May 24, 2019

Fast Fashion Is Destroying the Earth

“Fashion brands, I’m talking to you: Enough is enough. Stop making me think it is normal to shop all the time, not just when I need something. You make flimsy dresses in cheap factories, and I snap them up. You drop new items every day, then send me emails–freakily customized to my tastes–telling me I must buy them right now, or they will sell out. And I believe you. To make room for new outfits, I schedule regular trips to Goodwill to donate the old ones, which will likely end up in a landfill anyway. (In California alone, Goodwill spends $7 million on dumping clothes.)

For the past three decades, fashion brands have perfected the art of manufacturing cheap clothing by relying on poorly paid labor in developing countries, inventing inexpensive plastic-based materials, and increasing the speed of production. And because most brands project what customers will want to buy six to nine months in advance, designers rarely get their predictions right. There are always some looks that nobody wants to buy. When brands churn out thousands of new looks every season, the problem of unsold inventory just scales up. The New York Times reports that a power plant in Vasteras, the Swedish town where H&M launched, relies partly on burning products that the company cannot sell as a fuel source.

Churning out so many clothes has enormous environmental costs that aren’t immediately obvious to consumers. But it is becoming increasingly clear that the fashion industry is contributing the the rapid destruction of our planet. A United Nations report says that we’re on track to increase the world’s temperature by 2.7 degrees by 2040, which will flood our coastlines, intensify droughts, and lead to food shortages. Activists, world leaders, and the public at large are just beginning to reckon with the way the fashion industry is accelerating the pace of climate change.”

Read more

JJ Editor's Daily Picks

"The results were surprising. The center-right coalition, led by Prime Minister Scott Morrison, remained in power against the opposition Labor party, which had led in every poll for years."

"Anger seldom works against Trump; he owns the currency and can always issue more of it. In addressing the rogue President directly, or speaking about him in the third person, Pelosi usually adopts a tone that is more sorrowful than angry..."

"I am Mizrahi, as are the majority of Jews in Israel today. We are of Middle Eastern and North African descent. Only about 30% of Israeli Jews are Ashkenazi, or the descendants of European Jews."

"Kids are exposed to plenty of controversial social issues on a daily basis. And if parents don’t want their kids to watch “Mr. Ratburn and the Special Someone,” they can turn off the TV."

"Are public-school teachers really underpaid? It’s a claim often made during teacher pay disputes, but the same data and statistical methods that produce the “teacher salary gap” lead to some ridiculous conclusions..."

"Tech companies are getting into the business of making cities. We need to stop Silicon Valley social engineering before things get even worse."

"Having a Library or Cafe Down the Block Could Change Your Life: Living close to public amenities—from parks to grocery stores—increases trust, decreases loneliness, and restores faith in local government."

"“What name . . . shall we give to the darkness of hell...?” The question of how we can name a place such as this is at the center of scholar Scott G. Bruce’s new anthology The Penguin Book of Hell."

"She had all six of her kids — ages 5, 4, 2 (twins) and 10 months (also twins!) in her 10-seater van. To get the kids a quick snack, Curry parked in front of the Cobbler’s Café."

"Nearly three-quarters of those surveyed said they grew up typically eating dinner at a kitchen table, but a little less than half said they do so now when eating at home."

"If you tied a rope tight around the Earth’s equator and then added a single yard of slack, would the extra material make any noticeable difference to someone standing on the ground?"

"While American Jewish women face attacks on our freedom and rising anti-Semitism, abortion opponents are appropriating Jewish history in order to push an agenda that hurts women."