After it was reported that a typical New York Fashion Week emits up to 48,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide, there were calls for the fashion weeks in London, Milan, New York and Paris to rein in their harmful environmental impacts. The booming digital fashion industry, with its virtual runways and NFTs, promises to make Fashion Week more sustainable. Yet, even as brands advertise their carbon-neutral shows, the system remains stuck in its traditional ways, and the industry as a whole continues to be a major factor in the climate crisis.
How can Fashion Week leverage its platform to respond to demands for more responsible industry practices? Can there be such a thing as a sustainable Fashion Week? Is digital fashion an answer or a distraction from the real-world transformation we need?