MILAN – Fashion industry veteran Elio Fiorucci, an ambassador for Expo 2015, now underway in Milan, offered his two cents on its theme (“Feeding the Planet: Energy for Life”) in a lengthy manifesto released Wednesday.
Noting that in the decades immediately following World War II many people were attracted to pacifist ideals, the vegetarian Fiorucci said that unfortunately, “over time we’ve lost sight of the goals we had set, and, having overcome our fears, many of us returned to the same egocentric attitudes we had before, the same cruel habits and attitudes.”
“I did this, too, for a long time, and so I have no intention of cursing everyone. I would just like to awaken people’s consciences, because one needs consistency and courage to change and we need to do that here and now: the planet is sending us unmistakable signs of suffering,” Fiorucci wrote, adding: “As Gandhi suggested, ‘we must be the change we want to see.’ So let’s open our eyes and our hearts and finally take an honest, clear look at the violence humans show towards each other and especially toward animals.”
He noted that just because other animals communicate differently than humans, people should not feel entitled to be cruel.
“Change begins only with us, and it starts with our eating habits, with our choices at the supermarket, at restaurants and in clothing stores. Information now reaches us everywhere and we can no longer pretend not to know what happens in factory farms, which produce dangerous CO2 emissions,” Fiorucci continued, criticizing the living conditions of animals raised for meat, and the effects on the environment of large butchering operations. “But how does suffering taste?…We go on blindly, knowing perfectly and scientifically well that meat causes many cases of cancer in us, like smoking,” he said.
Returning to the topic of Expo, Fiorucci urged people to think about where their food comes from and to be sensitive to the planet’s increasingly limited resources.
“I would like to reintroduce two words currently considered obsolete into our everyday vocabulary. The first is waste, because our excesses have a negative impact on the planet’s balance, limiting all our resources. Let us, then, try to translate into a code of ethics the rules for a harmonious coexistence, of equal sharing, putting on paper our obligations toward animals, nature, the environment — toward one another,” Fiorucci concluded. “In this way, we’ll automatically rediscover the value of the second word: empathy.”
Fiorucci recently partnered with Italy’s OVS chain for a series of hand-painted products inspired by Saint Francis of Assisi’s “The Canticle of Creation.” He also signed on as tutor to a group of fashion students at Milan’s Istituto Marangoni who are developing Expo graphic designs.
Other Expo ambassadors include chef Carlo Cracco, soccer player Gianluigi Buffon, Kartell president and owner Claudio Luti, and designer Paul Smith, among many.