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CBC The Passionate Eye 2019.08.24 Fashion's Dirty Secrets

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A look at the hidden costs of fast fashion. From the disappearance of an entire sea, to toxic pollution dumped into water that millions of people rely on, these shocking discoveries will make you think twice about buying those new clothes.

In Fashion’s Dirty Secrets, presenter Stacey Dooley looks at the impact our insatiable appetite for cheap clothing is having around the globe. Lucy Siegle, a broadcaster and journalist investigating fashion's growing environmental footprint says in the film, “I think there is credible evidence that says that garment, apparel production, is one of the top five polluters globally…we are producing over 100 billion new garments from new fibres every single year, and the planet cannot sustain that.”

Stacey travels the world to uncover the hidden costs of the clothes we buy. She discovers that cotton, with a reputation for being clean and eco-friendly, is actually responsible for one of the earth’s largest environmental catastrophes. She visits the former Aral Sea, once one of the largest bodies of fresh water, now reduced almost entirely to dust. The main rivers feeding the Aral had been diverted to provide the huge volumes of water needed for giant cotton farms. And, she sees for herself how toxic chemicals released by the garment industry are polluting waterways that millions of people rely on.