Goa-based designer Wendell Rodricks, who skipped the first edition of India Resort Fashion Week (IRFW), has decided to boycott it again this year. He says he will protest the use of beaches for the event.
IRFW’s debut edition was held at the Grand Hyatt in Goa and the finale took place at Marbela Beach Resort, Morjim. The second edition finale is scheduled at Candolim beach and the organisers deny damaging environment in any which way.
“I will not participate in IRFW as I am completely against it because last year they did something completely environmentally damaging,” Rodricks said.
“They [the organisers] killed all the turtle eggs on our beaches. I will not take part just as a stand because I am an environmentalist and activist for Goa. You will not see me in ramp and I will actually try to stop it,” he added.
He was speaking on the sidelines of the opening day of Wills Lifestyle India Fashion Week (WIFW) spring-summer edition that started on Saturday.
The ace designer, who hails from the picturesque riverside village of Colvale in Goa, plans to request the state authorities to stop giving permission for fashion events on beaches.
“First of all, I am going to approach the government and tell the tourist department that they should stop promoting things which are destroying our beaches. I am sure, if organisers would have shown interest in organising such shows at Chowpatty or Juhu beach in Mumbai, they would have never got a permission,” he added.
Rodricks’ concern is that last year the event coincided with the full moon, which marks arrival of Olive Ridley turtles for nesting.
“If the turtles sense disturbance, they may visit our shores less and less. And that would be the ultimate tragedy...” he said.
IRFW organisers, however, deny disturbing the turtles.
“These allegations are completely false. IRFW 2011 had all licenses and permissions to run the show. The show was run on a private beach and in no way was endangering the turtles,” said a spokesperson for IRFW.
“Even for 2012, we have acquired all licenses and permissions to run the property. Also, as a company we are very conscious of the environment and would never do something knowingly or unknowingly to harm the nature. The idea behind IRFW is to promote tourism in Goa and to make a mark for Indian designers on the map of fashion exclusively for resort wear,” the spokesperson added.