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)
The price of gold has risen from $250/ounce to $1600/ounce in a decade. As a result, there is a boom in illegal gold mining.
They use mercury to extract gold as mercury has a particular affinity to gold. As much of the mercury used in the process is simply dumped into rivers and lakes, 30 tons of mercury are estimated to be contaminating the mother of the earth.
Mercury concentrates and accumulates in the food chain When it reaches the next consumers, which are usually people, mercury is so concentrated that it has a negative impact on human body.
High level of mercury in our body will have a negative impact on our brain. People have lower IQ levels, balance issues, aggressiveness, and also problems with hearing, taste and sight.。
Illegal gold mining does not only affect human bodies. It is destroying one of the most biodiverse areas on the planet.
However, miners continue to find new areas to exploit.
What is going on behind gold is not as glamorous as it looks. We need to raise more awareness on the problems in supply chain.