Un día de agosto me encontré encima de una de las montañas más impresionantes que he visto. La escalda fue con muy poco equipo, con las mismas zapatillas Nike que uso en la cinta de caminar. No tenía arneses, guías ni estaciones de reaprovisionamiento en la trepada. De hecho sólo me llevó alrededor de 20 minutos llegar a la cumbre, pese a detenerme frecuentemente para tomar fotos. En la cima mire hacia mi derecha y había un cielo azul interminable y a mi izquierda una nube de negro humo furioso.
It was not a typical mountain.Located about 38 km from the capital city of Accra, in Ghana, the Basural Kpone has homeless waste, plastic bags, food remains and -Yes, they guess.It happens that a portion of Kpone had caught fire and therefore the black smoke.Throughout the week the entire filling would catch fire.
If you ask how it can be that shoes, clothing and accessories with foreign labels reach a landfill in Ghana is not alone.Very few of us ask ourselves what happens to our clothes when we get rid of it.We carry consortium bags full of items that no longer "cause joy" to the salvation army, or we throw them into garbage tachys together with Starbucks paper rates.We donate with good intentions, we want our things to have a second life;We believe that someone else will give them good use, although we have decided that they are useless.And while that sometimes happens, the truth is that there is not enough global demand for the massive amounts of low quality second -hand clothing that we donate.As a result, our good intentions become expensive and overwhelming garbage and an environmental nightmare for people who live across the world.
Kantamanto, located in ACCRA, is one of the largest second -hand markets throughout Western Africa.The reason why it exists is because of the enormous overproduction and undervaluation of clothing.This is becoming a global problem, but it is the United States that leads the load.Every year the United States exports more than half a million kilos of used clothes.
The future is not very brilliant for retail sellers in Kantamanto.The more discharge fashion we give, the more pressure there is for retailers to sell less pieces for more money.But this is not only of sufficient quality to endure a second or third life but is not the style or fabrics that will appeal to the inhabitants of Ghana.
With an increasingly small inventory of quality second -hand clothes and a growing inventory of disposable clothing, Ghanians are forced to do exactly what we believe will not happen when we donate our undesirable pieces.Thousands of kilometers travel to end in the trash, without even having a glimpse of the second promised life.What is more, the discarding systems in Ghana and much of the developing world are less developed than in the United States, which results in more pollution and impact on the climate than if it had simply ruled out in the developed world, byNot saying anything about the environmental cost of transporting all that garbage.
Garbage is as integral to the Kantamanto movement as fashion.For every three garments that are sold in Kantamanto, two go to the trash.Let me pause.More than half of our clothes that are sent to ACCRA goes to the landfill.
This turn has made Kantamanto the most consolidated garbage search point for all action and possibly the whole country;However, only 25% of Kantamanto's total garbage is sent to a landfill.Another 15% is collected by informal private collectors who can pour it illegally on water roads, bury it on beaches, burn it on open land or simply leave it next to the road.This unregulated waste is what was behind the 2014 anger outbreak that killed 243 people.
Sadly, the final stretch of our clothes makes complete meaning.First, manual work and production were commissioned to countries where the absence of regulations makes everything cheaper and this hides the realities of how our clothes are done and at the same time makes it more dirty.Now the same thing is happening with what we discard, so countries without reliable infrastructure drown in our garbage.
We arrived at the landfill a foggy Friday morning.I was expressly told that I shouldn't use cosmetics in my eyes when I went to Kpone;Chemical elements present in the filling would make the mask curd in my tab.
I had seen the smoke from many kilometers away but I assumed it was something else.However, the more we approached the clearer what was the source.Around a quarter of the filling is burned, creating clouds of black smoke that rose to where it could be seen.Going down the car on the side that was burning was like getting into the set of hunger games.Look at the dense clay soil to try to order my head.But when my eyes landed in the silhouette of a pair of jeans and an embroidered girl embroidered on earth as fossils, my mind transported me to all the places where those clothes could have been.Was cotton grown in Texas or India?Was the clothes finished in Dhaka or Shaoxing?Did you sell in New York or Minnesota or London or step directly through Kantamanto, to come to suffer this shameful death, being completely forgotten people whose hands produced and sold it?
The filling of the filling was at the same time hunting of the treasure, horror and fear show, when the smoke descends.Although she wore a deliberately protective long sleeves, sleeves and pants, the murky mixture of food remains, plastic bags and clothing was alarming.I kept concentrated playing "I see."The plastic bags were the most easily identifiable, with their bright blue and green neon toast the gray topography as a confetti.My black nike found all kinds of companions, Asics shoes and a couple of Puma Rojas with Velcro and high platform.Other garments were more difficult to identify, having been crushed on Earth such as those bleak jeans or stuck in garbage bags, so only the brightest neon garments stood out.
Cada vez que reconocía algo me detenía. Una camisa de cuello abotonado a cuadros de H&M. Sobresalía de un montículo otra etiqueta que proclamaba “Made in / Fabrique au Canada”. Una bolsa imitación Versace de aspecto prístino se veía en duro contraste con la tierra color herrumbre. Una zapatilla que de tan destrozada era apenas reconocible.
We couldn't stay much at the garbage summit when the flames approached.Because the filling had already exceeded its capacity, certain critical security measures had been abandoned.For example, the filling in a time was divided into four quadrants.Not anymore.What is the reason that what could have been an isolated incident in a quadrant now began to set the entire filling.
For each campaign regarding donating or returning clothes, there should be five more illustrating all the work that demands to give these clothes a new life and how much of it is actually discarded.
It does not make absolutely any sense to dedicate so many resources to produce a garment, send it to the other side of the world to sell, use it only a couple of times and then send it again to the other side of the world so that all these resources end up thrown into the atmosphereand to the lungs of the people, the earth and the aquatic roads.
But they burn or not, the textiles in landfills are always a source of greenhouse gas emissions.Reuse is better than recycling and getting rid of clothes: wearing a garment would reduce the greenhouse gas emissions of clothing by 44%.
All this means that there is no such thing as "sustainable fashion."There is a fashion that can have a relatively lower impact, but it is a matter of degree and data collection has been so weak in this industry that it is often difficult to conclude that a product with the label “sustainable fashion has a really demonstrable impact.
This perpetuates the notion that we can buy sustainability and that it is simply to buy this instead of that.It is not the case.The most sustainable thing is not to buy the thing.
Gabriel Zadunisky Translation