Bangladesh’s Toxic Leather Tanneries Could Be Killing Their Workers

by , 02/20/11

Bangladesh, eco-fashion, ethical fashion, green fashion, leather, leather tanning, Sustainable Fashion, sustainable style, toxic chemicals, toxic waste

The darker side of the clothing trade rarely gets as much attention as the season’s latest “it” bag, but textile and clothing production can be a duplicitous trade. So what is the human cost of a pair of new sneakers or a snazzy new purse? Pressed to meet global demand for leather, Bangladesh has been at the top of the pack producing the bulk of the industry’s leather, but at the very high price of their workers’ health. From asthma to cancer, more than 90 percent of tannery workers in Bangladesh suffer from some kind of disease as a result of chemical exposure. With hundreds of tanneries are pouring tens of thousands of liters of toxic waste into the region’s main river and a central water supply, you’d think that there would be an outcry. But lo and behold, it’s business as usual for these companies.


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