March 23, 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

"Historic buildings and structures dating from the Byzantine era to the 20th century have been subjected to disastrous restorations in recent years here, prompting public outcry and fostering a cynical attitude toward planned projects."

"Fox News, normally the object of presidential praise on Twitter, was subjected to an unusual tweet-lashing over the weekend when the president went after three of its anchors."

"Opinion: I am not willing to cast a ballot for this current crop of scandal-mongers, gossips and PR-obsessed dilettantes who are tearing the country apart - don't we deserve better?"

"Listening to The Joe Rogan Experience is sort of like crashing an intense, intimate dinner party in which the only courses are whiskey and weed."

"At the Jewish Museum in London called “Jews, Money, Myth.” The show explores the ways in which Jews have been associated with money over the past 2,000 years."

"Footage of last week’s massacre in New Zealand, which the shooter streamed in real time via Facebook Live, quickly proliferated. The original 17-minute webcast was viewed fewer than 200 times and wasn’t immediately reported, Facebook says."

"When I hear that Jews are too powerful, my response is, we are not powerful enough. When I hear that AIPAC is too influential a lobby, I say it must become even more influential."

"Lost in migration: When Walter Benjamin fled France in 1940, he took a heavy black suitcase. Did it contain a typescript? Where is it now?"

"Someday my daughter will be asked if she wants to have a bat mitzvah. I’m inclined to let her make up her own mind... It's a lot of work to learn Hebrew, memorize parts of the Torah and prepare for a pressure-packed performance at such a young age."

"Tablet's Unorthodox Podcast: Gail Simmons, Shalom Auslander, Jill Kargman, Gil Hovav, and more on the Jewish foods that mean the most to them."

""Hitting someone is a foundational moral violation," Yale University Psychologist Paul Bloom wrote in a comment to the paper. "Indeed, these sorts of physical infractions are found to be morally wrong by the youngest babies we can test."

" Ilhan Omar in particular has garnered attention for tweets widely viewed by the Jewish community as trafficking in anti-Semitic tropes. The result has been the most media coverage of anti-Semitism in a decade..."