Thinking About Ethical Production In Day to Day Life

As I learn more about sustainability specifically in the fashion industry I have learned that it is a much wider problem than I previously thought. While reading articles and others’ insights I have learned that there are many problems creating pollution from the fashion industry. Every aspect from big businesses using sweatshops and underpaying employees to the factories polluting the earth to using resources that aren’t sustainable. Every aspect seems to be somewhat of an issue and contributes to the overall problem. One thing that Paul Krugman talked about in “Green Economics: How We Can Afford To Tackle Climate Change” was that poorer places tend to be at a disadvantage when it comes to sustainable options. He talked about how unethical and non-sustainable practices can be a result of economic greed resulting in punishment for underdeveloped nations. Many times countries that are not as developed are used as production sights. This becomes a problem for many reasons. For one the manufacturing factories produce lots of harmful chemicals polluting the air and nearby water sources. This then becomes a health problem for those living in the community around the factories. Many villages near major factories have experienced cancer outbreaks and other infectious diseases. Due to the poor infrastructure and lack of development healthcare is either inadequate or too expensive for those who are affected to afford. We begin to see that pollution in the fashion industry is an economic problem, a human rights problem, and overall a wicked problem. A lack of sustainable practice is causing severe damage to those who have the least amount of resources to combat their negative effects. As I learn more about these topics I try to bring them up to my friends and family, encouraging them to shop more sustainably and support businesses that produce goods ethically. I ask them where they shop and if they know how their goods were produced. I ask you that as well. Do you know where your shirt was made? Do you know if the person who made it was paid a livable salary to sew that? Most of the time the answer is no which is exactly why this is still such a big problem. I encourage you to research where you buy your clothes. Is a five-dollar top really worth putting an innocent person’s life at risk just so that you can get a trendy piece for an inexpensive price?

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