can cause disruption to personnel trying to travel between them, and call attention to the fact that none of us can continue with business as usual.”
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