This sentence on the sidelines of Arnold Schwarzenegger’s climate conference was immediately followed by the shitstorm: “Everyone can start with themselves. It starts with the clothes, that you don’t have to have ten ball gowns, but three ball gowns,” said Johanna Mikl-Leitner (ÖVP). In fact, it was not about “saving tips against inflation”, as some critics later implied. The Lower Austrian provincial governor was asked what everyone could do to combat climate change. But the example alone – no longer ten (!) ball gowns – caused a shake of the head and ridicule.
Now, a week and a half after the laughter in the net, the governor of Lower Austria intervenes with a letter to the editor in the “Krone”. It contains a kind of admission of guilt, an explanation – and on top of that the textile industry gets its fat.
At first, Mikl-Leitner appears guilty: “Politicians are often accused of a lack of error culture. I would like to counter that at this point and tell you quite frankly: I made a mistake.” When it came to climate change, she immediately thought of the textile industry, because it “causes around 10 percent of global CO2 emissions, which is more than all international air and shipping traffic combined, which makes it the second most harmful industry – right after the oil industry. ”
So you should think about it right away, “whether you really need one more and one more and one more piece of clothing – and of course I don’t exclude myself from that.” She herself was unhappy about the example she gave: “The fact that the last ball in the Hofburg and thus the unsuccessful example of the ball gowns came to mind during the said interview was of course a mistake that I myself made up for in a second annoyed the most. But said is said.”
Then Mikl-Leitner refers to a survey by the NGO Greenpeace Germany. According to her, “each consumer buys an average of 60 items of clothing a year. And one in five is almost never worn, according to this survey.” Thus, one could very well “make a contribution against CO2 pollution and for climate protection” through the buying behavior of clothes.