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RSA Islington: Rethinking fashion in a climate emergency

Fellowship Event / Online

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Online via Zoom

  • Sustainability
  • Climate change
  • Environment

The fashion industry is a major contributor to the climate crisis and there are calls for global trade in fashion to be reduced by 75-95%. This is a huge change and would have an impact on many aspects of our lives, our choices, and our neighbourhoods. Can we imagine it?

  • Shops and high streets could be put to other uses when they are not needed for fashion shopping. What could these be?
  • It would release all sorts of creative and technical talents currently engaged in the fashion industry; how could these be valuable elsewhere?
  • How would it affect our lives? What roles does fashion play in our lives now? How will those roles be fulfilled in this different world?

Come and join us online to explore the implications of this for all of us with host RSA Fellow Bel Jacobs, former fashion editor and founder of the Fashion in Schools project, and a panel of industry insiders: Jodi Muter-Hamilton, founder of sustainability and communications consultancy OtherDay, Anna Bryher, Director of Advocacy, Labour Behind the Label, and Nina Stevenson, Education for Sustainability Leader for Centre for Sustainable Fashion.

Why you need to come:

In 2018, the global apparel and footwear industry produced more greenhouse gas emissions than France, Germany and the UK combined - a total of 2.1 billion tonnes, approximately four per cent of total global emissions. In order to align with the IPCC’s 1.5°C global temperature pathway, the industry needs to reduce annual emissions by at least half - yet projected growth renders that figure unattainable.

So-called sustainable initiatives abound, but the industry is still shying away from a key fundamental: without reducing in size, it will never be able to meet its targets. In their document Earth Logic, design professors Kate Fletcher and Mathilda Tham argue for reducing the volume of clothes we produce and, in turn, the amount of resources we use by 75 to 95 per cent.

Join us on 22 November to find out what a brave new world in fashion really entails.

This event is part of a series of RSA Islington Climate Conversations run by the RSA Islington Network in the lead-up to and following the Glasgow COP26 Climate Change Conference in November 2021. We welcome participants beyond Islington, within and outside of our RSA Fellowship community.

The event is thematically relevant to projects within the RSA’s impact programme Regenerative Futures, which works towards a future where humans thrive as part of the Earth’s ecology.

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