Must-Read Roundup #1
A record of worthwhile reading
“On 24 April 2013, the Rana Plaza building in Bangladesh collapsed. 1,138 people died and another 2,500 were injured, making it the fourth largest industrial disaster in history. That’s when Fashion Revolution was born. There were five garment factories in Rana Plaza all manufacturing clothing for big global brands. The victims were mostly young women.”
Fashion Revolution Week is now one of the biggest weeks of the calendar year for those advocating for transparency and change in the industry toward safer worker conditions, living wages, environmental protection and animal rights. So—grab your favourite top, dress, or pair of jeans, and look at the label—What is it made of? What country is it made in? Who in that country made it? These are the types of questions Fashion Revolution encourage you to think about. There’s a bunch of interesting and useful resources to download and print, local teams in countries around the world, and global event listings to take part in.
“In Australia, workers on farms, in restaurants and shops are often exploited in conditions akin to modern slavery. Modern slavery also permeates the global supply chains of Australian businesses supplying goods to the Australian market from overseas. Major retailers, including Rip Curl, Woolworths, Coles and Aldi, have all been implicated in recent scandals involving exploitation in their supply chains. No company wants the curse of slavery in their products, yet too often that is the reality.
…Given the context of rising public mistrust in corporations and the global market, new Australian legislation would both prevent abuse and give workers and consumers greater assurance that action to eradicate modern slavery is a priority.”
Just as existing apps track everything from our cycling route to our food delivery, Santa Fe based Descartes Labs is set to use satellite imagery to better understand our planet and track everything that’s happening on its surface. “Instead of measuring basic heart rate or blood pressure, Descartes Labs is applying machine learning to both public and private satellite imagery to determine rates of deforestation, forecast food supplies, identify where new wind farms are being constructed, and more.”
“The archive goes back decades and grows larger every day–currently, it houses five petabytes of data (that’s 5 million gigabytes)… At some point, everybody ought to know this data, because it’s just data about the world we live in,” CEO and co-founder of Descartes Labs, Mark Johnson, tells Fast Company.
An accidental discovery by Scientist and beekeeper Federica Bertocchini in Spain, saw wax worms chewing through a plastic bag when cleaning out a beehive. Scientists are now trying to figure out how the worm is chemically breaking the plastic down. We’re still a far way from finding a large-scale solution to the world’s plastic problem, but “identifying the enzyme responsible [within the wax worms] could have big ramifications for breaking down plastic waste.”
A poignant piece of writing that takes us on a sobering reminder of how connected we are to the Earth, and how important it is to care about it. “The thing is, through the human-designed systems of mass production and hyper-consumerism, we have chosen to create through destruction rather than invest in figuring out how to create through regeneration. I believe 100% in humanity’s ability to find ways of redesigning systems that facilitate our needs in ways that are regenerative and mutually beneficial to us and the planet that we come from,” writes Leyla Acaroglu, Editor of Disruptive Design.