Whether we accept it or not, what we choose to buy and wear speaks a lot about who we are on the inside. As many of you hopefully know, the fashion industry has become more involved in activism throughout recent runways and shows. For lots of us, it is easier to buy cheap new garments without thinking of any downside. Through these purchases, we are sending a message of support to big fast-fashion, unsustainable, money orientated companies.
Image: Timur Emek / Getty Images
Well, praise the politics and open opinions of this society. Some designers and labels are out there, taking a stand against the irresponsible fashion industry model and reminding us why it’s so important to put our hard-earned money towards the positive side of the industry. Companies like PETA are not afraid to have tough conversations and extreme campaigns to highlight what they believe in. They tend to tackle the big world issues and launch the controversial ads, lines and collaborations that are not even in their best interests. It is becoming clearer that statements on and off the runways are getting the most attention, so to the brands who are doing it to get their name out there, not cool. But to those who have been supporting the good for years and truly believe in what they’re creating is for the greater good, I absolutely appreciate your work and bravery.
Compiling the most influential, extreme and boldest fashion protest statements in history has been a challenge but here are some of the best. I hope this written series changes the way you think of fast, cheap, cruel impulse buys.
Image: Huffington Post
PETA’S ANTI-FUR MODELS 1994
Sometimes, to make a statement, you need to recruit a few of the era’s top models and pose in no clothes at all. PETA revolutionized the 90s protest when the organization began to release their anti-fur campaigns full of completely naked models. The ad wrote ‘We’d rather go naked than wear fur’. Supermodels like Naomi Campbell, Chrissy Turlington, Kate Moss, Cindy Crawford and Elle McPherson were all photographed under the slogan stripped down to take a stand alongside PETA. This became one of the most iconic and influential advertisement of the 90s.
This was all coming off a fur epidemic, where all through the past decades, most notably the 80s, fur was the ‘it’ item and the statement piece of women’s wardrobes. PETA’s anti-fur campaigns weren’t the first of their efforts to stop humanity and the fashion industry to stop the use of fur. PETA stands for People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals and was founded in the 80s where the founders would organize small protests starting in the US. Before their clever campaigns, PETA and its affiliates worldwide gained a reputation for controversially bizarre street theatre. In 1992, activists for PETA were known to throw paint at people who were wearing fur and at one stage a giant ‘sheep’ followed the Australian Prime Minister at the time around to protest the cruelty in our wool industry.
PETA’s ‘We’d rather go naked than wear fur’ campaign was incredibly powerful, whilst still many ladies sadly continued to strip the lives of animals to remain in the fashion game, many high-profile brands like Armani committed to going fur-free and have continued doing so to this day. Shortly after, a survey went out around America and it was said that after only one in five women still owned a fur coat.
Written by Darcey Weaven