Kpopers Lead Global Climate Activism, Urging High Fashion to Embrace Sustainability


As Paris Fashion Week commenced yesterday, K-pop enthusiasts, known as Kpopers, took to the streets of six major cities, urging luxury brands like Chanel, Celine, Dior, and Saint Laurent to cease "K-washing," a term signifying the concealment of their weak climate commitments behind the glamour of K-pop idols.

"Blackpink is renowned for their environmental advocacy at COP26. We are incredibly proud of Blackpink and hope that luxury brands collaborating with them do not exploit their positive image for greenwashing without demonstrating genuine and bold climate actions," said Jevon, a member of Blackpink's fanbase, Blink Official Indonesia.

As part of the Kpop4Planet campaign with the theme "Unboxed: High Fashion, High Carbon," fans conveyed their demands and messages through MobileLED trucks that toured six major cities: New York, London, Paris, Tokyo, Seoul, and now Jakarta.

Kpop4Planet is a climate organization created by and for K-pop fans who love both the Earth and their K-pop idols. Through this campaign, thousands of fans are demanding greater and bolder climate commitments from luxury brands to combat the climate crisis.

"Luxury brands are racing to target consumers from the younger generation, especially K-pop fans. However, as environmentally conscious fans who will inherit this planet, we wonder why luxury brands are not taking responsibility for protecting the environment," said Dayeon, a campaign spokesperson for Kpop4Planet in South Korea.

"This is why K-pop fans are demanding that luxury brands reduce their emissions by discontinuing the use of coal and transitioning to 100% renewable energy, not only in their stores and offices but throughout their supply chains," Dayeon continued.

Using MobileLED trucks, Kpop4Planet featured slogans in each campaign, such as "K-pop fans care about the environment. Luxury brands, show your love for the environment for real!" and "High fashion, greenwashing doesn't make you cool!" These trucks appeared in popular landmarks in major cities, including Times Square in New York, the Eiffel Tower in France, and Monas in Jakarta, as well as in shopping districts with luxury stores like Gucci, Dior, and Louis Vuitton.

In addition to landmark appearances, the trucks also toured the luxury districts of each city, where thousands of shoppers and sellers could see K-pop fans' messages, including demands for high-fashion brands to transition to 100% solar and wind energy for their production.

This action marks the first time that K-pop fans have shown international climate solidarity, encompassing global fanbases such as Blackpink France, Blackpink Mexico Union, Blackpink Costa Rica, Jisoonation, Blink Official Indonesia, and BTS ARMY Indonesia Amino.

In August of this year, K-pop fans, along with Kpop4Planet and climate organizations from Australia, Action Speaks Louder, released an assessment of the climate commitments of four luxury brands, including Chanel, Celine, Dior, and Saint Laurent, represented by members of Blackpink as their brand ambassadors.

All four brands were evaluated as failing in their climate commitments, with Saint Laurent, owned by Kering, achieving the best but still "poor" rating. Celine and Dior, both owned by the conglomerate LVMH, received a "very poor" rating, while privately-owned Chanel ranked the lowest with a "very poor indeed" rating.

The Kpop4Planet campaign aims to encourage high-fashion brands to commit to using 100% renewable energy in their supply chains by 2030, set absolute emission reduction targets of 43-48% by 2030, and provide transparency to the public in their supply chain reports.

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