Wearing the World Out

What’s the true cost of cheap clothes? Fast fashion has become a multibillion-dollar industry in recent decades, reshaping the world’s shopping habits. But the industry’s low prices disguise a staggering environmental cost.

Play Button Pause Button
0:00 0:00
x
Host
  • Gabrielle Sierra
    Podcast Host and Producer
Episode Guests
  • Linda Greer
    Senior Global Fellow, Institute for Public and Environmental Affairs Beijing China
  • Elizabeth Segran
    Senior Staff Writer, Fast Company
  • Amber Valletta
    Activist, and founder, Master & Muse

Show Notes

These days it’s easy to shop for stylish and affordable clothing. With the development of fast fashion, stores are no longer bound by just four seasons; new items can be produced and sold every few weeks. But low prices and endless style choices have come at a massive environmental cost. In this episode, we explore how our clothes are manufactured, and the global trail of pollution they leave in their wake.

 

Read More

 

The Troubling Ethics of Fashion in the Age of Climate Change,” Washington Post Magazine

 

The price of fast fashion,” Nature

 

How plastic from clothing gets into seafood,” Vox

 

It Takes 2,720 Liters Of Water To Make Just One T-Shirt,” Refinery29

 

Remove Toxic Chemicals and Fabrics from Fashion’s Supply Chain,” Business of Fashion 

 

The future of clothes: These 3 startups help you rent or resell everyday items,” Fast Company

 

Watch or Listen

 

Fashion’s Crippling Impact On The Environment Is Only Getting Worse,” VICE News

 

The true cost of fast fashion,” Economist 

 

The Ugly Truth Of Fast Fashion,” Patriot Act With Hasan Minhaj

 

Fashion,” Last Week Tonight With John Oliver

Global Governance

In 2022, several colossal events dominated the headlines, most prominently the war in Ukraine and the worldwide inflation that it helped spark. But beyond Ukraine, events with global implications continued to unfold. In this episode, Why It Matters checks in with three CFR fellows and CFR President Richard Haass to understand the least-covered stories of 2022 and to take a peek at what could await the world in 2023.

Technology and Innovation

For years, the world thought of the internet as a borderless zone that brought people from around the world together. But as governments pursue very different regulatory paths, the monolithic internet is breaking apart. Now, where there had been one, there are at least three internets: one led by the United States, one by China, and one by the European Union.

International Organizations

The 2022 FIFA World Cup has kicked off in Qatar, and billions of fans worldwide are tuning in to the world’s most popular live event. And yet as in years past, the Qatar Cup is transpiring under the shadow of controversy.

Top Stories on CFR

China

China has so far been able to feed its 1.4 billion people, but climate change and a dependence on imports could pose challenges.

Ukraine

The main battle tanks that the United States and Germany have agreed to provide Ukraine will help its forces punch through Russian fortifications and retake lost territory.

Sub-Saharan Africa

PEPFAR’s twentieth anniversary should prompt reflection on some inconvenient truths for U.S.-Africa relations.