Activists from Extinction Rebellion Colchester occupied Lion Walk Shopping Centre on Culver Street East in Colchester for nearly an hour in total to highlight the fashion industry’s impact on the world’s ecology and climate breakdown.
They mimicked their own death by laying on the floors of Primark and outside the entrances of trendy outlets such as River Island and New Look and used placards to explain their fight against the mass-production of inexpensive clothing.
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One activist also used the protest as a platform to directly address shoppers and members of the public with a pre-prepared statement which cited fast fashion’s contribution to polluted air, damaged soil and the Aral Sea drying up.
A spokesperson for Extinction Rebellion Colchester said: “Companies profiting from the fast fashion industry have an obligation to overhaul their ecologically damaging practices.
“Consumers have a responsibility and must adopt more responsible consumer behaviour by demanding that retailers sell more sustainable clothing, buying less, keeping clothes for longer, upcycling and buying second hand.
“Governments have an obligation to hold retailers accountable for environmentally exploitative business models.”
Essex Police attended the protest to ensure safety to the public and speak with the activists.
A spokesman said: “We were called shortly before 11.50am on Saturday, June 1 with reports of a protest in Culver Street East, Colchester.
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“We attended and spoke with those involved.
“We respect the right of those who wish to hold a peaceful protest and our priority is public safety for those involved and other members of the public.”
Extinction Rebellion is an international movement that staged many protests across the world but has obtained a growing presence in Colchester in recent months.
Earlier this year Extinction Rebellion Colchester led a fake funeral procession with symbolic coffins and flowers through the streets of Colchester before holding another ‘die-in’ outside Firstsite.