Fashion Shows Are Bad for the Environment

Saint Laurent staged an elaborate runway show on a protected piece of land in Malibu California, despite being denied a permit by the local government – a move that, according to Vogue Business, is drawing some long overdue attention to the ecological impact of fashion shows.

The show in question took place last month on a “hidden beach called Paradise Cove,” and came complete with a fabricated boardwalk, a plethora of seating, famous people, and other decorative touches not traditionally found on hidden, protected pieces of land.

Needless to say, the show “violated a variety of environmental regulations that protect Malibu’s fragile natural resources, including grunion, a type of fish that were expected to spawn on the sand that evening.”

Local residents and city officials allege that Saint Laurent “had done an ‘end run’ around the city’s approval process by applying for a filming permit from a city contractor after being denied an event permit by the local government.”

Saint Laurent’s apparent circumvention of Malibu’s environmental laws directly contradicts the eco-friendly image that parent-company, Kering, has been working so hard to establish as of late. But, as the article points out, what “allegedly happened in Malibu suggests the complexity of translating good corporate intentions to myriad activities and events around the world.”

Especially when those activities are, by their very nature, immensely wasteful. As the article explains, nearly all elements incorporated into a runway show — carpeting, flooring, benches, scenery — are “often discarded” after the show is over.

“The opportunity now,” the story concludes, “is for Saint Laurent to help change a perception that being an environmentalist isn’t fashionable or luxurious.”

You can read more about it at Vogue Business.

[image via]