Target: Michael Bloomberg, Mayor of New York
Goal: Require that next February’s New York City Fashion Week be an entirely green event.
Twice a year, New York City hosts the Mercedes-Benz NY Fashion Week. It’s when fashion designers from all over the world gather together to show off the next season’s trends to the press and the public. The fashion industry is important in that it offers people ways to express themselves through what they wear, as well as designers a way of expressing themselves through their designs. But it can also be responsible for producing a lot of waste and pollution. Making next February’s NY Fashion Week an entirely green event would help encourage and raise awareness about sustainable fashion and business practices. Let’s ask Mayor Bloomberg to require that next February’s NY Fashion Week be an entirely green event.
What people wear is an important way of allowing them to express themselves. But what many people don’t know is that what they’re wearing may be responsible for horrific exploitation both to the planet and other people. Millions of tons of textiles are thrown away by Americans each year, ending up in landfills. The decomposing textiles release methane into the air, and the dyes and chemicals in the fabrics leech into soil and groundwater supplies. In addition to being harmful to the planet, the fashion industry is known for its excessive use of sweatshop labor. Workers are forced to work long hours in harsh conditions without making enough money to live off of so that people can wear cheap versions of the season’s latest trends.
Not only does the fashion displayed during Fashion Week sometimes lead to planetary exploitation, but the event itself is wasteful as well. For next February’s fashion week, runways should be painted with eco-friendly paint and made out of reclaimed wood to be recycled afterwards. The event should be powered by green energy, only compostable eating and drinking utensils should be used and all makeup and hair products should be vegan. Any marketing, gift bags and other forms of promotion also should be green.
It’s time for attention to not only be brought to what can be gained by industry, but also focused on what we’re taking to support it. With the exception of a few earth-conscious designers, NY Fashion Week is mainly about luxury and lifestyle–about wanting or being able to afford to look fabulous, even if means wearing fur skinned off a live animal. Making Fashion Week an entirely green event would promote sustainable fashion and business practices. It may also inspire other cities who host the event, like Paris or Milan, to do the same. Ask Mayor Bloomberg to make next February’s NY Fashion Week entirely green.
Dear Mayor Bloomberg,
Twice a year, fashion designers from around the world come together for NY Fashion week to show off their latest designs. While the event is a great way to promote designers’ latest creations, it’s also responsible for a lot of environmental damage. Not only is the event itself wasteful, but the fashion inspired by designers sometimes leads businesses to mass-produce the styles, exploiting people and the planet to do so.
Instead of using NY Fashion Week primarily as an opportunity to bring attention to upcoming trends, use the exposure Fashion Week receives to raise awareness about sustainable fashion and business practices. By making next February’s Fashion Week green, you will be setting a powerful example to other cities that host the event as well. We ask you to require all clothing, set and event materials for February’s NY Fashion Week be sustainable.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: José Goulão via Flickr