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textile workers

Redesigning the fashion industry from linear to circular

By Elizabeth Perry - Work and Climate Change Report, December 8, 2017

In what is being called a revolutionary document, A New Textile Economy: Redesigning Fashion’s Future characterizes the current system of textile and clothing production as a “wasteful, linear system”  which “leads to substantial and ever-expanding pressure on resources and causes high levels of pollution. Hazardous substances affect the health of both textile workers and the wearers of clothes, and plastic microfibres are released into the environment, often ending up in the ocean.”  To improve the societal and environmental impacts of the industry, the report fleshes out the means to achieve four fundamental objectives:   1.  Phase out substances of concern and microfibre release 2. Transform the way clothes are designed, sold, and used to break free from their increasingly disposable nature, 3. Radically improve recycling by transforming clothing design, collection, and reprocessing, and 4. Make effective use of resources and move to renewable inputs.  Benefits to consumers are emphasized, and benefits to workers seem to flow from a reduced exposure to the toxic chemicals used in manufacture.  There is only vague attention to  “A better deal for employees. Because a circular economy is distributive by design, value would be circulated among enterprises of all sizes in the industry, rather than being extracted. This would allow all parts of the value chain to pay workers well and provide them with good working conditions.”    The report was released by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation and the Circular Fibres Initiative, with Stella McCartney adding star power.

A greater focus on the working conditions in the global clothing industry comes from The Clean Clothes Campaign . Greenpeace International has been promoting the fight against toxic chemicals in fashion for several years in their Detox My Fashion campaign.

Ethiopian wages at $21 a month have US corporations excited

By Richard Mellor - We Know What's Up, August 1, 2015

Disclaimer: The views expressed here are not the official position of the IWW (or even the IWW’s EUC) and do not necessarily represent the views of anyone but the author’s.

Back in December 2011, Hilary Clinton visited Myanmar in the wake of the military dictatorship’s introduction of reforms.  Ms. Clinton was accompanied on that visit by corporate leaders looking for lucrative investment opportunities and cheap labor. Military dictatorship’s can be a bit too unstable for investors looking for profits sometimes, but with a firm grip on dissent and unions they can be good business partners.

US president Barack Obama has just finished a 5-day visit to East Africa with the same goal in mind.  “Africa is the final frontier in the global rag trade—the last untapped continent with cheap and plentiful labor,”  the Wall Street Journal wrote prior to Obama’s exploratory mission.  What with Chinese workers waging successful struggles for higher wages and the Cambodians following suite, Africans are in the sights of the garment industry investors.

Even the poverty stricken garment workers in Bangladesh who earn at least $67 a month are too expensive for the likes of WalMart and other Western retailers. PVH, the parent company of Calvin Klein and Tommy Hilfiger and VF, parent company of brands that include Wrangler, Lee and Timberland, are looking to descend on Africa like vultures on a dying animal.  JC Penney and Levi Strauss have been moving production to Africa as well. Ethiopia is a particularly attractive location as economic growth has been pleasing Wall Street and the country has no minimum wage.  Ethiopian garment workers were earning $21 a month as of last year according to the Ethiopian government. Despite lacking in infrastructure and a relatively untrained (for sewing garments) labor force, the apparel companies are “still drawn to the cheap labor and inexpensive power…” the WSJ writes.

EcoUnionist News #53

Compiled by x344543 - IWW Environmental Unionism Caucus, June 23, 2015

Disclaimer: The views expressed here are not the official position of the IWW (or even the IWW’s EUC) and do not necessarily represent the views of anyone but the author’s.

The following news items feature issues, discussions, campaigns, or information potentially relevant to green unionists:

Lead Story:

Bread and Roses:

An Injury to One is an Injury to All:

Carbon Bubble:

Just Transition:

Other News:

For more green news, please visit our news feeds section on ecology.iww.org; Twitter #IWWEUC; Hashtags: #greenunionism #greensyndicalism

EcoUnionist News #49

Compiled by x344543 - IWW Environmental Unionism Caucus, May 26, 2015 (Image: Judi Bari stands defiant outside of the Oakland Federal Building, ca: 1996).

Disclaimer: The views expressed here are not the official position of the IWW (or even the IWW’s EUC) and do not necessarily represent the views of anyone but the author’s.

Special Note: Due to the recent (voluntarily, fortunately) location of this site's main administrator, some of these stories are a little delayed. We apologize for any delay in timely reporting. Bear with us; we're all working class volunteers. ;-)

The following news items feature issues, discussions, campaigns, or information potentially relevant to green unionists:

Lead Stories:

An Injury to One is an Injury to All:

Gulf South Rising:

Carbon Bubble:

Just Transition:

1267-Watch:

Other News:

For more green news, please visit our news feeds section on ecology.iww.org; Twitter #IWWEUC

EcoUnionist News #24

Compiled by x344543 - IWW Environmental Unionism Caucus, January 17, 2015

Disclaimer: The views expressed here are not the official position of the IWW (or even the IWW’s EUC) and do not necessarily represent the views of anyone but the author’s.

The following news items feature issues, discussions, campaigns, or information potentially relevant to green unionists:

Lead Stories:

Carbon Bubble:

Green Jobs and Just Transition:

Other News of Interest:

For more green news, please visit our news feeds section on ecology.iww.org; Twitter #IWWEUC

The Fine Print I:

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The Fine Print II:

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