Vogue Italia's New Issue Features No Photos, in Effort to Reduce Environmental Impact Caused by Photoshoots

Vogue Italia's New Issue Features No Photos, in Effort to Reduce Environmental Impact Caused by Photoshoots

Italian Vogue has announced that the print magazine’s first issue of 2020 will include no photographs. The January edition has been curated "without traveling, shipping clothes or polluting in any way,” in an effort to counteract the “significant environmental impact associated with publishing a fashion magazine.”

Instead, the issue will be packed with hand-drawn illustrations. Vogue Italia’s editor-in-chief Emanuele Farneti announced in a statement on the website last week his intentions to “launch a message.” He said:

In the global debate on sustainability, and the values that Vogue has pledged to promote over the next decade ... there is one aspect that is particularly dear to me: intellectual honesty. In our case, this means admitting that there is a significant environmental impact associated with publishing a fashion magazine.

He estimates the September issue required the efforts of 150 people, 20 flights, and at least a dozen train journeys. He said use of plastic and electricity, as well as food waste of the eight photo stories within the magazine, were all contributing factors to the decision.

The official Vogue Italia Instagram account has posted seven different illustrated covers to its feed. The editorial content will also draw attention to the issue of sustainability in the fashion industry, with particular focus on recycling clothes and reducing waste in garment manufacturing.

The January issue's editorial content is also set to focus on sustainability in the fashion industry. The magazine's featured stories will explore topics including clothes recycling and reducing waste in garment manufacturing.

It’s alleged the parent company, Condé Nast Italia, will only source compostable plastic to wrap the magazine going forward.

Lead image by Qingbao Meng on Unsplash.

Log in or register to post comments

23 Comments

Dan E's picture

Thats good. And when the people that work there get rid of their cars, toss there phones because of the toxic batteries, stop using computers and printers at the office and stop using trees to make paper and the chemicals at the printing press, they are hypocrites and cannot be taken seriously. I wonder how many of the company heads at Vogue fly in private jets that burn up between 300-500 gallons of gas an hour

Michael Kormos's picture

My background is in advertising. I can tell you there were hundreds of copies of the cover alone printed, corrected, edited, enhanced, etc. before it was signed off for press. Nevermind the actual pages and articles that make up the magazine. But Vogue isn’t to blame. This is social-trend opportunism at its best.

Rob Mynard's picture

So your argument it that unless people are willing to go 100% there's no point even trying? That many small changes don't add up to a larger impact?

Mark Houston's picture

They could stop printing too. Save some trees.

David Pavlich's picture

What a load of carp! Get over yourself.

Black Z Eddie .'s picture

Such a pseudo act. Then what, business as usual.

Dana Goldstein's picture

Franca Sozzani, Vogue Italia’s late, great editor who was revered in the industry, is somewhere up there crying. What nonsense. It’s ITALY for Gd sake, how much of a carbon footprint do you have to leave to have beautiful places to shoot? Really sad for a magazine considered the gold standard of fashion photography for many years.

Tony Clark's picture

Vogue also declined all fashion advertising content for the edition?

Billy Walker's picture

Please, get a grip on yourself. Maybe, if we as a culture, ignore fashion totally, we can get hungry fashion photographers on a local soup line so there are minimal travel aspects. Then, if you could get women as a whole to stop being concerned about how beautiful they look in whoever's clothing, get them to stop buying makeup thereby shutting the makeup industry down, and, oh yea, help lawn mowers to pollute even less then they do now in California, we can all go home to our mud huts and just go to sleep when the Sun goes down.

Sounds like a plan to me...

marcgabor's picture

So far people have only commented on what they believe to be some form of gross hypocrisy. Nobody has commented on how the covers actually look.

Instead of seeing this as some sort of attempt by Vogue to solve the world's problems, I see it as Vogue being inspired by a global trend towards sustainable practices and placed a constraint on their creative dept to create something different. There have been plenty of articles written on this site about the value of placing constraints on yourself in order to grow creatively. Shoot with one lens, shoot with one camera, shoot only in this kind of light, etc...

If we take politics and idealism out of the conversation and keep the focus on the creative, I think these covers are ABSOLUTELY BEAUTIFUL. They are classy and timeless. They feel old and new all at once. They also give some very talented visual artists a rare platform to showcase their art.

I'm a photographer but I sometimes feel like photography is overrated. Not every band needs a photo on their album cover, not everybody needs a big print on their wall, sometimes paintings, drawings, collages, etc... are far more interesting and in my opinion far classier than most photography.

Dana Goldstein's picture

I’m all for illustration, and if they said they will make more of an effort to use illustrators, that would be fine. This is mainly a stunt. Next month it will be back to business. Remember, their advertisers are also the companies whose clothes and accessories are featured in those editorials.

marcgabor's picture

So what if it's a stunt? they're in publishing and advertising. It's all about stunts. At least it's a stunt with a positive message. Making 1 issue that's less wasteful is better than 0 issues.

marcgabor's picture

One last thing:

What made Vogue so successful in the first place was that it was the first fashion magazine to hire fine art photographers (Alfred Stieglitz) to shoot fashion. They understood that fashion was art and that art was fashionable. These covers look so much more fashionable and classy than yet another cover featuring a celebrity styled by the same stylists that always get used shot by the same revolving cast of photographers. I'm not saying they should stop doing that but breaking it up every once in a while makes sense and it definitely catches my eye next to all the other magazines.

Jeff Walsh's picture

That's probably going to be the dumbest thing I read all day. It's such a blatant, and weak, publicity move. Yes, let's stop the environmental impact of photo shoots *eye roll* but we'll keep destroying trees to print our magazine on paper.

David Love's picture

Cool, next month photogs should refuse to shoot for them to save trees these mags use.

Keith Meinhold's picture

Sounds more like a budget cutting exercise being marketed as something else. Every print publication is under pressure.

Christos Dikos's picture

We are approaching peak virtue signaling.

Jeff Walsh's picture

wtf is virtue signaling

Dana Goldstein's picture

Virtue signaling is when someone says all the "right" politically correct things in order to be seen as having the "acceptable" point of view, whether it's on climate, politics, gender etc., but it's less about personal conviction and more about making a show of their political correctness.

Jeff Walsh's picture

Gotcha, and thank you for answering.

Dana Goldstein's picture

Every time I think we've hit peak, something else comes along.

John Ohle's picture

Not only is there a carbon usage for printing the magazine, what about the transport costs, in carbon terms, for delivery of the magazine to all the outlets? Wouldn't it be better if the magazine was an online only edition?

Also, the clothes could have been photographed by a photographer local to the designer and the images emailed in. No need to travel to fancy locations.

But somehow I dont think either of my ideas would get the magazine any publicity.

Dorin Andreescu's picture

Half of Vogue is made like they said. Rest is normal pictures.