The first issue of Vogue Scandinavia has been published. The cover features Greta Thunberg (a Swedish climate activist), seated under a brightly colored canopy. She is wearing a large pink trench coat and stroking the nose with her left hand of an Icelandic horse. Thunberg is interviewed on a number of pages about her vision and experience with climate activism. Vogue Scandinavia’s launch coincided with the publication a UN report, which underlines the urgency and seriousness of the climate crisis.
Attention to nature and the climate are intertwined in the new Vogue edition, which serves Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Finland and Iceland. According to a press release, Vogue Scandinavia strives to be the’most sustainable publication in all of world’. The magazine’s packaging is made from plastic-free materials and two trees are planted to replace the tree that must be felled for the issue’s printing. The magazine is no longer sold in stores, but can be accessed online at Vogue. This prevents printed copies being left behind.
The magazine is already produced carbon neutrally, but it doesn’t stop there, says Mariann Jacobsson, head of sustainability at Vogue Scandinavia: “Our goal to give back more than what we consume. Vogue Scandinavia is striving to create a carbon-neutral production chain. It hopes that this will inspire others to make positive changes for the environment.”
According to the press release, Thunberg “represents all that Vogue Scandinavia stands for.” Thunberg joins the magazine in calling for greater responsibility in all industries, including fashion. Fashion companies should be conscious of the environmental impact they make and do all they can to minimize the negative effects.
This critical attitude is remarkable for a magazine like Vogue. Fashion magazines depend, in addition to subscription fees, mainly on advertising revenues from large fashion companies. This allows them to sell more clothes, not less. This begs the question of how Vogue Scandinavia will handle this future.
In an Instagram post in which Thunberg shared the interview, the activist criticised the fashion industry even more harshly. “The fashion industry is a major contributor to the climate emergency (…) Many make the impression that the fashion industry is beginning to take responsibility by spending large amounts of money on campaigns that claim to be sustainable, ethical and green. Let’s face it, almost all of this is greenwashing. It is impossible to produce fashion on a large-scale or consume it sustainably in this world. This is just one reason why we need to change the system.”
Vogue Italia, for its January 2020 issue, decided not to hire photographers nor book travel for shoots. The issue instead featured illustrated covers. The Italian edition didn’t use models for its covers earlier this year. Instead, it used animals. Fur and leather were kept to a minimum in editorials. There are also articles on climate change that appear occasionally, like a series interview with seven climate activists published in Vogue India last year.