Need a new shirt? Got a buck or two? Clothes are cheaper than ever, but apparel companies are still making billions. How? By cutting corners in their supply chains with cheap labor (ahem, tweens) and by moving overseas to skirt safety and environmental laws. As John Oliver discusses in the latest episode of Last Week Tonight, fast fashion has more than just an image problem.
The textile industry emits 10 percent of the world's greenhouse gases and uses around 20,000 chemicals, including dyes, bleaches, and detergents. Turns out some of those substances may cause cancer (but I'm sure those sweatshops have good health plans, right?). Thankfully, the news isn’t all bad. Some factory owners and designers are stitching together greener business practices—and that, my fashionistas, is so next season.
onEarth provides reporting and analysis about environmental science, policy, and culture. All opinions expressed are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the policies or positions of NRDC. Learn more or follow us on Facebook and Twitter.