Canada’s Marketplace Investigates Fast Fashion’s Waste Problem


Fast fashion chains like H&M are offering in-store recycling these days. It sounds like a win-win for consumers and sustainability. But as author and textile waste activist Elizabeth Cline explains to Canada’s CBC News Marketplace , in its latest investigation, the campaigns are often more than a little misleading. The average person would be surprised to know that only 1% of clothes are ever recycled in the truest sense of the word, meaning fibers from used clothing are broken down and turned back into new clothing. Much more often our used clothing gets exported to other countries, to be sold, and can even end up in the landfill. How much does the average personal really know about where their donated clothes end up? Marketplace takes viewers on a journey to find out.

Fast fashion companies, it turns out, are responsible for a large part of the growing textile waste crisis, as these companies churn out a constant stream of trends throughout the year. What happens to all the unwanted stuff they’re generating? Elizabeth Cline guides the hosts of Marketplace through the hidden world of secondhand clothes, as they travel from the mitumba stalls of Kenya straight to the dump. Watch the full investigation below.

Elizabeth Cline