Visualizing the Climate Crisis:
the Fashion System

This is the third talk of the series, Visualizing the Climate Crisis, which explores the potential and the role that contemporary photography and visual art, together with different disciplines, can have in addressing the multi-layered theme of climate change. The series will feature visual journalists doing evidence-based, research-informed, image-led reporting on climate issues. They will be in conversation with other professionals representing a diverse range of disciplines, such as science, policy-making, education, architecture, social innovation, media, and more, trying to explore the possibility of thinking beyond photography in a genuinely trans-disciplinary approach to expand reach, involve the wider public, and move people from being inspired to taking action. 

In this talk, Rebecca Cappelli (filmmaker and activist) and Sara Sozzani Maino (Creative Director and educator) are in conversation with Maria Teresa Salvati, moderated by Dr. Paul Lowe.

Tannery workers working in unsafe conditions, Kolkata, India © SLAY
Over the past few years, India’s leather capital has been shifting downstream the Ganga—from Kanpur to Kolkata.
Tannery workers are continuously exposed to dangerous chemicals from the tanning process.

Why we talk about the fashion system?

The fashion system refers to the interconnected network of individuals, businesses, and institutions involved in the production, distribution, promotion, and consumption of fashion goods and services. So, it involves the production of raw materials, principally fibers and textiles but also leather and fur; the production of fashion goods by designers, manufacturers, contractors, and others; retail sales; and various forms of advertising and promotion.

The United Nations reports the fashion industry as the second most polluting of all industries, resulting in 8%-10% of all carbon emissions, 20% of all global wastewater, deforestation, releasing microplastics in the atmosphere, on land and inside our bodies; killing billions of animals; also responsible for poor working conditions, unfair wages, unreasonable hours, child labor, and a lack of benefits for workers in the sweatshops. The system is also responsible for perpetuating an economic paradigm leading to social and climate injustice at the cost of poorer workers, animals, and the planet.

Who could lead the systemic changes that the fashion industry requires in order to go beyond “greenwashing” and be more sustainable? How could we – media, policymakers, artists, activists, designers, institutions, and educators– help re-wire a system that is so interconnected and unjust? What could be the best way to talk to people and change the fashion system?

This series is organized by Everything is Connected; UAL, University of the Arts London; and VII Insider.

Through the eyes of children

Education – Public Space – Social Innovation – Visual Art

Do we live on or are we part of a planet? - Frederic Hanusch

Education – Science

Planetary Health and Visual Culture - David Cross

Education – Science – Visual Art

The need for a Xenourbanism - Rossella Ferorelli

Education – Public Space – Science

Secret Sarayaku - Misha Vallejo

Education – Social Innovation – Visual Art

Photography and the climate emergency - Symposium III

Education – Science – Visual Art

Empathy and Connection in Environmental Storytelling

Education – Science – Visual Art

Beyond photographic limits - L. Fritz Magazine

Mass Media – Visual Art

Alternative Aesthetics in Environmental Storytelling

Education – Science – Visual Art

How to make the invisible, visible? AIR by Marina Vitaglione

Science – Visual Art

Towards Trans-disciplinarity

Education – Public Space – Science – Visual Art

How photography can address climate crisis as a social justice issue

Education – Mass Media – Visual Art

Contemporary Photography
and Public Engagement

Education – Public Space – Science – Social Innovation – Visual Art

Visualizing the Climate Crisis:
Ocean acidification

Science – Visual Art

Visualizing the Climate Crisis:
Virtual Water

Education – Science – Visual Art