Climate campaigners Extinction Rebellion staged a die-in protest inside the Arndale Centre in Manchester on Saturday 11th May.

The protesters laid down on the shopping centre floor to call for a boycott of buying new clothes for a year.

The demonstration lasted 11 minutes to represent the 11 years humanity have left to prevent irreversible damage from climate change.

XR Manchester protestors staging their die-in protest in the Arndale Centre.               Photo Credit: Molly Goodwin

The aim of the boycott is to raise awareness about the impact the textile industry has on the environment, and to put pressure on the fashion sector to produce more sustainable items and reduce the amount of pollution they emit.

This is part of a nation-wide Extinction Rebellion campaign called #XR52 which involves 52 weeks of direct action, with this year’s action being to avoid purchasing new clothes.

The calls to action always aim to be peaceful while using civil disobedience as their protesting tactic.

42 people took part in the die-in and security surrounded the peaceful protestors.

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The protest in Manchester is just one of a series of die-ins that has been staged around the world by Extinction Rebellion.

Open Voice Community Choir sang outside the Arndale Centre to show their support for XR.

Open Voice Community singing in Manchester city centre. Video Credit: Molly Goodwin
David McDonald, of Wexford, Ireland, who took part in the demonstration said Extinction Rebellion Manchester want people to be more conscious about the impact the fashion industry has on the environment.

Mr McDonald said: “We would like people to, not stop buying things completely, but to at least think twice before they buy something that they don’t really need.

“I’m seriously considering whether I want to have children in the future in a world where we don’t know where we’re heading.”

Photo Credit: Molly Goodwin

Jake Rigby, another XR protestor said: “We have to turn the consumer model on its head as it’s not working.

He said: “We need to get away from this idea that economic growth is the absolute goal in society because it’s not.

“It’s the thing that’s destroying the planet, killing people all over the world and causing hundreds of species to go extinct every day.”

XR protestor, Jo Eyden, of Sale, Cheshire said a die-in protest makes people pay more attention to the message.

She said: “The minute somebody falls down its unexpected and it’s unusual.”

“People take notice and look when someone lies down in the middle of an open space, so when you have a slogan laid on top of you it’s an effective technique to make people aware.”

Photo Credit: Molly Goodwin

Eyden said people not buying new clothes for a year is achievable as the amount of clothes that have already been bought mean there is enough alternative places to source clothes from including charity shops, jumble sales, and clothes swaps.

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Responses from a survey that asked if respondents would stop buying new clothes for a year (Above)

XR will continue their campaign until 30th April 2020 however if they feel no meaningful change has been made then the boycott with be renewed for another year.

Find a timeline here to help learn more about Extinction Rebellion and their previous activism. 

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