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French fashion brand Chanel / ʃəˈnɛl / recently received criticism from environmentalists after holding an enchanted forest-themed fashion show in Paris last March.
To simulate an enchanted forest, the fashion brand decorated the show’s runway with fallen leaves, moss, logs, and real trees. However, environmental advocates expressed their distaste upon learning that century-old trees were chopped down from a forest in Western France and had to be transported to Paris for the said show, which lasted only for a few hours.
France Nature Environment (FNE)—a federation of environmental groups—criticized the show, saying that Chanel completely overlooked some important issues concerning environmental protection. The FNE also considers the show as evidence that the fashion industry severely lacks a sense of environmental responsibility. In addition, the FNE said that Chanel should have thought of a workaround, like doing the fashion show in an actual forest rather than cutting down trees for decorative purposes.
Nevertheless, Chanel asserted that the organizers were authorized to cut down the trees. Aside from claiming that the trees were not over a century old, the fashion brand said that it promised to plant 100 new oaks to replace those that were cut down.
This is not the first time that Chanel got into an environment-related controversy. Last year, the brand’s plastic-themed fashion show also received backlash. The show became controversial because it was held at a time when plastic pollution was a prevalent issue.
In 2010, Chanel also went too far with its runway design by hauling a massive glacier from Sweden to create a frozen landscape.