IT CAN hardly have escaped your notice that we are in the middle of a climate crisis as never before experienced. In 2014, the World Health Organization estimated that climate change, caused by human activities such as deforestation, mining, and carbon dioxide-emissions, would lead to 250,000 additional deaths each year from 2030, due to malnutrition, heat stress and an increase in diseases such as malaria and zika as warm zones spread to cover much of the earth, increasing the roaming area of mosquitoes.
As well as this “the sixth mass extinction” has been predicted (i.e. the sixth time in the entire history of the world where global fauna and animal species have experienced a major collapse in numbers and “biological annihilation”). But not this time because of catastrophic asteroid collisions, now it is due to man–made intervention. A report from the United Nations has stated that up to one million species are threatened with being wiped out.
So for the Winter 2019 issue of Glass, entitled Green, we could think of nothing more important than focusing on the climate crisis. Anyone who has been in central London recently will have seen the activists from Extinction Rebellion (XR) protesting or doing their non-violent direct action on the streets. We spoke to Roger Hallam, one of its co-founders, who explains to us that XR is “is a complete movement of body, soul and mind into a resistance against the most horrendous possibility imaginable”.
Veteran British fashion designers Katharine Hamnett and Vivienne Westwood have always ahead of their time and are true pioneers of using fashion to make crucial political statements and for this issue we learn how they and the up-and-coming Ukrainian designer Natasha Zinko, who also has sustainability at the centre of her work, are confronting the crisis. We also look at how Gucci and its parent company Kering’s Culture of Purpose mission are taking positive steps such as becoming carbon neutral and reducing its environmental footprint through a series of exciting initiatives. The Somalian-American activist, model, campaigner and UNICEF ambassador Halima Aden takes us through her journey from refugee camp to cover star.
As well as this, we spoke to some of the students behind the Architecture Education Declares manifesto who as a response to the catastrophe are demanding a much greater emphasis on the teaching of ecologically sound principles for architects. In our art section, the lauded American artist Mark Bradford explains how art can be used to support social activism.
The third edition of the newly standalone Glass Man, also themed Green, is abundant with talent too. We speak to acting talent George Mackay his upcoming film 1917 and going back to his roots. We meet Luka Sabbat, the young American soi-disant “creative entrepreneur”, to uncover his take on the fashion industry and living a sustainable lifestyle. Glass Man also meets Keir Gilchrist, the Atypical star who talks breaking down stigma and going green. And the star of The Good Place, William Jackson Harper discusses with us finding success, Midsommar and decision-making. While we learn from the lead singer of 5 Seconds of Summer, Luke Hemmings how he isn’t afraid to break the industry’s rules.
In our art section, we sit down with the leading – and always ahead-of-the-game – British artist Gavin Turk to talk about his show exploring the environmental consequences of human existence. And British-Ghanaian boxing sensation Joshua Buatsi discusses with Glass Man his reputation in and out of the ring and his rise in the boxing world and explains why Croydon is the true capital of London.
Despite the dire and desperate outlook for humanity, I believe if we take action now, we can save the planet.
by Caroline Simpson
Glass and Glass Man, Winter 2019, issue 40, Green, is available now. To make sure you never miss out on a copy of Glass and Glass Man, please visit here to subscribe