Last week I posted an infographic outlining the basic process of cotton clothing production (Where Does your Cotton Tee Come From?). Understanding where our goods come from is interesting stuff just from a ‘how cool is that?” perspective, anyone seen how online supermarket stores operate? What understanding the production chain also does is lift the veil on HOW the stuff we buy is made, and so helps us decide how comfortable we are with what those processes mean for people and the environment.
So, further to the basics of the cotton clothes production process I want to draw attention to where things seem to have gone pretty pear shaped. I want to show (using additions to the original infographic) where in the process costs are cut and how. These are cuts that enable us to buy seriously cheap clothes (and lets face it some not so cheap because even high end fashion producers use the same process), and ensure some large textile & fashion businesses bring in handsome profits.
I have worked to verify all claims with valid evidence & reports , and for the interested reader there is a pretty extensive reference list (yeah yeah do an eye roll, I am a geek). If anyone sees any gaping holes, or has some evidence they think is more substantial or valid do swing it my way!
PS. I will follow this blog up with a final instalment on tangible solutions. So all is not lost, despair not people…..
Infographic: Environmental & Ethical Craziness in Cotton Clothing Production
1. Cotton & Pesticide Use
2. Cotton & Child Labour
3. Cotton Price & Market Influences
4. Cotton & Water Footprint
5. Textile Workers and Health & Safety
6. Textiles & Chemicals
7. Textile Workers & Working Conditions
8. Clothing Dyes http://www.greenpeace.org/international/en/campaigns/toxics/water/detox/intro/Eleven-flagship-hazardous-chemicals/
9. Garment Workers Pay & Wages
10. Fabric Dyeing & Water Footprint
11. Textile Industry & Pollution in Developing Countries
12. Garment Workers and Severance Pay
http://www.cleanclothes.org/issues/poverty-wages-living-wage , http://wiego.org/publications/globalization-and-homebased-workersfeminist-economics
13. Fabric Cutting and Fabric Waste
14. Garment Workers and Working Hours
http://wiego.org/informal-economy/occupational-groups/garment-workers , http://wiego.org/sites/wiego.org/files/resources/files/SEWA-Members-GarmentWorkers.pdf
15. Environmental Footprint in the Lifetime of Clothes
16. Outsourcing from Garment Factories
17. Screen printing Dyes
18. Chemical Softeners and Garment Finishing
19. Environmental impact of clothing packaging
http://www.eco-business.com/news/garment-exporters-protest-tax-on-plastic-bags/ ; http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polyethylene#Environmental_issues
20. Fast Fashion and the Increasing the Carbon Footprint of our Clothing
http://thoughtcatalog.com/shannon-whitehead/2014/02/6-things-you-should-know , http://www.wrap.org.uk/content/valuing-our-clothes
21. Women and the Garment Industry
http://wiego.org/informal-economy/occupational-groups/garment-workers ; http://pulitzercenter.org/reporting/asia-bangladesh-dhaka-garment-factories-women-independence