The research question for this week was identified as the need to trace the life cycle of clothing that an individual uses in everyday wear. Such a study entails an understanding of the technological complexity of the production and disposal of clothing products and thus aims to develop critical ecological thinking. In particular, it can be assumed that the study of the chronology of the product will help the individual to identify the risks from improper disposal and the benefits of a conscious approach to consumption. To concretize this report, the author’s black hoodie manufactured by Levi’s was chosen, as shown in Figure 1 below.
According to the information on the tag sewn into the hoodie, the primary and only component for the production of the goods is one hundred percent cotton, as indicated in Figure 2. In addition, there is an applied paint in the form of the manufacturer’s logo on the chest of the product, but its composition is not specified. The chemical composition of the aglets used as tips for the lace that tightens the hood is also not known.
The place of production of this commodity, according to the tag, is Turkey, culturally known primarily as a place of extensive cotton production. This information is sufficient to determine the alleged factory where the garment was produced. In particular, one should use the brand’s official list of factories (Figure 3) to identify possible manufacturers. The product was then delivered outside the United States, where it was purchased by the author in one of the retail chain stores.
It seems evident that such a long distance between Turkey and the United States cannot be realized without several problems associated with social justice. As it is known, rich countries (USA) often take advantage of cheap labor from less developed countries (Turkey) in an effort to save money. Levi’s was founded in the late 19th century, just when it was common practice for businesses to develop territories with cheap labor to strengthen production (Levi’s History). The implication is that factory workers could probably have poor working conditions, low wages, and severe tensions, which also creates social equality problems. Finally, we should think about the fact that such a long transport of goods has undoubtedly affected the environment since an airplane or ship burns fuel.
That said, at the time the purchase of the hoodie from a U.S. retailer was made, the chronology of the product was not complete. In particular, the average lifespan of an ordinary hoodie is usually no more than four years (Imogen). A garment such as a hoodie must be washed on average once a week to keep the human body clean. Consequently, over the lifetime of a hoodie will be washed at least two hundred times, which will naturally affect the quality of the components and the intensity of the logo’s coloring. Thus, closer to the end of wear, the hoodie will have the look of a worn-out garment, and therefore resale or charity may seem like a far-fetched idea. However, such clothes can be given for recycling, as the additional label on the garment calls for (Figure 4). Recycling solves the issues of recycling materials and reducing the garbage footprint for the planet. However, this does not solve the problem of the inability of the low-income class to buy good clothes, which could be realized through charity. Thus, the decision to recycle involves the ethical dilemma of having to donate worn clothing to used goods.
Imogen. ” How Long Will Your Clothes Last Before They Wear Out?” Inside Style Blog, 2018, Web.
“Levi’s History.” Levi Strauss, Web.
“Levi Strauss & Co. Factory List.” Levi Strauss, 2014, Web.