The Greenwashing Effect

& Where Sustainability Can Grow

Today, we read on Modem about Camera Nazionale della Moda Italiana’s presence at COP28, and the greenwashing effect starts itching. By the way, the entire conference sparked a considerable sense of discomfort.

Indeed, the recent presence of the fashion world at COP28 in Dubai raised eyebrows and questions about the authenticity of the messages from mainstream fashion entities. Likewise, the event “Climate Change is not Cool: A Sustainability Message from the Fashion World” by Camera Nazionale della Moda Italiana.

COP28 & the fashion industry

While it’s promising to witness fashion institutions addressing sustainability on global platforms, there’s a deep concern about greenwashing. True sustainability isn’t a marketing tactic; it’s a fundamental shift in values, production methods, and consumer behaviour. Which we failed to witness so far. When mainstream brands adopt sustainability as a buzzword without genuine commitment, they dilute the essence of real change.

The authentic roots of sustainability

A genuine, sustainable culture in fashion starts as a counter-culture, born from grassroots movements, independent designers and shops, and community-driven initiatives. It’s radical, disruptive, and not easily co-opted by corporate agendas. These movements champion transparency, good quality, ethical production, and circular economies. 

The power of the counterculture

History has shown that meaningful change often originates from the fringes, where unconventional ideas take root. These movements challenge the status quo, paving the way for a new fashion narrative that prioritises craftsmanship, durability, ethical practices, and a deeper understanding of the environmental impact.

Shifting perspectives and empowering choices

As consumers, we hold significant power in shaping the fashion industry. Embracing a more sustainable mindset involves supporting independent, ethical brands, vintage and secondhand fashion, and demanding transparency from big corporations. It’s about making informed choices that align with our values and contribute positively to a more sustainable future.

The fact that fashion entities participate in events like COP28 can create a false impression of sustainability – the greenwashing effect, indeed. However, real change happens through the efforts of communities, alternative movements, designers and shops that prioritise quality – less, much less but better – not overconsumption. 

Eventually, we must remember that we vote with our wallets; that’s how we shape the world we want. And that’s how we attest our commitment to sustainability.

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The Climate Joke

COP28: Hypocrisy & Climate Change

If hypocrisy always accompanies the climate summit, this COP28 sounds like a joke.

Many traditional Italian jokes start like this: there is an Italian, a French and a German. Now add that they meet up in Dubai to talk about climate change. Okay, for real, COP28, the annual climate summit, is now held in Dubai. Whether you are Italian or not, you’ll laugh because it sounds like a joke!

By the way, we can expand this joke, including other countries. There are three British men who flew on three private jets to Dubai to attend a meeting led by an oil and gas CEO to talk about not using oil. And, of course, not killing the planet to satisfy their lifestyle!
In fact, according to The Independent, Sunak, Cameron and King Charles each take on private jets to travel to COP28. Three private jets to talk about cutting emissions! Surely, the right thing to do!

We could continue with the other countries in the world; the pattern doesn’t change. So, the joke gets shared.

The joke: a petro-state for climate change

Not only is COP “whatever the number,” the conference where world leaders gather to discuss climate change for about five days and then go back home with nothing done. Specifically, they postpone the change for the next 15 or 20 years, which is pure madness. It reveals a total lack of understanding of the climate emergency and a willingness to make change.
But, this year, it is even more absurd: they join in Dubai. Precisely, world leaders gather in a country whose only power relies on oil to talk about climate change. Conflict of interest? It doesn’t concern them! Private jets, helicopters, shopping in giant shopping malls – an energy-absorbing country whose energy and water consumption per capita is the highest in the world.

What are they talking about? Where are we heading?

To conclude, we share Mario Tozzis words:

“There is little use in gathering at conferences like COP28, where it is more important not to step on the toes of a destructive economy than to worry about the health of the Earth. They can spare us the mockery.”

Enough with the climate joke! We cannot listen to politicians and billionaires who travel on private jets telling us how to consume! This hypocrisy is disturbing. We are fed up with it. Aren’t you?

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