How fast fashion adds to the world’s clothing waste problem (Marketplace)

How fast fashion adds to the world’s clothing waste problem (Marketplace)


[ ♪♪ ]>>Charlsie: This is
“Marketplace.”>>Whoa.>>Pajamas, old dresses.>>Oh, my gosh!>>Charlsie: Where do all
your old clothes really end up?>>Ultimately, it is going
to end up in a landfill.>>Charlsie: We follow
the trail around the world. The high cost of fast fashion. This is your “Marketplace.” I’m here checking out some of
the biggest fashion chains in the world but I’m not
shopping for new clothes. I’m actually trying to get
rid of some of my old ones. So these are my
all-time favourite sweat pants from college. These, I washed them and
they totally shrunk. These were also super cheap. This is just like
an old tee-shirt. It was black at one
point in its life. Some retailers are on a mission. They want your unwanted clothes,
and some are competing with charities for it. There’s a new bin in town and
the message is clear: Don’t throw old clothes
in the garbage, dump them here. They’ll take curtains,
they’ll take jeans. They’ll even take
your old underwear. [ ♪♪ ]>>Charlsie: Drop off old
clothes and get a coupon to save money when
you buy new ones.>>Charlsie: But before I
part with my old clothes, I’ve got a few more questions. These bins sure
make us all feel good. But are they doing as
much good as we think? Look at this! Look at these bags! Most of us are like the
Bretons and the Palmas in Markham, Ontario. Somehow, we end up
with too many clothes.>>Emily, what’s in here?>>Old clothes that
are too small for me.>>Charlsie: They purge
a few times a year, normally dropping their
haul in a charity bin.>>Whoa!>>Stuff like these
have, like, holes in them.>>Charlsie: This isn’t
just a pile of clothes. It’s now a pile
of textile waste. And we want to show the kids just how big the
problem really is. [ ♪♪ ] Are you guys ready to go inside
and see what happens to all those clothes that you donate?>>Yes.>>All right.
Let’s go inside. [ ♪♪ ] Go on in, take a look.>>Whoa! [ ♪♪ ]>>Clothes!
>>Clothes!>>That’s clothes.>>Clothes.
>>Do you see that?>>Oh, my gosh.>>Clothes!>>That’s a crazy pile.>>Charlsie: And get this,
all of this is what’s leftover, the stuff no one wants. The stuff that
thrift stores can’t sell. All those clothes you
guys piled up yesterday, this is where it can end up.>>It’s a lot of clothes.>>It wasn’t what I
was expecting to see.>>Charlsie: One warehouse,
more than 200,000 pounds of textile waste each week. And that’s just from
in and around Toronto.>>Across the country, we’ve got
nine other locations similar to this one. The last year or two years,
probably a 15 to 20% growth in the overall volume of
textiles that are coming in.>>Charlsie: Tonny Colyn is the
head of donations for Salvation Army Canada. So, how do you think fast
fashion has impacted…this?>>All of this. It’s had a massive effect. And all of that stuff
has to go somewhere.>>Charlsie: The dads
of these two families, Michael Palma and Norman
Breton can’t believe it.>>Their coats or
boots might be okay, but they want something new.>>If they need or if they
want, it’s a big question. A lot of times they want
stuff but they don’t need it.>>Charlsie: Still, we can’t
seem to get our hands on fast fashion fast enough. Cheap, trendy,
disposable clothes. And we’re even
bragging about it.>>And I ended up with
a bag full of clothes.>>Charlsie: We’re all
buying too much, 400% more, since the 1980’s.>>The quality isn’t all
that great but the prices are fantastic.>>Charlsie: But not all of
our old clothes make it to the donation bin. Most of it, 85%,
ends up in landfills. In North America,
it’s estimated to be at least 25 billion pounds a year. In Canada alone, imagine a
mountain three times the size of Toronto’s Rogers Centre Stadium
where they don’t biodegrade easily because many are made
with fabrics that can’t be broken down. Releasing chemicals and dyes
into our rivers, soil. That’s part of the reason why
fashion is one of the world’s top polluters. So in the last few years, some
of the biggest names in the business, Levi’s, Nike,
Adidas, Zara have started
recycling programs. All retailers with donation bins
in stores calling out for your old garments. But none go as far as H&M,
they will take anything, jeans, curtains, even underwear,
just check out their ads.>>The thing that you never
wore, this and this and that. The thing with the colour that
wasn’t your colour, bring it on.>>Charlsie: This is one of
H&M’s latest ad campaigns.>>Cut your jeans into pieces
and make new jeans out of them.>>Charlsie: “Cut your jeans
into pieces “and make new
jeans out of them.”>>With your help, we literally
turn your old clothes into new garments.>>Charlsie: “We literally turn
your old clothes “into new garments.”>>Garments in the worst
condition can be transformed into insulation material or
textile fibers woven into cloth, reborn as fashionable
new clothes of every conceivable kind.>>Charlsie: What do you
think about recycling clothes?>>I think that’s amazing. That’s a great plan.>>Charlsie: We’re talking
about recycling clothes. What does that make you
think is happening to the stuff?>>I think maybe it’s, like,
like, refurbish the clothes and, like, get them
to look new again.>>Charlsie: What do you
think happens to that stuff?>>Doesn’t it get recycled to
make new clothes from the old clothes?>>Let’s shred it into fibers
and stitch it into something new. The only thing we
will not do it waste it.>>Charlsie: Bold
recycling claims. They sound great,
but are they really? [ ♪♪ ] [ Flight Attendant
Over Intercom ]>>To try to find out,
we head to New York City, one of the fashion
capitals of the world. [ ♪♪ ]>>With jackets, you always
have to check the lining.>>Charlsie: Meet
Elizabeth Cline, an anti-fast fashion crusader. Because of what she knows,
she only wears used clothes. It’s made her a pro at
assessing cast-offs.>>On a coat, the first thing
you would do is make sure the zippers work. Especially fast fashion, like a
lot of the fasteners will break and chip really quickly.>>Charlsie: We show her H&M’s
marketing and ask her what she thinks about making new
clothes out of your old ones.>>Shred it into fibers and
stitch it into something new.>>The reality is that currently
only about 1% of clothing is actually recycled and the
very literal sense of the word.>>Charlsie: 1%?>>1%.>>Charlsie: 1%…is recycled?>>If you’re talking about
recycling in terms of taking fibers and breaking them down
and turning them back into new fibers, it’s 1%.>>Charlsie: Why is it so hard
to just take my old shirt and turn it into a new one, why
can’t you just do is that?>>A lot of our clothes are made
out of blended fibers, so maybe this is acrylic and wool
and cotton mixed together, maybe my tights are
cotton and elastin, that makes it
difficult to recycle. The other challenge is that when
you recycle cotton and wool, it diminishes the quality of
that material so it weakens the cotton and wool strand and
gives you a lesser product.>>Charlsie: Bottom line, the
technology just isn’t there yet. It’s way too expensive and
too time consuming to make new clothes
from old ones.>>It’s also a more skeptical
side of me that knows that the reason why H&M is focusing on
textile recycling is because it’s an easy
sustainability win for them. It doesn’t involve them changing
their production model at all to collect clothes and make sure
that they get a second life. It doesn’t make the fast fashion
system anymore sustainable.>>Charlsie: Experts agree fast
fashion needs to change if we really want to
make a difference. Remember when fashion
had four seasons, winter, spring,
summer and fall? Now the trends
change almost every day. Here’s how this Swedish
clothing giant CEO explains it.>>They have new garments coming
into the stores almost every day so if you go to an H&M store
today and come back two days later, you will always
find something new.>>Charlsie: H&M salespeople
tell us new clothes come in every Monday, Wednesday,
Friday, and Sunday. That works out to half a
billion products a year. And it’s why H&M’s recycling
campaign makes Claudia Marsales so mad.>>It really is a
form of greenwashing.>>Charlsie: She’s the head
of Markham, Ontario’s waste programs,
one of the few Canadian cities to actually ban
textiles from landfills.>>In order for the fast fashion
outlets to recycle what they make, it would take
12 years to recycle what they sell in 48 hours. Like it’s just– it’s just–
so that sort of tells me it’s really more about
foot traffic, marketing, greenwashing than about really
addressing the broken business model of fast fashion.>>Charlsie: We asked H&M to
come on camera and talk about their recycling program. They declined, assuring us
they don’t want to encourage a throw-away attitude. Their clothes are good
quality and made to last. And they are working
towards a business model where, eventually, all their
clothes can be recycled.>>At least they’re trying?>>Yes, well, but they’re a
cause of the problem so fast fashion retailers, their
business model is the problem. They’re making too much,
they’re selling it too cheap, it’s disposable clothing. Doing a bit of back-end
recycling and a bit of commercials really
doesn’t address that issue. [ ♪♪ ]>>Charlsie: And ask some
customers one of the things they love most about the program? It’s the discount. That incentive to keep buying.>>I put it in the bin and
then they give me a discount, I saw it and it’s like oh, snap. You know, um,
it’s a way to, like, you know, like, help me and
help them at the same time.>>Charlsie: What do you mean
when you say help you and help someone else?>>Um, help me by, you know,
saving money and help them by providing free
clothing for them.>>We just chuck it in
the bin and they did offer, like, a $5 discount.>>Charlsie: H&M might be
collecting your old clothes. More than 55,000 tonnes so far,
but if they’re barely making new clothes from your
donations, where do they all go? These shoppers have a theory. Where do you think those
clothes go that you put in H&M?>>They probably go to,
like, people who need them, probably like shelters or other
places that use the clothes.>>Probably give it for free,
or something, to, like, the
people that need it.>>Charlsie: Where do
you think that stuff goes, what do you think happens to it?>>Hopefully to just
some needy people.>>Yeah.
>>Mmm-hmm.>>Who still want
to be fashionable.>>Charlsie: Many of us think
our old clothes are given to the less fortunate. Wrong. And maybe you’re telling
yourself that to feel better about buying more, too. Well, Cline coined
a term for this. [ ♪♪ ]>>Charlsie: What’s the
clothing deficit myth?>>So, the clothing deficit myth
is the idea that when we give clothes to charity, they’re
going to go to someone locally in our community in need. But in the era of fast fashion,
there’s far more unwanted clothes than there
are people in need. [ ♪♪ ]>>Charlsie: The Salvation Army
knows all about that. Remember, this is all the stuff
they can’t sell at their stores. So what do they do
with all these leftovers? They sell it– to a middle man. And the retailers do the
same thing with all your donations, too. In Canada, H&M gives the money
it makes off your donations to UNICEF. Here’s the thing. All textiles are worth money. The stuff that’s in really rough
shape is shredded for painter’s cloths or insulation, for
example, then sold. But the majority of all donated
clothes are shipped overseas to developing countries
and they’re sold there, too. Not donated or
given to needy people. And if you think that means
it’s not going to end up in landfills, think again. We follow the trail of
your old tee-shirts. Around the world.>>The black stripes
here are from Canada.>>Charlsie: You can’t
afford to miss this trip. This is your “Marketplace.” [ ♪♪ ]>>Charlsie: The real
deal on your “Marketplace.” [ ♪♪ ]>>Charlsie: We love
our clothes. Now so cheap, you can make a
different statement every day. These things are $3? $5. But they come with a huge cost. Part of the reason why
some fast fashion chains, like H&M, say they’ve got
recycling programs like this.>>The Earth simply cannot bear
so many clothes ending their lives as waste. H&M has a far better answer.>>Charlsie: But we learnt less
than 1% of the world’s used clothes are turned
into new ones. The majority of those donations
from retailer and charity bins are baled and sold overseas. [ ♪♪ ]>>This is Nairobi, Kenya, the
country at the top of the list when it comes to
buying your old clothes. Kenya is one of
Canada’s best customers. In a given year, they buy more
than $20 million worth of our old clothes.>>All the rest with
the black stripes, the black stripes
here are from Canada. These are a variety
of kids clothing. This one is a jacket. Ladies tee-shirts.>>Charlsie: Maina Andrew
is a used clothing importer.>>People from
Canada and America, they are actually a bit huge.>>Charlsie: Scenes
like this aren’t isolated. You’ll see them all over Africa,
South and Central America. A lot of this is stuff
Canadians donated for free, only for it to be sold here
for profit to vendors like Alice Nyansarora Anunda, who
brings it to her local market. They call the clothes,
“Mitumba.”>>No, that one, it’s
just a nickname we gave it, “Mitumba” means, “Old”
in our culture.>>Charlsie: Nearly
13,000 kilometres away. But take a closer
look and there they are. The names you know. AEO, Zara, Adidas, H&M.>>The way we open bales, we
know plans where there’s new clothes, especially
those which come from Canada.>>Charlsie: But Andrew notices
many of the clothes are low quality, tough to sell.>>We just dump them. If people don’t buy
them, we just dump them. [ ♪♪ ]>>They do go in
the piles of garbage, very many of them.>>Charlsie: He says this
happens regularly right behind the market, discarding and
burning clothes Canadians don’t want and neither do Kenyans.>>Sometimes they pack
even very old items. You can even pack items
that are not even good, and they end up dumping
them in Africa or in Kenya. [ ♪♪ ]>>Yeah, we burn them and it is
a lost work because we have already bought them. [ ♪♪ ]>>Charlsie: All those popular
brands in the crowded markets, Elizabeth Cline
has seen them, too. She’s been to Kenya.>>There are a lot of different
companies around the world that are working on textile recycling
in the truest sense of the word, but it’s really in
the very early stages. Whether it stays in the United
States or if it ends up in Africa, ultimately it is
going to end up in the landfill.>>Charlsie: We tell H&M
about this Kenyan market and all the fires. They say its middle man
I:CO, which handles pickup and distribution of their bins,
has really high standards. But they are still working
on building a better tracking system so this
doesn’t keep happening.>>Dumping is always cheaper. It’s always the cheaper option. There’s only one solution. The producer of the clothing
is responsible cradle to grave. So they make the tee-shirt,
they sell the tee-shirt, the tee-shirt comes back, they
have to recycle that tee-shirt. They can’t put it in a
third world country.>>As far as South
Africa is concerned, we banned secondhand clothing.>>When a country
survives on secondhand things, secondhand clothes, it means
there’s something wrong with that system.>>Threatening the survival of
the local textiles industry.>>Charlsie: And now many
of those countries are fighting back. East African countries sent
the world a message recently. They don’t want our
hand-me-downs and tried to ban them. Their government said
it was destroying their own textile market.>>Secondhand clothes are
quite cheap and any manufactured textile would not be
able to compete with them.>>Charlsie: And despite
everything you just watched, Cline says H&M group is a
frontrunner in sustainability efforts.>>Compared to other
brands, they are leaders. I don’t know what that says
about the rest of the fashion industry, that a fast
fashion chain is at the top of that list. Just know that your textile
waste is an environmental issue. Textile waste in landfills
is one of the fastest growing categories of waste, and
it’s such an easy thing to do something about.>>Charlsie: So what should you
do with all your old clothes? The answers, coming right up. Do you have a story you
want us to investigate? Write to us, [email protected] [ ♪♪ ]>>The high cost of
fashion on your “Marketplace.” Do you ever impulse buy?>>Absolutely.>>Charlsie: What was the last
thing you bought that now you see, and you’re like,
“What was I thinking?”>>Clothing always.>>Charlsie: On average, we buy
almost 70 clothing items every year. That means we’re buying
new clothes every week. What did you buy?>>A lot of stuff.>>Charlsie: Did
you need anything?>>No.>>Charlsie: Just looking around
and you bought a few things.>>Yes, I bought lots of things. Leggings, shirts,
socks, underwear.>>Charlsie: Most of these
styles will end up trashed in landfill. Fast fashion is a big
part of the problem, but we don’t have to buy in. So this is 50%
polyester, 50% cotton. It’s really hard to separate
those fibers and make new stuff.>>You bet.>>Charlsie: Do you know how
many litres of water goes into making a single pair of jeans? Almost 4,000 litres.>>Wow.
>>Whoo.>>That’s crazy. [ ♪♪ ]>>Charlsie: And sometimes
just seeing the waste makes a difference. These families swear
they’ll change their ways.>>They want to look
at the cute things, things that look good but
not necessarily good quality.>>We have to– we try to teach
them to use their stuff until it’s worn out.>>Charlsie: Speaking of
waste and consumption, I’ve still got my bag of
clothes to get rid of. I don’t really know where
the best place is to go with my stuff. And I think people at home who
see this are probably going to have the same question.>>Some people like
to swap the clothes, so that’s the
first line of defence. If it’s in really
good condition, you can take them to
a consignment store. You can also donate to
a reputable charity. Do your research on who
you’re giving your clothing to. Don’t buy so much.>>Charlsie: So bottom line,
when it comes to your used clothing, don’t throw it away,
try and give it to somebody who can actually use it. Hey, girls, does
anybody need a tee-shirt? No, you sure? Black dress pants? Hardly ever wore them. This is cool, right? Zipper in the back.>>I think I’m okay.>>Charlsie: Any chance you
want to return yours and take these ones.>>No, thank you.>>Charlsie: They’re a
size small. I wore them, like, twice.>>No, thank you.>>Charlsie: No?
>>No.>>Charlsie: Do any of you need
a pair of pajama pants or know someone who might want these?>>I’ll take them.
>>Charlsie: Tee shirt?>>I’ll take them.>>Charlsie: Any chance
you want a pair of Levi’s?>>Sure, size 6, me.>>Charlsie: Awesome!
>>Awesome.>>Charlsie: There you go
and they won’t go to landfill this way.>>No.>>Charlsie: Maybe there is
no perfect solution to this complicated problem. But if there’s something I’ve
learned throughout this process, it’s that there is
something I can do and, for me, that will
mean buying less. [ ♪♪ ]>>Announcer: A special, year
longMarketplaceinvestigation. We go undercover,
inside nursing homes.>>I was…>>Announcer: Families
fighting for better care.>>Die, die…>>Woman: My poor mother.>>Announcer: Has long term care
reached a crisis point?>>Oh, we’re
way past that. I think we’ve been
in crisis for years.>>If this happened
in a day care, that day care would be
shut down in five minutes.>>Announcer:
How to fight for better care, On the nextMarketplace.

Author:

100 thoughts on “How fast fashion adds to the world’s clothing waste problem (Marketplace)”

  • Check the marketplace website for more tips on what do with your old clothes here:
    http://www.cbc.ca/marketplace/blog/want-help-on-what-to-do-with-your-old-clothes ^nr

  • As a kid most of time I wore clothes passed on from my sister…now my niece would clothes I passed on to her….We Indians figured recycling a long time ago lol

  • Paola Valtierra says:

    EBay and offer up are also good. I also take clothes from friends, mom sister in laws etc. My sister will come shop my closet I will do the same to her closet and my mom.

  • We have TKMAXX IN Britain, I never look at the compare price only The price to pay. I find it funny that folk are upset, if your just wanting to buy because it was suppose to be more expensive then Fool you and stop moaning and complaining!

  • Its a concern when it comes to making our environment eco friendly , the 'mitumbas' are very cheap here in Kenya but it turns out to be a dumping ground, I recommend the 'donations' to be specific like contacting concerned authorities of children's homes,elderly homes,street children and maybe the needy at the county levels to be donated the clothes,so that the rest
    of people to buy clothes from our textile industries .

  • Kimberlee Brooks-Trakis says:

    I know that is was done in jest…. but giving away your clothing to random people on the street is not really funny. There are a ton of people who live ON the street who need those clothes. Please consider giving your clothing to a homeless shelter or to a mental institution where people are in dire need of clothing. Bring to a soup kitchen. Bring to a nursing home, they need sweaters and warm pajamas for their residents.

  • down%town GZ-R-N says:

    That’s why I prefer one or a few good quality branded clothes and I would wear them forever.
    I see people buy like 10-15 pieces of cheap quality clothing for $300 that probably wouldn’t last a long time but I would spend that amount of money on 1-2 pieces that I would never need to throw them away
    I also don’t like buying second hand clothes I prefer to have one or a few new clothes rather than a lot of cheap second handed clothes

  • blue_lightning says:

    Am I the only one that buys from fast fashion companies but doesn’t think the clothes are disposable? I mean I’ve had clothes from fast fashion companies for years and it’s still with me. The quality is still fine so I don’t get how other people immediately dispose of their fast fashion clothes. Maybe it also depends on how people take care of their clothes? Like istg I still have my clothes from middle school and I’m now a graduate from high school.

  • Madison Christenson says:

    Why can’t they donate it? Charities? Shelters..? I’m sure tons of families (and even single adults obviously) would love the opportunity to go though all that

  • nunga cynderilla says:

    Am glad I watched this video, wow, I’ll learn to buy what I need not what I want… … can’t believe we’re polluting the world ..

  • nunga cynderilla says:

    Wow, as An African originally from Cameroon 🇨🇲 and currently living in the United States , seeing these clothes go to Africa all makes sense to me now , wow am so so shocked ..
    Wow , wow, wow

  • nunga cynderilla says:

    Wow wow wow, so they clean Canada and America up to dirty Africa , oh my continent Africa, that’s why people have malaria, typhoid and many other coz of pollution everywhere..: am so so devastated actually getting to know this is what happens to clothes ..

  • A LOT of old clothes from such countries end up in large haul markets in Africa for cheap. Ie I live in Kenya and I once bought a super cute fluffy sweater for just 50Kshs which is 50 cents converted to dollars. It's Amazing, huge business but other than that an enlightening video.

  • After watching this, I am so glad that I am not one of these people who has to constantly keep up with trends. My eldest sister and her family has tons of clothes and doesn't even wear most of it. I only buy clothes when I need them.

  • Thank you, CBC for doing such thorough research and putting it on display for the world to see.
    I am a fashion student who has made her own clothing for years. I am currently starting a brand that will ultimately take old donated and thrown away clothes which will be cut up, altered, or otherwise redesigned to create custom new fashionable items that can be sold on the fashion stage. My aim is to take these stories, learn from them and hopefully make a change that will impact the fashion world over time. I hope to make problems like these better by raising awareness and changing the culture in fashion.

  • VERY well done documentary. I am working on buying less and aways donate to Goodwill. I don't like how much they charge for resale, but at least I know my clothes will have a second chance to be reused.

  • This is alarming. I tend to buy used clothes if I buy clothes in the year. I have shirts that are at LEAST 16 years old…stuff I had in High School…and I still wear it. I also buy damaged used clothes and pop them on a sewing machine. Heck. I sewed on a new belt loop on a pair of used shorts from good will using a needle, thread, and an adhesive patch…while in a moving car. For $1 and my sewing abilities…Why not? Fashion never thrilled me and people laugh at my clothing, but I am comfy and can get crafty, so they can kiss my entire…..left foot.

  • Music capsule says:

    Humans by nature wants material things to make them feel better or beautiful but let us remember that not everyone earns a minimum wage there are needy people who needs to be cloth for free. I like the idea of donating clothes to the poor people from third world country. The purpose of out reach program is to help those below minimum wage workers to meet both ends by giving them clothes that are in good condition. Worn out clothes can be recycled by those manufacturers who are making this fast fashion.

  • Anne Moomin Huang says:

    Guys, your old clothes that said to be "DONATED" are being in an UKAY-UKAY the Philippine version of a thrift shop..

  • My mom gives every old jusy grown out clothing we have to our relatives no matter how far away we live from them. Up until now, we still wear clothes that are 10 years old or more. When there's holes, we just sew them. My parents havent even thrown their old 90s jeans yet, I even asked her to give me those that will fit me. For clothes that are so tattered and shrinked they can no longer be worn, she tears them and sew it together to wipe tables, floors etc. All of those do shrink the textiles so when we do have no more choice but to throw them, there's not much left to the textile. Even I have grown out of shopping and the last time i bought retail store clothes were 2 years ago. I bought just a few clothes from second hand clothes stores. The problem is my little sister though. She's addicted to those clothing haul vlogs and now own a lot of clothes she rarely use herself. I hope she'll stop wanting more clothes after I make her watch this.

  • Eli_Tomac_Fan 668 says:

    I get cheap clothing from Primark and wear it till it's practically falling off me with rips and wear. One shirt would last me 3 years and I'm a growing kid!

  • sharifah sayed says:

    I tried donaring mine to 10 orphanages in my area. Even they decluned bc they sd they already have more than enough clothes.

  • That’s why when I’ve had clothes that were too small (from growing) or too big (from losing 50lbs) I usually give them to friends who are smaller or larger than me
    I also try to buy clothes at charity shops.
    And if the flash fashion clothes I do own break I usually fix them because I have experience with making garments.

  • the piles of clothes you see on your closet will discourage you from buying new ones.
    HM has a "BRILLIANT" idea, donate your old clothes to get $5 discount off $30, which means HM will get $25 of your money for new rags, and the cycle continues!
    please be wise, don't let them DUMBING YOU DOWN!

  • Daniella Fónagy says:

    I’m happy that I mostly shop at thrift shops and then sell/donate the clothes or if they are too damaged I use them for cleaning.

  • Tragic and sad. A really bad commentary on our current, contemporary wasteful and materialistic society. Prior to the 1960's people bought clothing that would last and didn't require nearly as many clothes as we have today. People dressed simply with good taste. Ironically we're still wearing the jeans and tee shirts that comprise most of modern fashion today, except we have to have new jeans and tee shirts every other day.

  • Our society become more and more materialistic and it’s all about trend. With social media influencer pushing trends and high fashion. This pushes the media to buy fast fashion to replicate the high fashion

  • orangeblueandlavenda says:

    I find it interesting that they have all these clothes that have been donated but there's no where to find free clothing if you need it. I think I'd like to make a give and fetch box to donate or take clothes if you need them

  • I hate shopping for clothes. I go right to the clearance rack and try to find the cheapest stuff. Hate spending money.

  • I went into Forever 21 and they had displays upon displays of broken jewelry. (I think customers broke them but workers hadn't noticed yet.) The quality was awful. It honestly made me want to cry because they were going to likely be thrown away.

  • Or just burn your clothes in the woodburning oven during the winter, just cut off plastic and take off the buttons. Fix clothes that can be fixed proper. Buy used clothes or buy good quality that isnt trendy and dont buy much. Make stuff. Reuse things in different ways. I use old clothes to wrap breakable items in. You know that shirt you still like but never wear.. wrap your glass with it and put it away in a box.

  • This is what we do in our family (indian middle class family) we reuse it again and again and again as different things. Like suppose i have badly stained top i used to wear while going somewhere, after it's stained i wear it inside house or i wear it in winter under sweaters or jackets. If it gets torn then we cut it in square pieces to wipe any countertops, mirrors etc or even to keep floors clean or if the fabric suitable to use as handkerchief we use it like that or if it's a thick material we cut it round as well and use it to keep hot items on or sometime we even get it sewed in different way to use as a complete different kind of clothing or a pocket in new clothing.
    And it always helps to have a mother who will ask you a million times 'do you think you will actually wear it' a million times so that you don't end up buying things you wouldn't use. Hope it will help someone.

  • as someone who worked at a Salvation Army Thrift Store, I realized how much of stuff that is donated ends up in the trash. I would sort through donations made at our store and would have to chuck more than half of it in the trash because we were not able to sell it.

  • I don't recall a single time I threw away clothes in the trash aside from underwear. I've always washed them and donated then to goodwill. Not sure what goodwill does with them if they're not sold. I guess this is the answer right here. They give it away to these exporters.

  • I really make an effort not to participate in this. I try to purchase higher quality clothing and use it for its entire life. For example, while my work clothing has a shorter life because of 'professionalism' (you can't look shoddy at work or you won't have a job for long; I think it's ridiculous, but I have to play by the rules of society), casual clothing that has a small hole or similar problem still be worn around the house or when you are doing yard work, painting etc. No reason to toss it. Sometimes I still buy an item because I really want it, but I keep the majority of my clothing purchases limited to items that I actually need.
    Edit: Like I would not shop at fast fashion chains like H&M. I think I only ever bought one thing there, a jacket. And that was before I knew about all this. Though, I actually still have the jacket because it wasn't one of the utter rubbish-cheap things there. It was half decent at least.

  • Man. This is really eye opening. I shop at thrift stores every now and then and I can find some really good expensive clothes with tags still in them. What does that tell you about society? The other day I found a brand new Lularoe dress with tags still on, and I bought it for $7. Now I’m gonna be more mindful about my clothes I don’t want anymore

  • Real problem is the consumers ignorance and willingness to be ignorant. Fast fashion is going to continue happening until consumers decide to stop it.

  • Isabella Cosby says:

    I go shopping twice maybe at max three times per year. Only because I have changed sizes in between school years and need new clothes for summer and or winter since of where I live. Not to be wasteful. And I always donate what I know will be good and turn my others into places like what they talk about. There’s a good balance don’t shake the people
    Who goes shopping.

  • Ánh Nguyễn Ngọc says:

    just like mitumba, in vietnam we also have a slang term for used clothing, hàng thùng, which literally means boxed stuff, bc they come from boxes.

    tons and tons of boxes.

  • There is something we can do rasing awareness about to what happens to old clothes and in terms when it ends up in land fills does it not destroy our lands and does it leaves us with fertile lands

  • We need to address human compulsions (incessant production/buying of unnecessary things) from the core, starting at www.InnerEngineering.com 🌸🙏🌸

  • infinitecanadian says:

    I donate clothes to second hand stores, especially MCC. I volunteered at MCC, so I know that they usually manage to sell their second hand clothes.

  • I hardly buy new clothes. I buy sturdy stuff and wear it til it breaks. Also wear clothes that others don't want.

  • I visited H&M recently and the whole place was a mess. Over packed with cheap clothes of poor quality nobody wanted to buy. Went to pick out my size and the entire rail fell off.

  • so heartbroken… also because the laborers that makes the clothes are often under payed or doesn't get payed at all, or so I've heard(read)… T^T this is why I learned to sew and am studying textile…

  • nividi kevichusa says:

    why not use the old clothes to make mops.people all over the world use mops to clean their floors or cars etc.

  • Emilie Poirier says:

    I give them to family and thrift stores…. there’s one where I live that makes very little profit and serves to help people with less money…. the clothes are very cheap, so I shop there too(I’m a student and never buy new clothes). I think they sell most things.

  • eLiena Pacheco says:

    In the Philippines, this is ukay-ukay. Which means, dig– coz buyers/customers usually need to dig a mountain full of random (size, style, category) clothes til they find one that's decent enough to wear. And yes, it is super cheap and smelly.

  • Nimal Wettimuny says:

    Textile industry employs over 50 million people worldwide. This was encouraged in the 80s to create jobs and it certainly has.

  • Thankfully I'm not braiwashed. I hardly buy brand new clothes.Most of my clothes, apart from underwear are secondhand.

  • You know what I do with my old clothes? I make clothes for my dog with my sewing machine. I still suck at it but at least I use them. 😂

  • big thrift stores need to give all those unwanted clothes to the homeless bc for real why is it hard to give it away instead of throwing in the trash?

  • I dumpster dived behind a platos closet and found a bag full of clothes. Its crazy how these stores operate even the thrift you ones.

  • Grace Santamaria says:

    Loved the whole documentary – specially her last comment. What to do? BUY LESS. Easy. The problem starts with fast fashion chains, but we fuel it with our consumption habits.

  • 1:43 that means y’all buy too much. I understand if it’s because they grow quickly out of their clothes, but as I never really grow and clothes can last me 2-3 years, I can’t relate.

  • All the adverts are aimed at young people who are straight jacketed by peer pressures.
    It's not their fault, but it's by far young people, who are to blame for wastage.

  • *uck You Youtube says:

    I have been wearing my underwear (years) so long that they are getting holes in them. I prefer *ust *y **ze but new ones are cheap and thin. My undies might have holes but they are thicker and better made. Once I can get the needle threaded I am going to sew a piece of material over the holes. This might keep them usable for another few years. It's either that or wear cheap crap that are thin and uncomfortable. The reviews on new underwear are horrible yet the cheap companies haven't bothered to improve the quality! SMH

  • Not gonna lie even though they get sent overseas to be sold is making these people some small cash. Imagine if they had nothing.

  • I live in NYC and work at an office, last yr I bought like 40 items of clothing and most of them were in a bag in my closet. This yr I went thru all my stuff and realized I been buyin way way too much stuff. This yr I just bought 5 things so far and donated most of my old clothes. Ive found ways to wear mostly the same stuff to work and still look good. Theres just no way Ill add to the waste this world has anymore.

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