Next episode on January 19, 2020
EARTH TO THE FUTURE
Most of our clothing is not produced fairly. In the production of textiles, the environment is mostly extremely polluted and the working conditions on site are often unreasonable. Lots of water is used to manufacture and process clothing. In addition there are chemicals that are pure poison for workers and nature. In addition, workers in low-wage countries such as China, Bangladesh or India are very poorly paid and working conditions in the factories are catastrophic.
Child labor is not prohibited in these countries and many children have to work to make a living for their families. 90 percent of all clothing is produced in low-wage countries because the production there is so cheap. Something has to change in this situation! But big profits are for the industry and for most people cheap clothes are more important than the welfare of the workers and the environment.
The wish for the future
I hope that in the future clothes will be manufactured in such a way that nature does not suffer. I find it terrible to use toxic chemicals for coloring and for the plants. That definitely has to change. It would be best if the clothes weren’t so expensive, but the workers were well paid and treated well.
The long way of the t-shirt
Hard to believe, but until a t-shirt hangs in the store for sale, it is sent around 20,000 kilometers around the world: cotton is grown in India. In Turkey, yarn is spun from the cotton. The yarn is woven into fabric in Taiwan. The finishing of the fabric, for example by dyeing, bleaching or other techniques, is carried out in Poland. Then the finished fabric in Bangladesh is sewn into clothing, for example shirts. In the end, the t-shirt ends up in our stores. This long way from cotton on the bush to the finished T-shirt is accepted because the production costs in these countries are very low and the environment and the rights of the workers there are not as well protected as we are.
Fair Kle >
There are now companies that produce clothing fairly and sustainably. Felix visits Stefan Niethammer in his t-shirt warehouse. The company of Stefan and his friends has t-shirts made that are fairly produced, climate-neutral and made from organic cotton. They use organic cotton with a low pesticide content, which they buy at fair prices. To be on the safe side, Stefan looked at the cooperative in India that stands for fair cotton cultivation. There he made sure that the cultivation and further production, such as spinning the cotton, dyeing the fabrics and short production routes, are ecologically correct.
The T-shirts are sewn near the other production facilities in India. For this, Stefan and his Friends one own Sewing shop founded to create fair wages and good working conditions for workers. A T-shirt from Stefan’s company costs an average of 25 euros. Pay attention to the appropriate seals when buying! This is the only way to ensure that the clothing is also made in a fair and environmentally friendly manner.
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