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How fast fashion hurts environment, workers, society


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The overabundance of fast fashion—readily available, inexpensively made clothing—has created an environmental and social justice crisis, claims a new paper from an expert on environmental health at Washington University in St. Louis.

"From the growth of water-intensive cotton, to the release of untreated dyes into local water sources, to worker's low wages and poor working conditions, the environmental and  involved in textile manufacturing are widespread," said Christine Ekenga, assistant professor at the Brown School and co-author of the paper "The Global Environmental Injustice of Fast Fashion," published in the journal Environmental Health."This is a massive problem," Ekenga said. "The disproportionate environmental and social impacts of  warrant its classification as an issue of global environmental injustice."

In the paper, Ekenga and her co-authors—Rachel Bick, MPH '18, and Erika Halsey, MPH '18—assert that negative consequences at each step of the fast-fashion supply chain have created a global environmental justice dilemma.

"While fast fashion offers consumers an opportunity to buy more clothes for less, those who work in or live near textile manufacturing facilities bear a disproportionate burden of  hazards," the authors wrote.

"Furthermore, increased consumption patterns have created millions of tons of textile waste in landfills and unregulated settings. This is particularly applicable to low- and  (LMICs) as much of this waste ends up in second-hand clothing markets. These LMICs often lack the supports and resources necessary to develop and enforce environmental and occupational safeguards to protect human health."

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Posted by on Jan 14 2019. Filed under Environmental livelihood. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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