The clothing industry is one of the biggest polluters in the world, next only to Big Oil. Fashions change with the seasons, and often the in-vogue pieces of the moment last only that long—a moment. What this leads to is a revolving door of fabrics, dyes, textures, patterns and materials. Not only is the environment polluted, but also many foods grown in these environments . When you read the label of your shirt or dress, what does it read? Made in Bangladesh? Made in Thailand?
In 2013, the Rana Plaza in Bangladesh, a factory that produced cheap clothing for the West, collapsed and killed over 1,100 Bangladeshi workers, while injuring thousands others. Brands that ran factories within the Rana Plaza included the Gap, J.C. Penney, Walmart and The Children’s Place. Of course, we all need clothes. There’s no getting around that. Yet, the desire to have clothes simply to prove that one is trendy or in-the-know about current styles leads to a type of consumerism that can often be traced back to pitiful working conditions like those suffered by underpaid and abused workers of the Dante-esque scenarios in the Rana Plaza. Continue reading »