Atacama Desert: fast fashion’s disaster view via satellite
Fashion waste is now visible from space. Indeed SkyFi, an American startup that provides high-resolution satellite photos and recordings, has confirmed a giant pile of clothes in the Atacama Desert, Chile. And so, it happens that a piece of news released in 2021 is brought back, highlighting human inactivity and carelessness towards the waste we put out.
The Atacama Desert and the cost of fast fashion
The Atacama Desert, the driest desert in the world, is in Chile. Now it is an island of discarded clothing, including Christmas sweaters and ski boots, piling up in the desert. Indeed, Chile is a hub for secondhand and unsold clothing ending up there from all over the world. USA, Europe and Asia. Approximately 59,000 tons of garments arrive there every year. Clothing merchants buy part of it, but the majority, about 39,000 tons, end up in rubbish dumps in the desert.
You can read our exploration here.
This is via the SkyFi website:
“The satellite image that we ordered of the clothes pile in Chile’s Atacama Desert really puts things into perspective. The size of the pile and the pollution it’s causing are visible from space, making it clear that there is a need for change in the fashion industry. Our mission to make Earth observation data easy and transparent is vital to identifying and addressing problems like this one.”
Fashion industry vs change
On the one hand, it’s good to have another viewpoint on what is going on with fashion waste. That perspective about the earth from a distant observation is appalling. On the other, almost two years have gone by since the first news release, but nothing has changed over time! So, were we waiting for a satellite view to make a change?
The fashion industry, a capitalistic system based on the exploitation of people and the planet, has a huge responsibility. Despite the giant pile of clothes being confirmed, CEOs will not change. The fashion system will not change. But people have the power in their brains and wallet!
Today is World Environment Day, and the big news is that fashion waste is visible from space! Are we waiting for a satellite view from Mars to start moving a finger? Or is it time to educate ourselves and have an independent thought?