K-pop fans rally against greenwashing of luxury fashion brands at COP28

K-pop enthusiasts, including the UAE fanbase, have joined forces to challenge the fashion industry’s greenwashing practices during the ongoing COP28 Climate Summit in Dubai, Kpop4Planet said in a statement.

Expressing their concerns about the fashion industry’s environmental impact, K-pop fans took to social media platforms, including Instagram, Twitter, and TikTok, to call for tangible climate action. Their global online movement coincides with the UN Fashion Industry Charter for Climate Action meeting at COP28, which major fashion brands, including LVMH, Chanel, and Dior, attend.

The Fashion Industry Charter, designed to guide the industry towards achieving net-zero emissions by 2050, has faced criticism for a lack of concrete actions, as reported by Vogue Business. K-pop fans are urging luxury fashion houses to move beyond token gestures and celebrity endorsements, pushing for genuine climate commitments and a shift to renewable energy.

Notably, K-pop stars have often been the face of luxury brands like Chanel and Dior, targeting the youth market in Asia. However, fans now demand that these collaborations align with more robust climate commitments amid growing environmental concerns.

“As fans based in the UAE, we hope that by spreading awareness about climate action, we can contribute positively and inspire other K-pop fans to talk about climate issues,” said Shia, the Seventeen UAE fanbase organiser.

The online action, orchestrated by Kpop4Planet, a climate platform initiated by fans, is part of the ‘Unboxed: High Fashion, High Carbon’ campaign. The campaign calls on luxury fashion houses to adopt ambitious climate targets, specifically focusing on transitioning to fully renewable energy by 2030, including in their supply chains.

A report by Kpop4Planet has ranked major brands such as Chanel, Celine, Dior, and Saint Laurent based on publicly available information about their climate targets and emissions. According to the report, all four brands fall short in climate commitment and investment in renewable energy for their supply chains.

“K-pop fans care not only about their idols’ activities as luxury brand ambassadors but also about the future of the Earth they will inherit. It’s time for luxury fashion houses to stop greenwashing,” emphasised Dayeon Lee, a campaigner with Kpop4Planet in South Korea.

The campaign, launched in August, has garnered support from over 11,700 K-pop fans across 69 countries, urging luxury brands to set more ambitious climate targets. The petition was submitted as part of an international truck protest during Paris Fashion Week in September, with minimal response from brands, except for Saint Laurent.

As COP28 marks five years since the inception of the UN Fashion Industry Charter for Climate Action, activists are calling for more ambitious and collaborative climate commitments to address the pressing need to curb global warming. Despite a 16% increase in reported climate impacts since 2020, only 45% of charter signatories have set public climate targets to keep global warming below 1.5°C.

“COP28 is the perfect place for them to demonstrate their position as fashion industry leaders by taking action for the environment. We won’t rest until we hear the brands’ absolute emissions reduction targets and plans to switch to renewable energy,” concluded Lee.

Kpop4Planet was established in 2021 as a climate organisation created by and for Earth-loving K-pop fans and their idols. (nsh)

Banner photo: Truck with LED screen in Jakarta’s main roundabout. The sign on the truck ad says: “Luxury brands: Chanel, Celine, Dior, Saint Laurent: Stop Using Coal. It’s time to shift to renewable energy, solar and wind!” Source: Kpop4Planet

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