Thursday, January 25, 2007

In the News: Green Clothes

Students of material culture, particularly contemporary clothing and consumption patterns may find a story in today's New York Times of interest. Written by Elisabeth Rosenthal and titled "Can Polyester Save the World?" the piece explores the environmental impact of the virtually disposable, low-cost, fast fashion clothing that is central to contemporary consumption practices in Europe, North America (ex: Target, Old Navy), and significant parts of Asia. The story chronicles the differential environmental impacts of different materials and lifestyles, as well as of the rapid fashion changes characteristics of the affluent world. The story also explores the ways that some retailers in the UK are looking toward more sustainable approaches to clothing as attractive business opportunities comparable to those emergent with free trade commodities, organic foods, and green tourism.

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