The Unfashionable Truth
about Fast Fashion
Although most people do not typically associate the fashion industry with STEM or science policy, fashion and science are intricately tied to one another due to the detrimental effects the fast fashion industry has on the environment and public health. Not only does the fashion industry generate >92 million tonnes of textile waste and contribute to 10% of global CO2 emissions per year, the chemicals and heavy metals used in the dyeing process are also toxic to humans and aquatic life.
Our Unfashionable Truth about Fast Fashion series stars many experts intricately involved in this multifaceted issue. We are joined by Drs. Imran Islam, PhD, and Preeti Arya, PhD, from the New York Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) who specialize in textile development. They provide insights into the macromolecular basis of fashion and the switch from using natural fibers to synthetic fibers. Former COO of Timberland and sustainable investing expert, Ken Pucker, then discusses the hurdles of increasing sustainability in the fashion industry. To discuss the legal side of the crisis, we are joined by fashion lawyer Whitney McGuire, Esq. We then cover the European solution to the crisis with Dr. Kirsi Niinimäki, PhD, an expert in fashion research and based in Finland, where she works directly with policymakers to draft policies intended to mitigate the effects of the fast fashion crisis.
With Drs. Imran Islam, PhD, and Preeti Arya, PhD
Fast Fashion at the Macromolecular Level: The Switch from Cotton to Polyester
With Ken Pucker
Fast Fashion at the Industrial/Investing Level: Why Industry Won't Change on Its Own
With Whitney McGuire, Esq.
Fast Fashion at the Legal Level: The Importance of Fashion Law
The New York Fashion Act
Sponsored by NY Assemblymember Dr. Anna Kelles, PhD, the NY Fashion Act received input from our guest, Ken Pucker, and would require fashion companies doing business in NY to map ≥ 50% of their supply chain. See its progress through the NY Senate below.
California's Garment Worker Protection Act
This critical legislation bans piecework, which allowed manufacturers to pay workers per garment, resulting in a salary of < $6 per hour. It holds fashion companies accountable by expanding the definitions of garment manufacturing.
The Environmental Price of Fast Fashion
One of the seminal reviews revealing the high environmental cost of the fast fashion crisis was authored by our guest, Dr. Kirsi Niinimäki, PhD. Read the comprehensive article, published in Nature Reviews Earth and Environment, below.
Does data transparency fix the issue?
As discussed with Ken, an Obama-era policy mandated reporting of the average worker to CEO pay. Intended to reduce the discrepancy, the ratio has only worsened. Check out an article from The Guardian to learn more