Uzbekistan is the second largest exporter of cotton in the world, and one third of the population is forced to work for government's billion-dollar cotton industry. However, there is an environmental catastrophe behind it.
Stone Wash Jeans and Silicosis
Turkey is one of the main producers of jeans. With the current demand for stone-washed jeans, factories hire thousands of workers to manually sandblast the denim to lower the cost. However, little care is taken to make sure that workers wear protective gear or face masks. As a result, many workers suffer from silicosis.
(© theguardian : Dhaka building collapse kills dozens in Bangladesh)The second largest exporter of garments - Bangladesh. In its capital Dhaka, the 8-story building "Rana Plaza" collapsed on 24 April.
Mainstream fashion supply chain lacks transparency. But this is not only about fibre as cotton, but also minerals. Gold, for example.
Recent rise in gold price has triggered illegal gold mining in Peruvian Amazon and as a result mercury pollution and deforestation has been increasing dramatically.
(© Link TV : A Toxic Legacy: Gold Mining in Peru)
Tannery, Polluted River and Health
(© the Ecologist : Hell for Leather: the toxic trade in leather from Bangladesh to EU)
Buriganga River runs through the heart of Dhaka, Bangladesh. 240 million dollars worth of leather is exported from Bangladesh each year. Much of it is sent to Europe, which is made into bags, belts and shoes for high street shops. However, tanneries in Dhaka supply much of those leather are killing the river and poisoning people live and work nearby.