Interview with Stella Thomas on the Textile Industry
Every human being on the planet is a consumer of textile or clothing goods! Our production of these goods has grown increasingly harmful to the health of the environment and its inhabitants and has become one of the most significant polluters of all industries. There are many ways in which the textile industry affects our world both locally and globally. The better we understand its effects, the more likely we will be to make better choices and to consciously vote with every dollar we spend. With nearly 7 billion people living on earth and a rapidly growing population, we need to reverse the trend of toxic destruction and clean up the production of these materials.
China’s coal burning textile factories leach chemical discharge into rivers and streams polluting both air and water. A vast array of pesticides, herbicides and defoliants are used in the process of growing cotton. Approximately 25% of the world’s insecticides and more than 10% of its pesticides are used on cotton crops. An estimated 90% of cotton grown in the US uses genetically modified cotton seeds believed to be the second largest cause of current biodiversity loss with unknown risk to human health. Water, a limited and precious resource, is continuously wasted and contaminated in the production of textile goods.
A new direction for fashion production has begun. Organic cotton, efficient factories and ethical labor practices are emerging around the world. There is a growing conscience among designers to do the right thing and a need for the public to understand the importance of this trend.
To effect a change to an entrenched and multifaceted fashion and textile industry will require effort on many fronts:
Strong government support for sustainable agriculture, rigorous enforcement of existing environmental laws, visionary entrepreneurs investing in green technology, consumer “dollar voting” to create a sustainable mass marketplace for organic and sustainable products and lower prices to increase the pool of potential customers.
We hope our film will help viewers understand the environmental and social component of their consumer choices, inform them of their options, inspire them to take a more active stance on environmental issues when dealing with elected officials and encourage them to participate in various community and volunteer initiatives.
Join the rising tide of fashionistas with a conscience. Together, we can make a positive difference to health, ecology, workers, and future generations.