News Roundup: April 2014

Okay guys, for real, I think it’s spring now. No more false alarms like my last roundup. Read on for the articles and links that caught my eye this month:

The Shirt on Your Back – This interactive documentary profiles the garment industry in Bangladesh and shares the stories of Rana Plaza workers. I haven’t watched the whole thing, but what I have seen so far is informative and powerful. (The Guardian)

Jeopardy Contestant Accuses Alex Trebek of Wearing Sweatshop Suits – Contestant Tom Kavanaugh was talking about making a documentary about sweatshop labor and hit Alex Trebek with a kid of harsh accusation about the origins of his suit. It’s an amusing clip, and while it was probably an inappropriate comment, I don’t fault Kavanaugh much for it since I think it just shows his passion for the issue. Kavanaugh even shares his side in the comments. (Gawker)

Celebrate World Fair Trade Day – World Fair Trade Day is Saturday, May 10, 2014! Visit the link for ideas for participating, from wearing your favorite fair trade accessory to giving a fair trade gift to a loved one. (Fair Trade Federation)

The Importance of Organic Cotton – Did you know that cotton producers use as much as 25% of the world’s insecticides and more than 10% of the world’s pesticides? This post from Modavanti describes the downsides and dangers of conventionally-grown cotton and the benefits of organic cotton. (Modavanti)

World’s Most Ethical Companies – I’d take this list with a grain of salt, as it includes known offender Gap, Inc. (who received a Public Eye “award” earlier this year for failing to sign the Accord on Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh). (Ethisphere)

The Eco Edit from People Tree cover image

The Eco Edit – I just found out that People Tree has a digital magazine! The April/May 2014 issue focuses on Bangladesh and how things have changed there in the year since the Rana Plaza disaster. There are some more fun, fashiony features as well to balance the more intense stories. (People Tree)

The Stories in Your Closet: What Do Your Clothes Say About You? – This article explores the idea of people having meaningful relationships with the things they wear and respect for the craftsmanship it takes to make garments. (Triple Pundit)

Free2Work Coffee Ratings 2014 – This report assigns a letter grade to a selection of coffee companies based on their systems for preventing and addressing child labor and forced labor. (Free2Work)

Who Made This Fabric? – Interesting profile of a company called Thread that works in Haiti and Honduras to turn trash into fabric. (Fashion Revolution)

Former Architect Shows Untold Beauty Inside America’s Textile Industry – Speaking of making fabric, check out these interesting photos from inside American textile factories. Holy spools, Batman! (My Modern Met)

What have you been reading this month? Any plans for World Fair Trade Day? It coincides conveniently with Mother’s Day weekend, which I may or may not have almost forgotten about… (That’s what happens when I buy a card five weeks in advance!)


  1. Paige

    Lots of good things to read! I keep an eyeball out for organic cotton already; it’s not always easy to find. One of my favorite pairs of underwear is organic cotton, and it was randomly in a swag bag we got at a charity party once. Score!

  2. this is a great list!!
    that interactive documentary is intense ; i have watched it twice and will be sharing it on my blog soon, too!

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