An environmental activist hid in the toilets of the Louvre before inviting himself to the Louis Vuitton parade
PARIS, October 21 (Reuters) – Marie Cohuet hid for more than two hours in the toilets of the Louvre art museum.
After getting closer to the show’s entrance as the event approached, Cohuet saw her chance when staff were distracted by the glitzy arrival of actress Catherine Deneuve.
Speaking animatedly into his phone, Cohuet pretended to be on the organizing team and walked in.
She bided her time until the parade began to a soundtrack of thundering organ music and church bells, at which point she unfurled her banner and joined the procession of models under a lighted runway. for ages.
“It was like taking back power,” the 26-year-old environmental activist, member of the Friends of the Earth group, told Reuters. Louis Vuitton security guards.
Its banner was scrawled with the slogan “overconsumption = extinction”.
Cohuet said she took a stand on Oct. 5 against a fashion industry that broke promises to act on climate change and pushed brands to renew their collections faster and produce more for less. cost.
It accuses LVMH of having committed to reducing its greenhouse gas emissions but by excluding its subcontractors from its calculations.
Asked by Reuters for comment, LVMH (LVMH.PA) said its 2030 target of cutting greenhouse gas emissions by more than half, announced in April, included those from contractors.
Critics say fast fashion, which reproduces catwalk trends and high fashion designs at breakneck speed, is wasteful, exploits low-paid workers and pollutes the environment, including through the heavy use of pesticides to cultivate crops. the cotton.
On the catwalk, Cohuet’s heart was in her belly as she stared straight ahead and met the eyes of movie stars, LVMH CEO Bernard Arnault and members of her clan.
“Sometimes an act of civil disobedience is necessary, sometimes you have to challenge head-on those who screw up the planet today, those who trample on human and social rights,” Cohuet said.
A teenager at home, she expressed outrage at the failure of world leaders to act on climate change. Only in recent years has she joined protests, organized petitions and lobbied lawmakers.
Cohuet said she avoids frivolous clothing purchases and air travel, but the impact an individual can have was limited. Real change must come from governments and corporate leaders, she continued.
Despite this, Cohuet has little hope of meaningful progress at this month’s COP26 UN climate change conference summit in Glasgow, Scotland.
“Great promises are made on paper, but then things tend to falter and states fail to turn them into concrete actions,” she said.
Additional reporting by Mimosa Spencer; written by Richard Lough; edited by Mark Heinricjh
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