John Oliver slams the fast fashion industry

In this week’s episode of Last Week Tonight, John Oliver featured the long and depressing story of labor violations in the fashion industry. If you’ve been following this for years, you won’t learn a whole lot, but it’s quite a good, succinct overview of the last 20 years. I’ve had a couple people ask me why I don’t support GAP, in particular, and this segment will clear that up.

I’ve embedded the entire segment above for your viewing pleasure.

I’m curious to know how you feel about the segment. Do you think it went deep enough? Do you think it will prove helpful?

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  1. Leah Wise
    May 3, 2015 / 9:50 pm

    Thanks for your comment and the insight into the issue in Ireland. I used to be one of those bargain shoppers who loved to tell people how little I paid for things, but now I really don't enjoy buying things that don't have a clear, transparent production story. I think if we keep doing our part we will be able to win people over with our example.

  2. Eimear Greaney
    May 2, 2015 / 8:22 pm

    I have just watched the piece, its very good, and thank you for the share. I am from ireland and the main brand here is pennys (england its known as primark) and the joke used be that people thought the irish for thank you was 'pennys' as when someone complements an irish girl on her new dress, she will say 'ya, pennys'. I dont think people realise how much we are short changing ourselves with cheap food and cheap clothes when it doesnt cost a whole lot more to eat better, and buy better. i never could afford to buy a lot of clothes and from time to time i would buy 'cheap' but in general i bought quality as if i like a garment i want it to last, and recently going thru my wardrobe, my clothes were either made in europe or home made. in the last year, i have given up buying new, and notice even more now how many of the people i know will buy fast fashion without hestitation……. its a bit dispiriting. When i started making my own, i felt if i could 'become the change' in my own corner, then that had to count for something…..i do think its a pity, for the sake of 50c addition to the price of something could really make a difference on the pay and conditions for the workers in these factories….one can only hope

  3. Leah Wise
    May 2, 2015 / 2:57 pm

    Thanks for your encouragement! That really means a lot to me to know that my words have helped clarify things and make a difference. I'm going to be posting a piece here about common myths that keep people from taking the plunge next week.

  4. MB
    May 2, 2015 / 4:44 am

    As a word of encouragement Leah Wise, I was one of "those people." Full of excuses and not interested in being guilt-tripped into buying expensive clothes. But after a Christian couple from my church shared your piece on Rachel Evan's blog I did a complete 180. As you said, it is possible to shop responsibly on a small budget. God bless xx

  5. Leah Wise
    May 1, 2015 / 2:34 pm

    I'm with you there. I read a few comments on news sites that covered this and most people are already making excuses. The problem is that they make the assumption that we are supposed to be able to have tons of clothing and they don't realize it is possible to dress well and be more responsible on a minimal budget.

  6. Johanne
    May 1, 2015 / 2:27 pm

    I'm not from the states, so I do not know what will happen over there, but from my side of the pond, I am fearful that these things will not make an impact. People want to close their eyes, or find ways to justify their purchases.

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