The Big Idea

Is the World Bank Guilty of Supporting Forced Cotton Labor in Uzbekistan?

Photo by the Uzbek-German Forum for Human Rights Is the World Bank an enabler? A leading human-rights group certainly thinks so. Nearly 60 years after the International Labour…

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We're Sending 26 Billion Pounds of Reusable Textiles to the Landfill Every Year

Photo by Celestine Ngulube/Unsplash “Fast fashion” is defined by three cardinal traits: it’s cheap, it’s trendy, and it’s expendable. It’s a tack…

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Americans Are Drowning in "Stuff" (And It's Stressing Us Out)

Photo by Artificial Photography/Unsplash Americans are drowning in more unnecessary “stuff” than ever before, and it’s literally making us sick. So concludes Buried:…

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Donald Trump's "American-Made" Suits May Not Actually be Made in the U.S.A.

Photo by Danny Reuter for Reuters In a plot twist that will surprise absolutely no one, Donald Trump’s allegedly “American-made” suits may not actually be as homegrown…

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Those Pricey "Made in Italy" Shoes Could Have Come From a Sweatshop

Think that “made in Europe” corresponds with fair labor? You couldn’t be more mistaken. Slapdash working conditions and poverty wages are as endemic to the continent…

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New Book Accuses Cambodian H&M Factory of Hiring 14-Year-Old Workers

H&M worked with factories in Myanmar where children as young as 14 stitched clothes for more than 12 hours a day, claims an upcoming book about “fast fashion’s seedy…

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India's Children Are Dying for Your Sparkly Eye Shadow

India has a “blood mica” problem. Deep within the South Asian nation’s off-the-books “ghost” mines, children as young as 5 toil alongside adults to pick…

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"Fast Fashion" Made These Men Some of the Planet's Richest

Want to get rich? Build a clothing empire based on aggressive expansion, breakneck turnarounds, cheap materials, and even cheaper labor. “Fast fashion,” as Quartz reported…

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9-Year-Old Child Worker Dies in Textile Mill in Bangladesh

Photo by Varshesh Joshi/Unsplash Police in Bangladesh have arrested a textile-mill supervisor for allegedly torturing a 9-year-old worker to death over the weekend. The boy, Sagar…

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Greenpeace Slams Mammut, The North Face for Toxic Chemical Use

Greenpeace wants outdoor-apparel companies to clear the air, stat. A recent investigation by the environmental nonprofit found high concentration of hazardous per- and polyfluorinated…

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Which Personal-Care Brands Are Still Polluting the Oceans With Microbeads?

Are you polluting the oceans every time you exfoliate? If you’re sloughing off with a product from one of the world’s largest personal-care companies, chances are…

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This Common Cosmetic Ingredient May Be More Toxic Than We Thought

Photo by Agberto Guimaraes/Unsplash Butylparaben, a common preservative found in cosmetics and skincare products, could have more severe effects on the body’s endocrine system…

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Patagonia: Synthetic Fleece—Including Its Own—is Polluting the Oceans

Patagonia has a startling confession to make: Its popular synthetic fleeces are mucking up the oceans, perhaps even poisoning the food chain. In a study commissioned by the…

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Turkey Sweatshop Allegedly Using Syrian Children to Make ISIS Uniforms

Photos by Jodi Hilton for the Daily Mail At least one sweatshop in Turkey is hiring Syrian refugee children to make camouflage uniforms for military groups such as Islamic State and…

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Your Knock-Off Designer Perfume Could Contain Antifreeze, Urine

Photo by Jessica Walker/Unsplash Buyer beware: Unscrupulous businesses are passing off urine, antifreeze, and other “unpleasant, flammable, or dangerous chemicals that burn when…

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Beyoncé's "Ivy Park" Sportswear Allegedly Made in Sweatshop

Bad news for the Beyhive: Britain’s The Sun reports that the Sri Lankan seamstresses who make Beyoncé’s new line of high-end athletic wear earn just £4.30 ($6.19) a day.…

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Donald Trump is Wrong About "Made in the U.S.A." Fashion

Photo by Charles Krupa for Associated Press For all his bluster about the loss of American jobs to workers overseas, Donald Trump doesn’t appear be overly concerned about the…

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Americans Prefer Cheap Goods Over "Made in U.S.A."

Photo by Markus Spiske/Unsplash Can’t pass up a bargain? You’re not alone. Most Americans say they’d rather buy a lower-price product than shell out a premium for…

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