Fast fashion is now poisoning African rivers

Rivers in some African countries are turning the colour of ink, and fast fashion is behind it. Untreated or partially treated effluent from textile factories, which is usually blue / indigo in colour, is killing the African rivers, according to a new report by non-profit Water Witness. Trade agreements, tax incentives and cheap labour have spurred rapid growth of the industry. The report claimed that Tanzania, Ethiopia, Lesotho and Madagascar did not comply with pollution control norms and released untreated waste comprising toxic metals, dyes, bleaching agents and other pollutants in the rivers. The brands that source clothes from African countries because of its lower production and labour costs are household names: Adidas, Asos, Calvin Klein, Carrefour, Disney, GAP, H&M, Mango, Marks and Spencer, Tommy Hilfiger, Puma and Zara.

Africa produces nearly 8 per cent of the world’s cotton, whose production adds significantly to the economy of 37 African countries. In each country, the textile and apparel sector contributed 20-60 per cent of export revenue and 5-30 per cent of the gross domestic product as of 2017, according to World Bank statistics.

— source | 18 Aug 2021

Nullius in verba


How the Fashion Industry Abandoned Its Workers

In 2019 the fashion industry generated $2.5trn in global revenues, making it one of the largest industries in the world. But when COVID-19 struck in 2020, it virtually collapsed.

Exports of raw materials from China began to slow in January last year, and subsequent lockdowns around the world meant shoppers stayed at home, retailers shuttered stores, and billions of dollars of orders were cancelled. Thousands of factories faced ruin, and many closed either temporarily or permanently.

In countries such as India, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka, tens of thousands of workers lost their jobs and thousands more were taken ill as COVID-19 spread through cramped production lines. Where people dared to speak up about unsafe or unfair conditions, they were often met with redundancy or brutality.

Many experts believe the pandemic has illuminated the exploitative nature of the world’s garment supply chains, which have undergone a radical transformation in recent decades.

“The fashion industry is at root an exploitative system based on the exploitation of a low-paid and undervalued workforce in producing countries,” according to Dominique Muller at Labour Behind the

— source | Tansy Hoskins | Jan 19, 2021

Nullius in verba

How the planet pays for fashion

The 19th Century Irish writer Oscar Wilde famously said, “Fashion is a form of ugliness so intolerable that we have to alter it every six months”. While he must have made the remark in a completely different context of ugliness and beauty, environmental engineers and scientists of the 21st century have discovered the most hideous and expensive aspect of fashion.

No, it’s not the expensive haute couture or the male skirt. It is the contribution fashion makes towards climate change. Although philistines may be excused for their nescience and vacuity in this matter, multiple studies unequivocally show that the fashion industry is one of the major polluting industries on this planet.

During my posting in Faridabad, I witnessed the multicoloured effluent which the jeans dyeing industry releases. Even the Central Pollution Control Board’s categorisation puts dyeing industries and tanneries in the list of ‘grossly polluting units’.

In the famous case of MC Mehta v/s Union of India, which is now synonymous with environmental legislation in India, the first type of units to face legal action were the tanneries along the Ganga which were shut down till they could created adequate capacities to treat the trade effluents

— source | Hardik Siroha | 06 Jan 2021

Nullius in verba

Judge Orders Arrest of Officers for 1986 Killing of U.S. Student

In Chile, a judge has ordered the arrest of two former army officers and five former noncommissioned officers over the 1986 killing of U.S. student Rodrigo Rojas. Rojas was just 19 years old when he was doused with gasoline and set on fire during a protest in Santiago under the U.S.-backed dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet. Another woman, Carmen Gloria Quintana, was severely disfigured in the attack, but survived.


Nullius in verba

Countering Fast Fashion with Eco-Wise Shopping

The word is out: “Fast fashion” is killing our planet. Low-cost, cheaply made clothes designed to be worn briefly until styles change are terrible for the environment. Consumers are buying and discarding clothing more often than previous generations. Between 2000 and 2014, global clothing production doubled, with shoppers purchasing roughly sixty percent more garments. The fashion industry is now responsible for ten percent of the earth’s carbon emissions and twenty percent of its wastewater, making it the second largest polluter of water in the world. And, when fashion has run its course, very few of these clothes are recycled: most of them end up in landfills.

— source | Amanda Abrams | 2019/11/29

Nullius in verba