We’ve come across this claim on different social media platforms and chat groups.The claim is that the World Economic Forum (WEF) has “declared” (or will “command”) the abolishment of fashion by 2030. Buying clothing will be heavily regulated at a limit of 3 pieces per person, per year – and “humans will all wear a uniform.”
Most viral posts containing this claim link to an article by The People’s Voice, an online American news platform. As BDR has previously noticed used by other platforms, this article features a “fact-checked” label at the top. However, given that it reproduces entire chunks of text from its own source article, Infowars, the “fact-checked” label’s accuracy is dubious.According to the claim, a 2019 report “funded by the WEF” titled The Future of Urban Consumption in a 1.5°C World by the organisation Arup lays out an agenda to forcibly regulate individual consumption of clothing (among other products). The claim reproduces tables from the report such as the one below, which reflect different targets for the year 2030 — with “3 new clothing items per person per year” being an “ambitious target”.Pointing to these “targets” the People’s Voice article further claims that the WEF (by way of its alleged funding of this report) is aligned with these goals and has plans to enforce them. However, several points greatly undermine this claim.
Firstly, there is no evidence to suggest that the WEF funded the report in the first place. The report does not mention the WEF and specifically discloses its funding sources as being Arup, the University of Leeds, and Citi Foundation. Assigning intent to the WEF (and even making it part of the headline) is therefore entirely unsubstantiated.
The WEF itself also has no independent power to enforce or legislate, instead working through its member organisations and individuals within their own spheres. Similarly, Arup’s C40 Cities initiative is a collective of global mayors who have committed to (among other climate goals) keeping global heating below the 1.5°C goal of the Paris Agreement.
When read in the context of the entire report, the “targets” being used as evidence of a concrete plan are actually recommendations rather than proposed legislation. The report projects potential “consumption interventions” across different cities, identifying industries and products that could be reduced to cut carbon emissions. It also provides numerical targets that would achieve the big goal of reducing carbon emissions if met.
The report further highlights repeatedly that consumption interventions are subject to individual behaviour that is impossible to enforce. This again undermines the claim that any sort of limit on purchasing clothing is being proposed by the report at all. By ignoring parts of the report and picking out other sections, the claim removes vital context, brings in the WEF without evidence, and appears to wilfully misrepresent the report (particularly as the article purports to have “downloaded the report in full”). The “humans will all wear a uniform” claim also does not appear to be rooted in any source or evidence – appearing only in the headline and nowhere else throughout the article.
The WEF has not (nor could have) “declared” that fashion will be abolished by 2030. The report on consumption also does not suggest enforcing a limit on clothing purchases, merely presenting the projected environmental benefits of individual consumption being reduced. We therefore give this claim a rating of false.