Last night I watched The Passionate Eye on CBC with particular interest, it was about the fashion industry and the voracious appetite for disposable clothing worldwide. The truth is shocking! I had read about the dyes and other chemicals that were emitted into the water supply by garment factories but had no idea the extent with which these companies are polluting the planet! It's disgusting how the people living in the area who depend on one particular river/stream/canal for their drinking/bathing/washing water are affected. They have rashes, are becoming sick with diseases that are totally preventable, there are dead animals floating in the rivers because the water they drink is so toxic making the water supply even more toxic! The water sample shown in the program is BLACK and stinks, no wonder with dead animals floating around in it! A lab found mercury, arsenic, lead among other things in the water and yet the manufacturers keep producing in the name of greed; where can the cheapest labour be found? Where can the officials be easily bribed to look the other way?
This culture will not change unless WE, the consumers fight back with our wallets and really think about where our garments come from before making the purchase. I, for one WILL NOT purchase a pair of stone-washed jeans. They are the largest polluters of fresh water in the garment industry. It's nice to have a soft pair of denim that has that worn in feeling isn't it? Well it's that feeling and all the "worn" looks with the holes that are the most washed in fresh water supplies around the world! Do you want to contribute to this? I don't.
Clothing should not be "disposable", worn once or twice and then tossed just because it's cheap and one can afford it. It should be an investment in quality that will last for years, not just buy clothes for sake of buying it or to "keep up with the Joneses"! We should all aim for quality vs quantity, buy only products that are manufactured responsibly and ask for proof of where they are made materials used etc. Companies should be mandated to disclose this information, they won't do it voluntarily so it should be a global law in my opinion.
I am trying to do my small part by training tailors who can produce quality garments that stand the test of time using discretion when choosing materials to make sure their environmental footprint is minimal or at least sustainable. I usually comment on work issues rather than get political but this is an issue that cannot be ignored, where are the lobbyists/protesters/environmentalists? Why are they not taking issue with the fact that our drinking water, a necessity of life for everyone, is dwindling? Global warming has been recognized as a threat to us why is the loss of water not?
Please purchase responsibly.
Maria Calautti, "Jack of all trades"