Transcript: Fast Fashion Blues | Jan 09, 2017

Steve sits in the studio. He's slim, clean-shaven, in his fifties, with short curly brown hair. He's wearing a blue suit, blue shirt, and checked blue tie.

A caption on screen reads "Fast fashion blues. @spaikin, @theagenda."

Steve says IT USED TO BE THAT
FASHION RETAILERS ROLLED OUT
DISTINCTIVE SPRING, SUMMER, FALL
AND WINTER FASHION LINES.
BUT IF YOU WALK INTO ONE OF THE
LARGER CHAIN CLOTHING RETAILERS
TODAY, BLINK AND YOU'LL MISS OUT
ON THEIR STOCK.
PRODUCT TURNS OVER CONSTANTLY...
IT'S SO CHEAP TO BUY AND EASY TO
CHURN OUT.
BUT THERE'S A COST TO CHEAP.
HERE TO TELL US WHY WE SHOULD
RECONSIDER INEXPENSIVE
MASS-PRODUCED CLOTHING:
SARAH PORTWAY, PhD CANDIDATE IN
APPAREL DESIGN AND AN INSTRUCTOR
OF FASHION DESIGN AND VISUAL
THINKING AT CORNELL UNIVERSITY
IN ITHACA, NEW YORK.

Sarah is in her thirties, with chin-length feathery brown hair in a bob and bangs. She's wearing glasses and a short-sleeved flowery dress.

Steve continues But you're from here originally
and it's great to have you here
at TVO.

Sarah says THANK YOU.

Steve says YOU ARE GOING TO
HAVE TO DO A BIT OF EDUCATING OF
THE HOST HERE.
I WILL CONFESS OFF THE TOP THAT
FASHION IS NOT NECESSARILY MY
STRONG SUIT.
SO WITH THAT IN MIND, FAST
FASHION.
WHAT IS THAT?

The caption changes to "Sarah Portway. Cornell University"
Then, it changes again to "What season is it anyway?"

Sarah says FAST FASHION
ESSENTIALLY DESCRIBES A
PRODUCTION MODEL.
WHEREAS MOST PEOPLE SORT OF
ASSOCIATE IT WITH CHEAP
CLOTHING, READILY AVAILABLE TO
THEM IN RETAILERS LIKE H and M AND
FOREVER 21, WHAT IT ACTUALLY
DESCRIBES ON THE BACK END IS A
PRODUCTION PRACTICE WHERE WE GO
FROM DESIGN OF THE GARMENT TO
RETAIL OF THE GARMENT IN 6 WEEKS
RATHER THAN THE TRADITIONAL TIME
LINE WHICH WOULD BE ABOUT 6
MONTHS.
SO YOU CAN SEE HOW THAT'S A
PRETTY DRAMATIC CONTRACTION IN
TIME, HENCE THE WORD FAST
FASHION.

Steve says THUS NO LONGER ANY
SPRING, SUMMER, FALL, WINTER
LINES.

Sarah says SEASONS ARE
PRETTY MUCH OVER, YEAH.

Steve says HOW DID THAT HAPPEN?

Sarah says THAT'S A
MULTIFACETED QUESTION, OF
COURSE.
IT HAPPENED FOR QUITE A FEW
REASONS.
YOU KNOW, FASHION THEORISTS SAY
THERE ARE SO MANY MIXED MESSAGES
GOING ON IN TERMS OF WHAT'S
TREND ON RIGHT NOW AND WE NEED
TO BUY MORE AND MORE AND WE NEED
A BUNCH OF DIFFERENT LOOKS FOR A
SEASON RATHER THAN ONE.
THAT'S ONE EXPLANATION.
ANOTHER EXPLANATION WOULD BE
MAKING MONEY.
YOU KNOW, IF YOU CAN SELL MORE
PRODUCT MORE QUICKLY AND SELL
THROUGH YOUR ENTIRE UNIT NUMBER,
LIKE SELL EVERY PRODUCT OF THAT
STYLE, THEN YOU'RE GOING TO MAKE
A BETTER PROFIT.
SO THESE ARE A FEW REASONS.
AND THEN ALSO CONSUMER DEMAND.
WE WANT TO GO SHOPPING AND WE
WANT, YOU KNOW, THE STORE TO
LOOK NEW EVERY TIME.
SO THAT'S EXCITING.

Steve says WE APPEAR TO HAVE AN
INSATIABLE DEMAND FOR NEW PRODUCT
ALWAYS.
IS THIS HEALTHY?

Sarah says THAT'S A
GREAT QUESTION.
IS IT HEALTHY FOR US?
I DON'T KNOW.
IT'S NICE TO HAVE A NEW DRESS
ALL THE TIME, I'LL SAY THAT.

Steve says IF YOU WERE TO GO
INTO THE TYPICAL MIDDLE CLASS
PERSON'S CLOSET, WHAT YOU WOULD
SEE TODAY COMPARED TO 50 OR 60
YEARS AGO, WHAT WOULD YOU SEE?

The caption changes to "Depreciating clothing."

Sarah says A LOT MORE
CLOTHING.
TO BRING IT BACK TO THE HEALTH
ISSUE IS NOT SO GREAT FOR THE
PLANET.
ONE OF THE STORIES THAT I SORT
OF LIKE TO TELL ABOUT HOW WE
KNOW WE HAVE MORE CLOTHES IS
JUST LOOK AT YOUR CLOSET.
IF YOU GO INTO A VICTORIAN HOME,
THE CLOSET IS PRETTY TINY AND
PROBABLY THE FIRST THING YOU'RE
GOING TO DO IS TURN THAT LITTLE
KID BEDROOM INTO A WALK-IN
CLOSET.
WHEREAS WHEN YOU LOOK AT A BRAND
NEW SHINY CONDO, YOU PROBABLY
ALREADY HAVE THE WALK-IN CLOSET
AND LESS LIVING SPACE.
YOU CAN SEE HOW WE'VE BEEN
DISPLACED BY OUR LIVING SPACE BY
OUR CLOTHING AND THAT EXTENDS TO
STUFF AS WELL, BUT, YEAH.

Steve says EVERYTHING, I
THOUGHT, IS SUPPOSED TO GO UP IN
PRICE AS THE YEARS GO ON, AND I
KNOW, FOR EXAMPLE, WHEN I WAS A
KID... WELL, MAYBE NOT KID, BUT
LET'S SAY 25, 30 YEARS AGO, IF I
WANTED TO BUY A T-SHIRT,
PROBABLY 20 BUCKS, MAYBE 25 FOR
A NICE T-SHIRT.
NOW?
9 dollars?

Sarah says EVEN 4 dollars 99.

Steve says AM I GETTING GOOD
QUALITY?

Sarah says ARE YOU
EXPECTING GOOD QUALITY FOR
4 dollars 99?

Steve says WHAT AM I GETTING
FOR 4 dollars 99.

The caption changes to "Sarah Portway, @TheSlowBlinker."

Sarah says SOMEONE
HASN'T BEEN BASICALLY ON THAT
DEAL AND I CAN TELL YOU IT'S
PROBABLY NOT THE BRAND OR
PROBABLY NOT THE PEOPLE WORKING
IN NORTH AMERICA.
THE DESIGNERS AND THE RETAIL
WORKERS, THEY GET PAID RETAIL,
MINIMUM WAGE, YOU KNOW, AND
THERE ARE ISSUES AROUND
INTERNSHIPS AND THAT KIND OF
THING.
BUT THE WORKERS MAKING THAT
T-SHIRT ARE THE ONES THAT LOSE
OUT.

Steve says THE WORKERS IN
BANGLADESH AND INDIA AND MOSTLY
WHERE THESE THINGS ARE MADE, RIGHT?

The caption changes to "Connect with us: @theagenda, TVO.org, YouTube, Facebook, Instagram."

Sarah says EXACTLY.
THE SORT OF LABOUR LAWS ARE VERY
LAX AND LABOUR IS MUCH CHEAPER
IN THOSE NATIONS AND THAT ALSO
EXPLAINS WHY THE PRICE HAS COME
DOWN ON T-SHIRTS.
AS DEVELOPING NATIONS HAVE SORT
OF ENTERED THE CLOTHING MARKET,
THEY'VE BEEN ABLE TO OFFER AN
EVEN MORE COMPETITIVE RATE ON
THEIR LABOUR AND THEY DO SO BY
EXPLOITING WORKERS WHO DIDN'T
HAVE A JOB BEFORE.

Steve says IF YOU TAKE THAT
PART OF... I APPRECIATE IT'S
DIFFICULT TO DO THIS.
IF YOU TAKE THAT OUT OF THE
EQUATION, THE NOTION THAT THE
SUPPLY LINE GETS MORE EFFICIENT,
EVERYBODY'S GOT A BETTER
BUSINESS MODEL, THEREFORE WE'RE
GOING TO PAY LESS NOW THAN WE
DID 25 YEARS AGO FOR SOMETHING,
I MEAN, IN THEORY, THAT'S KIND
OF HOW CAPITALISM WORKS, ISN'T IT?

Sarah says ABSOLUTELY.

Steve says AND THAT'S TO BE
ADMIRED AT SOME LEVEL, IS IT NOT?

Sarah says WELL, WE'RE
GETTING INTO A DIFFERENT
ARGUMENT NOW, AREN'T WE?

Steve says THAT'S THE QUESTION.
SO TELL ME?

Sarah says I WOULD SAY
THAT THERE IS ABSOLUTELY AN
ECONOMIC IMPERATIVE FOR BRANDS
TO OFFER THAT LOW PRICE TO THEIR
CUSTOMERS.
YOU KNOW, I SEE THAT.
I'M PRICE CONSCIOUS.
I'M A GRAD STUDENT, YOU KNOW?
BUT THERE'S ALSO SORT OF THIS
OTHER KIND OF UGLIER SIDE OF IT
WHERE, YOU KNOW, IF YOU'RE
LOOKING AT A 4.99 T-SHIRT, YOU
ONLY HAVE TO LOOK BACK A FEW
STEPS IN THE SUPPLY CHAIN.
THE RETAIL EMPLOYEE WHO CHECKED
YOU OUT THROUGH THE REGISTER AND
THINK ABOUT THE MANAGER OF THAT
STORE AND THE DISTRIBUTION
MANAGER FOR ALL THE LOCATIONS IN
THAT AREA, GO BACK, GO BACK, GO
BACK, THINK ABOUT THE BRAND, THE
DESIGNER, AND YOU CAN ACTUALLY
START TO GO ALL THE WAY BACK TO
THE PERSON WHO SEWED THE
GARMENT, PROBABLY MANY HANDS
SEWED EACH DIFFERENT PIECE, AND
FURTHER BACK THAN THAT, THE
PERSON WHO SPUN THE FABRIC,
FURTHER BACK THE PERSON WHO
DROVE THE FIBRE FROM THE FARM,
FURTHER BACK FROM THAT, THE
PERSON WHO PLANTED THE SEED.
A 4 dollars 99 T-SHIRT, NOT EVERYBODY
IS GOING TO GET A CUT OF THAT,
AND THAT DOESN'T INCLUDE
LOGISTICS AND TRANSPORTATION,
WAREHOUSE AND DISTRIBUTION
COSTS... YOU KNOW, SOME
MANUFACTURERS SHIP BY BOAT,
WHICH IS CHEAPER.
SOME USE AIR, MORE EXPENSIVE.
THE HYDRO.
KEEPING THE LIGHTS ON IN THE
STORE.

Steve says THERE IS A TON OF
DIFFERENT POINTS ALONG THE WAY
WHERE CLEARLY SOMEBODY'S GOT TO
MAKE SOME MONEY.
SO WHO IS WINNING AND WHO'S
LOSING IN THAT WHOLE SUPPLY
CHAIN YOU'VE JUST DESCRIBED?

Sarah says THAT'S A
CONTENTIOUS ISSUE TOO.
WE WIN.
WE GET AN INEXPENSIVE PRODUCT.
BUT WE GET A LOT OF PRODUCTS
THAT FALL APART AND DISPLACE US
FROM OUR OWN HOMES, AS WE
MENTIONED, IN THE WARDROBE.
WE SEE THIS ARGUMENT THAT
SELLING NATIONS ARE ABLE TO
DEVELOP ON THAT MONEY.
THERE'S THIS KIND OF RHETORIC
THAT BY MANUFACTURING IN
BANGLADESH, EVERYBODY GETS RISEN
UP AND TAKEN OUT OF POVERTY.
YOU KNOW, WE'VE SEEN THAT IN
COUNTRIES LIKE CHINA, FOR
EXAMPLE, WHEN THEY WENT INTO
APPAREL PRODUCTION, WE STARTED
MOVING INTO VALUE-ADDED GOODS
AND THAT WAS VERY ECONOMICALLY
BENEFICIAL.
BUT THERE'S SOME REAL STUMBLING
BLOCKS IN THE MEANTIME AND, YOU
KNOW, FORCED WORK, YOU KNOW,
LIVING IN A DORM NEXT TO A
FACTORY WHICH, I DON'T KNOW, I
LIKE A LITTLE WORK-LIFE
SEPARATION PERSONALLY.

Steve says WHERE ALONG THE WAY,
SOMEONE IS MAKING 3 CENTS A DAY
SO WE CAN WEAR THAT 5 dollar T-SHIRT.

Sarah says YEAH.
IF THAT.

Steve says DO YOU THINK PEOPLE
WHO GO INTO THE MALLS OF
AMERICA, LET'S PUT IT THAT WAY,
INTO THE DEPARTMENT STORES, INTO
THE BOUTIQUES AND WHO PUT DOWN
5 dollars FOR A T-SHIRT, UNDERSTAND THE
WHOLE PROCESS YOU JUST
DESCRIBED?

Sarah says OH, ABSOLUTELY NOT.
I DIDN'T UNTIL I STARTED DOING
THE RESEARCH.
I MEAN, I'VE BEEN WORKING IN
THIS FIELD FOR 7 YEARS NOW IN A
RESEARCH CAPACITY AND I THINK I
HAD ABOUT 10 YEARS OF RETAIL
EXPERIENCE BEFORE THAT.
SO ALL OF THAT STARTS TO KIND
OF, YOU KNOW, AMASS SOME
KNOWLEDGE ABOUT WHERE THIS STUFF
COMES FROM, BUT, I MEAN, WHEN
YOU LOOK AT HOW MANY PEOPLE
ACTUALLY ARE EVEN INTERESTED IN
THAT KIND OF THING OR WOULD
THINK ABOUT IT...

Steve says TELL ME THIS: WHY DO
YOU WANT A CONSUMER TO WORRY
ABOUT ANYTHING OTHER THAN HOW
MUCH THIS COSTS AND WHETHER IT'S
A QUALITY PRODUCT?

Sarah says WELL, THERE
ARE A LOT OF DECISIONS THAT GO
INTO BUYING CLOTHING.
IT'S NOT JUST COST AND QUALITY.
IT'S ALSO FIT, STYLE, COLOUR.
DOES THIS DRESS MAKE ME FEEL
SPECIAL?
THOSE ARE REALLY IMPORTANT
DECISIONS.

Steve says I GET THAT.
DO YOU WANT PEOPLE TO GO IN A
STORE TO BUY A 5 dollar T-SHIRT TO
THINK ABOUT, AS PART OF THEIR
DECISION-MAKING PROCESS, THE
LIFE OF THE PERSON 4,000
KILOMETRES AWAY WHO MADE THIS?

Sarah says I CERTAINLY WOULD.
AND I DO THINK IT'S OUR
RESPONSIBILITY AS CONSUMERS TO
THINK ABOUT THAT.
I PARTICULARLY... I MEAN, I HANG
OUT IN ITHACA WITH A LOT OF
ECO-MINDED PEOPLE WHO HAVE NEVER
THOUGHT ABOUT THEIR CLOTHING AT
ALL, AND SO THEY'LL GO FARTHER
TO SHOP AT AN ORGANIC GROCERY
STORE, SOCIALLY JUSTIFIED
GROCERY STORE, WHICH WE ARE
LUCKY IN ITHACA TO HAVE AMAZING
FOOD AVAILABLE, AND I LIKEN THIS
TO FOOD.
IF YOU'RE WILLING TO BUY ORGANIC
FOOD, WHY DON'T YOU THINK ABOUT
THAT IN CLOTHES?
EVEN PEOPLE DOING ORGANIC FOOD
ARE NOT THINKING ABOUT IT IN
THEIR CLOTHES.
I WOULD LOVE TO SEE THAT BRIDGE
GAPPED.
IT'S WORLD CUP OF THOSE REALLY
SELF-EVIDENT CONSUMPTION
QUESTIONS THAT SOMEHOW GOT
SKIPPED.
YOU KNOW, WE KNOW OIL'S THE
NUMBER ONE WORST POLLUTER IN THE
WORLD, AND ACTUALLY NOW WE KNOW
THAT FASHION'S NUMBER TWO.
AND THEN AGRICULTURE IS NUMBER
THREE.

Steve says FASHION IS THE
SECOND WORST POLLUTER IN THE WORLD?

Sarah says ABSOLUTELY.

Steve says EXPLAIN IT.

Sarah says WHEN YOU
LOOK AT WATER POLLUTION AND
LOGISTICS IN TRANSPORTATION,
CARBON EMISSIONS... I MEAN,
WATER POLLUTION ALONE IS PRETTY
NASTY STUFF.
I'VE HEARD A STORY ABOUT THIS
ONE VILLAGE JUST, YOU KNOW, A
COUPLE OF KILOMETRES DOWNSTREAM
FROM A TEXTILE FACTORY IN
CAMBODIA WHERE, OUT OF THE 20
BIRTHS LAST YEAR, 17 OF THEM HAD
SOME SORT OF DEFORMITY, AND 10
OF THEM WERE VERY, VERY OBVIOUS
AND DEBILITATING.
LIKE, THEY WERE GOING TO NEED
HELP THEIR WHOLE LIVES.

Steve says BECAUSE OF THE
CHEMICALS GOING IN THAT WATER SUPPLY.

Sarah says THAT IS WHAT
I WOULD SUPPOSE.
THEY'RE WASHING, EATING AND
DRINKING THIS WATER SO IT'S
PRETTY NASTY.

Steve says WHAT PERCENTAGE OF
PEOPLE THAT GO INTO A STORE TO
BUY A 5 dollar T-SHIRT DO YOU THINK
THINK ABOUT ALL OF THAT?

Sarah says OH,
PERCENTAGE?
ONE PERCENT?
TWO?

Steve says ONE OR TWO PEOPLE
OUT OF A HUNDRED THINK ABOUT THE
BACK STORY BEHIND THAT T-SHIRT
PURCHASE.

Sarah says IN MY
EXPERIENCE WORKING IN RETAIL,
I'VE HELPED THOUSANDS OF
CUSTOMERS OVER THE YEARS, I HAVE
VERY RARELY HEARD MANY PEOPLE
ASK TOO MANY QUESTIONS ABOUT
WHERE SOMETHING WAS MADE UNLESS
I WAS WORKING IN A LOCAL
BOUTIQUE.

Steve says AND SINCE YOU WANT
THEM TO THINK ABOUT THAT MORE
OFTEN, WHY DO YOU THINK THEY
AREN'T?

The caption changes to "Where does it all go?"

Sarah says I THINK IT'S
REALLY HARD TO THINK ABOUT IT.
YOU KNOW, IT'S SUCH A LEARNING
CURVE AND, YOU KNOW, I IMAGINE
PEOPLE WATCHING THIS PROGRAM ARE
EVEN SURPRISED THAT I MENTIONED
THE PERSON THAT PLANTED THE
SEED, YOU KNOW?
I USED TO TEACH A PROGRAM HERE
IN TORONTO IN PUBLIC SCHOOLS AND
I WOULD GO THROUGH THE SUPPLY
CHAIN WITH MY STUDENTS EVERY
DAY, I WOULD GET A NEW GRADE 4
THROUGH 8 CLASS AND I WOULD
TEACH THEM THE SUPPLY CHAIN AND
THE NUMBER OF THEM THAT ACTUALLY
KNEW THAT COTTON WAS A PLANT
ORIGINALLY WAS LIKE KIND OF
SHOCKING HOW LITTLE THERE WAS
THAT UNDERSTOOD THAT.
SO WHEN YOU THINK, THOSE PEOPLE
GET OLDER... MAYBE THEY KNOW
COTTON IS A PLANT ONCE THEY'RE
AN ADULT, BUT THEY STILL DON'T
THINK ABOUT ALL THE PEOPLE THAT
DID IT AND, YOU KNOW, THE NASTY
LABOUR HISTORY AROUND COTTON IS
ALSO SOMETHING WORTH MENTIONING.
IT'S NOT A FUN JOB TO PICK COTTON.
YEAH.

Steve says LET'S... I WANT TO
TRY A DIFFERENT ANGLE ON THIS.
MY HUNCH IS THERE ARE LOTS OF
PEOPLE WHO THINK, OKAY, FINE.
I GO IN AND BUY FAR MORE
CLOTHING THAN I EVER DID IN THE
PAST, AND THEREFORE I TURN OVER
MY WARDROBE MORE FREQUENTLY, AND
THEREFORE THE STUFF THAT I NO
LONGER WEAR, I'LL TAKE TO
GOODWILL OR THE SALVATION ARMY
AND SOMEBODY'S GOING TO ENJOY IT.
YOU KNOW, IT MIGHT BE ME FOR A
LITTLE WHILE, BUT ULTIMATELY,
SOMEBODY ELSE IS GOING TO ENJOY
IT FOR A WHILE AS WELL.
IS THAT ACCURATE?

Sarah says THAT'S A
REALLY BIG QUESTION AGAIN.
SO IT'S ACCURATE ON SOME LEVELS
AND IT'S INACCURATE ON OTHERS.
SO THERE ARE LOTS OF PLACES
WHERE WE GET RID OF OUR OLD
CLOTHES, ONE OF THEM BEING TO
TAKE THEM TO THE SALVATION ARMY,
FOR EXAMPLE, OR VALUE VILLAGE OR
SOMETHING LIKE THAT.
AND IN THOSE POINTS, THEY SORT
IT AND PUT IT ON THE FLOOR
BECAUSE THERE'S STUFF THAT
GETS... RIPPED NYLONS, FOR
EXAMPLE, THAT GET DONATED THAT
OBVIOUSLY ARE GOING TO THE
TRASH.
THERE'S ALSO THOSE BINS THAT YOU
SEE BY THE ROAD.
AND THOSE ARE A LITTLE MORE
INTERESTING FOR ME.
I HAVE A FRIEND WHO DID
EXTENSIVE AND ABSOLUTELY AMAZING
RESEARCH ON THIS IN NEW YORK
STATE, AUTUMN NEWELL, SHE IS AN
INCREDIBLE PERSON.
SHE FOUND THAT ACTUAL ITALY A
LOT OF THESE CLOTHES END UP...
ACTUALLY A LOT OF THESE CLOTHES
END UP GOING TO PRIVATE SORTING
FACILITIES.
MOST OF THOSE BOXES ARE OWNED BY
SOMEBODY, NOT A CHARITY, AND
THOSE WILL GO BACK TO A SORTING
FACILITY WHERE THE PRODUCTS WILL
BE SORTED BY TYPE.
LOW GRADE T-SHIRTS WILL GET
BUNDLED UP AND PROBABLY SENT TO
SOMEWHERE LIKE AFRICA IN THE
NAME OF DISASTER RELIEF... SCARE
QUOTES.
IF IT'S A PAIR OF VINTAGE LEVIS,
THAT'S GOING TO BE SENT TO JAPAN
BECAUSE THERE'S HIGH DOLLAR
VALUE ON THAT IN THE SECOND-HAND
MARKET.
SAME WITH THE USED ROLLING
STONES T-SHIRTS, RAMONES, THAT
KIND OF THING.
GREAT BUSINESS THERE.
THEN YOU GET YOUR MID-RANGE
PRODUCT THAT MIGHT GO TO A
DIFFERENT SORTING FACILITY WHERE
CONSIGNMENT PICKERS MIGHT FIND
IT, FOR EXAMPLE.
THERE ARE ALL THESE DIFFERENT
KIND OF ECHELONS OF VALUE THAT
GET SORTED OUT AND A LOT OF
PEOPLE WOULD NEVER KNOW ABOUT
THAT.
AND ACTUALLY IN TORONTO THEY'RE
VERY LUCKY TO HAVE TORONTO
RAGWORKS, IF I'M NOT MISTAKEN,
IT'S STILL KICKIN', WHERE THEY
SHRED UP OLD CLOTHING AND USE IT
TO SOP UP OIL SPILLS AND THAT
KIND OF THING IN AUTO
FACILITIES.

Steve says HOW MUCH OF IT ENDS
UP IN A LANDFILL SITE?

Sarah says SO MUCH.
IT'S QUITE REMARKABLE, ACTUALLY.
SO IN THE LAST 10 YEARS, THE
MOST RECENT STATISTICS THAT I
LOOKED AT IS SOMETHING LIKE 30 percent
OF OUR WASTE GOING INTO
LANDFILLS IS TEXTILES.

Steve says ALL THE CLOTHES WE
DON'T WANT ANYMORE.

Sarah says YEAH.

Steve says 30 percent?

Sarah says THAT'S UP
FROM ABOUT 10 percent 10, 15 YEARS
PRIOR.
I'M A LITTLE FOGGY ON THE EXACT
NUMBERS.
IF THERE'S SOMEONE OUT THERE
THAT'S LOOKING UP MY FACTS, HA
HA, I MIGHT BE A LITTLE SHAKY,
BUT IT'S IN THAT RANGE AND IT IS
SCARY BECAUSE A LOT OF THOSE
TEXT TILES COULD BE RECYCLED OR
REUSED.
SO IN TERMS OF WHAT WE'RE
PUTTING OUT, I'VE HEARD NUMBERS
AS HIGH AS, YOU KNOW, 20 POUNDS
OF CLOTHING A YEAR THAT WE'RE
THROWING AWAY BUT IT CHANGES
EVERY YEAR.

Steve says LET'S TRY THIS IN
OUR LAST COUPLE OF MINUTES HERE,
AND THAT IS, DO YOU THINK THAT
THERE'S ANYTHING WE CAN DO THAT
PRESUMABLY YOU WOULD LIKE TO SEE
HAPPEN WHICH WOULD GET PEOPLE
SHOPPING MORE ETHICALLY FOR
CLOTHING AND SORT OF GETTING
AWAY FROM THIS SORT OF WASTEFUL
5 dollar T-SHIRTS WHICH I'LL WEAR
TWICE AND THROW OUT IN SOME
LANDFILL SITE, ET CETERA.

Sarah says I STRUGGLE
WITH THAT AS A CONSUMER MYSELF.
THERE ARE SOME PRETTY CLEAR CUT
THINGS WE CAN DO.
THING ONE, MAKE SURE YOU LOVE IT
WHEN YOU BUY IT BECAUSE THEN
YOU'RE GOING TO WEAR IT, YOU
KNOW?
CAN YOU SEE YOURSELF WEARING IT
IN 5, 10 YEARS?
IF YOU CAN, THEN IT'S A GREAT
PURCHASE.
AND IF YOU CAN'T, MAYBE AT LEAST
THINK TWICE, YOU KNOW?
OR MAYBE IT'S AN EVENT AND YOU
NEED A DRESS.
DON'T BUY IT.
RENT IT.
OR BORROW IT FROM A FRIEND.
THERE ARE SOME GREAT KIND OF
CIRCULAR AND SHARING ECONOMIES
THAT ARE POPPING UP, ESPECIALLY
ONLINE, WHERE YOU CAN GET
SECOND-HAND MERCHANDISE OR RENT
FOR A VERY REASONABLE PRICE
CONSIDERING WHAT YOU WOULD SPEND
ON SOMETHING NEW THAT YOU WEAR
ONCE.
THOSE ARE A COUPLE WAYS.
YOU CAN ALSO SHOP FROM A
RETAILER THAT YOU KNOW ARE DOING
GOOD AND THAT'S AT LEAST VOTING
WITH YOUR DOLLAR.

The caption changes to "Producer: Meredith Martin, @MeredithMartin."

Steve says THANKS, SARAH.

Watch: Fast Fashion Blues