Is fast fashion causing ‘Fast Extinction’?

Photographer, Montana Lowery, has created an exhibition entitled ‘Fast Extinction’ at 24 Carnaby Street, to raise awareness of the animals on the critically-endangered list, through fashion photography.

The exhibition comprises 15 photographs of models styled in the animal print of each endangered species on the current list, to highlight the unsustainable impact of fast fashion.

Lowery spoke to FashionUnited and told us the effects Covid-19 has had on the exhibition: “The first two days there were around 20 people per day then a steady flow of five per day up until the new covid rules were announced. Now I’ve seen a dramatic fall off in people passing by and coming in. So I want to reassure people that the guidelines are in place here and their visit to the gallery would be safe.”

Montana Lowery

“I chose to use as much fast fashion as possible to highlight the impact fast fashion has on the environment and therefore these species,” Lowery added. The brands used in the photography included Asos, Brave Soul, Glamorous, H&M, Mango, Missguided, Monsoon (Accesorize), River Island, Stradivarius, Topshop and Zara.

There is a route to take which brings the visitor through different countries and the various endangered species displayed in the exhibition: the Annamite mountains (saola), Sumatra (orangutan, Sumatran elephant), Java (Javan rhino) and Nigeria (cross river gorilla, western chimpanzee).

In Asia, the River Ganges (red-crowned roofed turtle) and the Galapagos island (giant tortoise, sea turtles). In the front windows, there are images representing the amur leopard and tiger. Downstairs, Lowery uses the triptych format to represent blue macaws. The final photograph depicts the vaquita from the Gulf of Mexico. There are currently 32,000 species facing extinction.

The exhibition also includes a section on the different impacts various fabrics have on the environment. "By buying a 100 percent organic cotton t-shirt rather than non-organic we can half our carbon footprint," Lowery concluded.

The display will be on until the 13 October.

Photo credit: Montana Lowery


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