ETHICAL ISSUES IN YOUR WARDROBE
Ethical issues is an issue that has been surrounding fashion for many years now. These issues stretch fro
m sweat shops in less developed countries to the production of cotton. Mainly, anything that effects either human rights, animal rights or the environment
The Production of Cotton
Cotton is mainly grown in countries such as Brazil, Turkey, Pakistan and the southern states of America. The Aral sea is situated in Asia between Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan.
The Aral sea was ‘once the world’s fourth largest inland lake with a thriving ecosystem, has shrunk to just 15% of its original size, mainly as a result of irrigation for the cotton industry.’ (quote taken from ‘PEOPLE & PLANET- The cost of cotton: Dirty Cotton). Cotton needs enormous amounts of water to grow. It is this that resulted in the shrinkage of the lake.
Water usage is not the only ethical issue surrounding the growth of cotton. The use of pesticides is also a problem. ‘Figures indicate that nearly 2 billion USD worth of pesticides are used annually, of which pesticides worth about 819 million USD have been declared toxic as per the guidelines of the who.’ (quote taken from http://www.firbre2fashion.com). Pesticides are transferred into waterways which the people and animals who live around the cotton fields drink. Containers that used to contain pesticides get reused by people. Pesticide poisoning can cause illness and in extreme cases even death.
Sweatshops are defined by Google as ‘a factory or workshop, especially in the clothing industry, where manual workers are employed at very low wages for long hours and under poor conditions.’ One of the most recent eye openers about sweatshops and how poor the conditions are was a building collapsing in Bangladesh. This disaster happened on April 24th 2013. It killed more than 1,100 innocent workers. the building collapsed due to a structural failure which should have been addressed but was not. Cracks were noticed the day before the collapse and warnings were given to the factory owners telling them not to use the building. These warnings were ignored and resulted in the death or injury of over 3,000 people. Soon after this, it was found out that Primark used this factory for the cheap production of some of their garments.
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- The Story of Cotton- Where Cotton Grows. 2015. The Story of Cotton- Where Cotton Grows. [ONLINE] Available at: https://www.cotton.org/pubs/cottoncounts/story/where.cfm. [Accessed 16 December 2015].
- Ethical issues in fashion – the what, when, why, how and who – Free Fashion Industry Articles – Fibre2fashion.com. 2015. Ethical issues in fashion – the what, when, why, how and who – Free Fashion Industry Articles – Fibre2fashion.com. [ONLINE] Available at: http://www.fibre2fashion.com/industry-article/3/280/ethical-issues-in-fashion1.asp. [Accessed 16 December 2015].
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- 2013 Savar building collapse – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. 2015. 2013 Savar building collapse – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. [ONLINE] Available at: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2013_Savar_building_collapse. [Accessed 16 December 2015].