Breaking: Extinction Rebellion Fashion Designer Clare Farrell Barred from London Fashion Week Show; Duchess of Cornwall in attendance

Bethany Williams Clare Farrell London Fashion Week

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Breaking: Rebel Fashion Designer Clare Farrell Barred from London Fashion Week Show for which she was Product Developer

  • Duchess of Cornwall presents Queens Star Design Award at show where product developer Clare Farrell is barred

Fashion Designer Clare Farrell was today denied entry to the Bethany Williams show at the British Fashion Council’s show space on the Strand where the Duchess of Cornwall was due to be in attendance. A police officer approached Farrell this afternoon in the queue for the show, addressing her by name and informing her that she would not be allowed to enter as they did not want anyone from Extinction Rebellion to attend.

Farrell had been hoping to attend the show in her capacity as production manager and product developer for the line which is being awarded the Queen’s Design Star this year at London Fashion Week. [1]The award is being presented by the Duchess of Cornwall. Farrell had a ticket for the show and staff at the venue had been informed of her multiple roles in the production of Williams award winning line.

In November 2018 Extinction Rebellion led a funeral march of rebels to Buckingham palace to mourn the loss of life caused by climate change. An address directed at the queen was read at the gates of Buckingham Palace. [2] Press release below. [3]

Last week (Thursday) representatives of Extinction Rebellion, including Farrell, met with the head of British Fashion Council (BFC), Caroline Rush. The meeting came after Extinction Rebellion wrote a letter to the BFC calling on them to declare a climate emergency. See the letter below. [4] Also see the British Fashion Council’s response. [5]

“Bethany’s line is dedicated social justice and sustainability—that’s what it received the Queen’s Design Star for. To exclude a designer who was both involved in the production of the line and working to bring attention to the climate and ecological crises from the show is just unbelievable,” said Clare Farrell, fashion designer and one of the co-founders of Extinction Rebellion.

Notes to editors

[1] https://www.harpersbazaar.com/uk/fashion/fashion-news/a26385844/meet-bethany-williams-interview/

[2] Address to the Queen:

Dear Elizabeth, Queen of this United Kingdom,

We are Extinction Rebellion.

We have come to speak with you about the gravest of matters – the future existence of the realm and the lives of your subjects.

We built this great country by attending to the facts and basing our judgements on sound science. We know there is a world out there which is real and we ignore it at our peril.

We have looked at the facts.

It is clear beyond doubt that climate breakdown and ecological collapse is imminent unless governments including, our government, drastically change course.

The facts points to the destruction of families, our communities, our nation, our state unless we change course.

We are facing the biggest threat to our entire realm and way of life in 1000 years of our history.

We know our rights and are in rebellion to save ourselves, our loved ones and our entire nation.

We have asked our government to meet with us and address our demands.

They have ignored us.

With great humility we now come to Your Majesty to implore you to act on our behalf: to fulfil your sacred duty to protect the realm.

If you do not protect us from these perils the Social Contact between us shall be broken.

It will become our sacred duty to rebel and replace our government with one which honours the first duty of any state: To protect its citizens, their lives and livelihoods.

We earnestly implore you to understand that we are more serious about this than anything else in our lives.

We are British citizens, we know our rights, we know our responsibilities and our duties.

We will not tolerate the tyranny of a government that plans the destruction of its people.

We are extinction rebellion.

We thank you deeply for your understanding and await, with keenest interest, Your Majestic response.

[3] Press release for funeral march to Buckingham Palace here.

[4] Abridged text of Extinction Rebellion’s letter to the British Fashion Council:

“Dear Caroline Rush and the British Fashion Council,

“We are writing to you from Extinction Rebellion. We are a non-violent civil disobedience movement that launched in October last year, now with over 200 chapters in 42 countries and over 100,000 online supporters just months. In November we brought 6,000 people to occupy five bridges in London and we are now organising an International Rebellion (beginning 15th April) to pressure governments to take emergency action on the climate and ecological crisis.

“For governments and the public to treat this crisis as an emergency, we believe it necessary to disrupt business as usual and the structures that have created this emergency situation. The fashion industry’s influence permeates deep within culture and radiates globally. It is a powerful engine of culture and could be a revolutionary force for change.

“We are writing to you now because on Sunday 17th February, we plan to disrupt London Fashion Week. We recognise that progress has been made and willingness for change is almost ubiquitous in the industry. We understand the BFC has promoted sustainable practices, however we must not congratulate ourselves on progress if it does not meet the targets needed to avert a very real existential crisis.

“Interconnected crises, displacement and death is already a reality for the majority of those who live on the front lines of climate change. The melting of the arctic ice, the release of methane and the relentless burning of forests are creating self-reinforcing feedback processes which are locking in temperature increases far above the Paris target of 2C. This is an emergency.

“London Fashion Week is a key driver of global trends. If the BFC could use its influential position to tell the truth about climate change, there would be a surge in popular support for climate action. The industry has the potential to transform itself to be a cultural and creative force that stops the trend of excessive consumption.

“Therefore, as Extinction Rebellion, we call on you, the British Fashion Council, to follow in the footsteps of the Greater London Authority, Bristol City Council and many many others, to declare a Climate Emergency.  We believe that it is possible to face the future, stop business as usual and direct all resources, collective energy and privilege towards this end.

“We write to you in hope for all that can still be saved.

“Yours,

“EXTINCTION REBELLION”

[5] Response from the British Fashion Council to Extinction Rebellion:

12 February 2019

Dear Extinction Rebellion

I have been made aware you sent me a letter on 10 February 2019, which has not been received at my office to date.

In 2006, the British Fashion Council partnered with sustainable experts to create the first sustainable showcase of designer fashion businesses at the heart of London Fashion Week.  In 2013, we evolved our commitment to sustainability in developing a stream of work called Positive Fashion and establishing a Positive Fashion Committee. Over the past five years we have commissioned research, looked at opportunities to develop sustainable practices in the UK, particularly around upcycling, ware and manufacturing.  In doing this we looked at the breadth of sustainable and ethical programmes led by British businesses and in 2017 set the ambition to make leaps forward in the following three streams of work:

– Equality & Diversity

– Sustainability

– Skills and Craftsmanship

Our sustainability programme since 2017 has included

– Switch to Green

In 2017 the British Fashion Council joined forces with Vivienne Westwood in a campaign to bring the fashion industry together to lead in ambitious climate action, for a safer and greener future. The campaign that continues today asks industry leaders to commit to SWITCH to a green energy supplier by 2020, with the aim of having all London based designers and retailers in the fashion sector SWITCH to Green by 2020, tying our campaign to the Paris Agreement within the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.

To date the campaign has seen 20 brands and businesses commit to the campaign amounting to an estimated 355 Million kilowatt hours sourced from Green energy and the equivalent of 125K tonnes of CO2 emissions avoided.  We continue to run the campaign into 2019 and hope to have a minimum further 40 brands committed by the close of the year and are collaborating on a SWITCH platform for consumers to ensure the campaign creates real impact.

-​Mindful Consumerism

This month we are delighted to be working with BBC Earth, the team behind the hugely influential Blue Planet series and designer Amy Powney of Mother of Pearl in a Positive Fashion partnership.  In the first event of its kind, this collaboration brings together the broadcasting reach of the BBC and the influence of fashion to encourage change. The focus of the project is centered on the impact the fashion industry has on the planet while highlighting the positive tangible opportunity for sustainable fashion choices and mindful consumer behaviour.

– Council for Sustainable Business

The British Fashion Council sits on the Council for Sustainable Business.  Information shared at the Council relating to waste and single use plastics will be shared at the 2019 BFC Positive Fashion Forum as part of tackling single use plastics and waste in the industry.

– Positive Fashion Forum

In June 2019, the British Fashion Council will bring together designers, industry leaders, sustainable experts, investors and innovators in material science to debate opportunities in the industry and create actionable guides for small and large businesses to make a positive impact through acting responsibly and sustainably.

– Designer Factfile

The Designer Factfile, the British Fashion Council’s online business advice resource includes green approaches to working practice and details on how to get started as a green business as well as guidelines on sustainability, energy footprints and ethical trading. In 2019 we are committed to including best practice sourcing and ethical trading guides as well as promoting our partners such as Common Objective and Provenance, whose aim is to educate and support the fashion industry to do business better.

London Fashion Week is a platform to showcase the very best creative businesses in our country.  The unique DNA of London is based around creativity, innovation and cultural change, which is why, of the four global fashion weeks, London Fashion Week encourages the showcase of British businesses engaging in sustainable business practices.  We are committed to support businesses to do more, to develop through green growth and our hope is that London Fashion Week becomes synonymous with responsible business in the years to come.

I am pleased that we live in a country where we have a right to protest peacefully, and I believe that more than any other capital London has an opportunity to be a part of a cultural change around sustainable business practices that put creative product at their core.  I hope that there is an opportunity to meet and find a way to both encourage the showcasing of these creative businesses whilst increasing the dialogue around mindful consumerism, one that we are raising ourselves through our Positive Fashion programme.

Yours faithfully

Caroline Rush

Chief Executive

[6] Press Releases from Sunday’s Action at London Fashion Week here.

Some key upcoming actions:

  • 11am Friday 22nd February – Climate Truth For Schools at the Department of Education. The UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change just told the world what our future looks like, yet the science is being ignored by the UK curriculum. With teachers we will assemble at the Department of Education to demand those in the position of responsibility face the truth and allow educators to teach it.

  • Lots more protests and events! There are many other actions and events happening now in London and around the UK due to Extinction Rebellion’s decentralised structure (too many to list here). For the latest news, see the website https://rebellion.earth/events/ plus also check out the facebook https://www.facebook.com/ExtinctionRebellion/events/.

  1. https://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/fashion/environment-costs-fast-fashion-pollution-waste-sustainability-a8139386.html

  2. International Rebellion begins 15 April – https://www.facebook.com/events/126622414898833/

  3. Ellen MacArthur Foundation, A new textiles economy: Redesigning fashion’s future (2017) https://www.ellenmacarthurfoundation.org/assets/downloads/publications/A-New-Textiles-Economy_Full-Report.pdf

  4. Greta Thunberg “Our House is on Fire” 2019 World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zrF1THd4bUM. Video of Greta Thunberg at Extinction Rebellion’s Declaration of Rebellion launch on 31st October at Parliament Square in London –https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H8prVarP-rQ. Text of speech – https://medium.com/wedonthavetime/the-rebellion-has-begun-d1bffe31d3b5

  5. https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/nov/21/swarming-sit-down-protests-aim-to-disrupt-london-traffic

  6. Climate Factsheet for Rebels https://rebellion.earth/the-climate-factsheet-for-rebels/

  7. About Extinction Rebellion:

Time has almost entirely run out to address the ecological crisis which is upon us, including the 6th mass species extinction and abrupt, runaway climate change. Societal collapse and mass death are seen as inevitable by scientists and other credible voices, with human extinction also a possibility, if rapid action is not taken.

Extinction Rebellion believes it is a citizen’s duty to rebel, using peaceful civil disobedience, when faced with criminal inactivity by its Government.

Extinction Rebellion’s key demands are:

  1. The Government must tell the truth about the ecological emergency, reverse inconsistent policies and work alongside the media to communicate with citizens

  2. The Government must enact legally binding policy measures to reduce carbon emissions to net zero by 2025 and to reduce consumption levels

  3. A national Citizens’ Assembly to oversee the changes, as part of creating a democracy fit for purpose.

Get involved in Extinction Rebellion’s other events

UK website: https://rebellion.earth/

International website: https://xrebellion.org/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ExtinctionRebellion/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/ExtinctionR hashtag #ExtinctionRebellion

Declaration of Rebellion: https://rebellion.earth/declaration/

14. About Rising Up!

Extinction Rebellion is an initiative of the Rising Up! network, which promotes a fundamental change of our political and economic system to one which maximises well-being and minimises harm. Change needs to be nurtured in a culture of reverence, gratitude and inclusion; whilst the tools of civil disobedience and direct action are used to express our collective power.

Website http://www.risingup.org.uk/;

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/RisingUpUK/;

Twitter https://twitter.com/RisingUpUK

join the rebellion