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Climate Change

Extinction Rebellion activists bring protests to Penneys and Brown Thomas

The demonstration is part of a week-long climate change protest by the group. / YouTube

EXTINCTION REBELLION ACTIVISTS brought their protest to Penneys and Brown Thomas stores in Dublin, staging a fashion show on O’Connell Street this afternoon.

Protesters assembled around a mock fashion catwalk outside Penneys on the third day in a global week of action by the group. 

The group quickly moved off after they realised they were blocking a bus lane, and someone noted the group are supportive of public transport.

They then entered the store and marched through, singing about fast fashion and playing loud music on a speaker.

One man on a megaphone told customers about the effects of fast fashion on the environment, noting they were not judging the workers, and their protest was nonviolent.

Fashion retailers have come under intense scrutiny in the last year from environmental activists, as second only to oil, the clothing and textile industry is the largest polluter in the world, and produces nearly 20% of global waste water.

According to the Ellen McArthur Foundation, clothing production has approximately doubled in the last 15 years, while the annual value of clothing discarded prematurely is more than €350 billion.

Brands like Pennys, Boohoo, and Pretty Little Thing, who produce large amounts of inexpensive clothing have all been the target of ire by those concerned about the planet.

Brian Lawless / PA Brian Lawless / PA / PA

Speaking outside Pennys, Cillian Byrne from Glasnevin told watching crowds: “The problem is fast fashion, in Ireland alone 220,000 tones of clothes are thrown out every year.

“This means rising sea levels, which means bye bye for lots of people in Ireland. Speaking of water, dyeing clothes is responsible for 20% of water pollution. These chemicals are extremely toxic to human beings, is it worth it?

Human beings might well be on the road of extinction and fast fashion may well to be to blame, but don’t they look gorgeous?

The group encouraged the public to shop second hand or vintage, and be mindful of the clothes they buy and dispose of.

The group also entered the Brown Thomas department store on Grafton Street as part of the protest. 

Sam Boal Sam Boal

Dublin’s Extinction Rebellion contingent has been relatively peaceful in its protests which began on Monday.

The group has shut off, and set up a camp in the city’s Merrion Square south, the street book ended by a large pink boat on one end, and a stage at the other, with a number of tents and tents and marquees erected on the road.

Tuesday evening saw a number of protesters forcibly lifted and carried away by the garda public order unit, who were attempting to clear Kildare Street in order for politicians to leave the Dáil, as activists had settled in front of the main gates.

The protestors sang: “Gardaí, we love you, we’re doing this for your children too” as a number of men and women were carried away in order to clear the roadway.

- With reporting by Michelle Hennessy.

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