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  • Aaryan Doshi

Jacket Around the World in 80 Days: Part 3


Jacket Around the World in 80 Days: Part 3 image: adobe firefly

In less than 80 days, I left Asia and ended up in South America. I have crisscrossed almost all major continents. When I look around, I see piles and piles of everything from jackets to shoes to shirts to bags - you name it, this desert has it.




I cannot help but wonder. The enormous cost to the planet to land up in a desert waste yard? The fossil-fuel-guzzling ships, trains, and trucks used to ship me. The petrochemical used in the dyes to color me. The gallons of water I used first to grow the crops that make my fiber and then to manufacture them. Resources are consumed to make me, and then resources are used to waste me. I find this mind-boggling.




While on this desert, I have understood that these items lying scattered for miles across the desert have been there for years. It is called the world’s largest fast fashion graveyard




The worst part is that I was not made to biodegrade. Thus, the chemicals used to make me will continue to cause harm for almost two hundred years




There has to be a better alternative. Don’t you agree? Why could I not have been rented or traded with something else, like exchanging a new racket for a new jacket? Or even given away for free? Or be shipped back to my “khala,” who could have found a different way to use me? Is that not better than being dumped in a desert, which will hurt the environment more? But apparently, it is impossible because there is no way to track my origins - where or how I was manufactured, stitched, picked, colored, or packed. Nor is there a way to facilitate direct peer-to-peer exchange for physical goods like myself!




And so this is my final resting place - on this vast desert devoid of humanity - a far cry from the hustling and bustling Chittagong or the busy malls.




References:


Bartlett, J., & Merino, T. (2024, March 5). ​Fast fashion goes to die in the world’s largest fog desert. The scale is breathtaking. Environment. https://www.nationalgeographic.com/environment/article/chile-fashion-pollution



Jazeera, A. (2021, November 8). Chile’s desert dumping ground for fast fashion leftovers. Al Jazeera. https://www.aljazeera.com/gallery/2021/11/8/chiles-desert-dumping-ground-for-fast-fashion-leftovers

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