Mes­sage in a shop­ping bag

Fash­ion brands join Adani protest

The Sunday Mail (Queensland) - - NEWS - MICHAEL WRAY

TRENDY ur­ban fash­ion brands are join­ing the bat­tle against Adani, en­cour­ag­ing cus­tomers to fund the cam­paigns of ecow­ar­riors try­ing to stop the coal mine.

In the past month, Aus­tralia’s most fa­mous eco­con­scious fash­ion la­bel, Gor­man, and cam­paign­ing UK cos­met­ics re­tailer, Lush, have fun­nelled funds to an­tiA­dani ac­tivists, in­clud­ing left-wing lob­by­ists GetUp!.

Both com­pa­nies have also run so­cial me­dia cam­paigns at­tack­ing the mine.

“To stop Adani build­ing the big­gest coal mine in the world in Queens­land, we have de­signed a Coal Kills bag to send a clear mes­sage,” Gor­man says on its cam­paign web page.

Lush di­rected all funds from the De­cem­ber sales of its char­ity pots, which range from $15.95 to $32.50, to “grass­roots or­gan­i­sa­tions work­ing to stop Adani”.

“Adani are threat­en­ing to start dig­ging be­fore Christ­mas,” the com­pany said on a Face­book post.

“Now is the time for ev­ery­one who cares about cli­mate change to step up and take ac­tion.”

Re­sources Min­is­ter Matt Cana­van said Aus­tralia’s coal and en­ergy in­dus­try “wins the Pepsi moral­ity chal­lenge against the fash­ion sec­tor any day of the week”.

“Fash­ion is lovely but it’s hardly an es­sen­tial in­put into peo­ple’s liveli­hoods,” he said. “I just think it’s a lit­tle hyp­o­crit­i­cal for com­pa­nies that pro­duce lux­ury items to be lec­tur­ing poor coun­tries about what they should do.”

Gor­man is sell­ing bags, which are made in China from re­cy­cled plas­tic bot­tles, on­line and in stores for $4, with 100 per cent of the funds fun­nelled to GetUp!.

But the com­pany’s halo was tar­nished in 2016, when a lead­ing in­dus­try eth­i­cal fash­ion re­port that ex­am­ines sup­ply chains and work­ers’ rights gave Gor­man a grade of “F”. They im­proved to a “C+” in the lat­est re­port.

Gor­man and Lush were asked for com­ment but did not re­spond.

Mr Cana­van said the fash­ion in­dus­try had plenty of eth­i­cal is­sues to con­cen­trate on and he be­lieved opposition to the mine was small but vo­cal.

“The vast ma­jor­ity of Queens­lan­ders and Aus­tralians un­der­stand that we need a strong re­sources sec­tor to have a strong coun­try,” he said.

Ma­rina Cooper from Mitchel­ton, who has been shop­ping at Gor­man for two years, said the bags were “a great idea just to get the mes­sage out to peo­ple”.

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