Environmental cost of making blue jeans is very high
When people in the United States talk about blue jeans, they are most likely to mention Levi Strauss, the German-American businessman whose company made the first pair of blue jeans in San Francisco in 1873. Today, the popularity of Levi’s, the top brand for Levi Strauss & Co, is not confined to the US; it is a much sought-after brand in more than 100 countries around the world, including China.
A recent article on blue jeans that is burning up social media in China is not about how fashionable distressed jeans are, but about human lives, as its headline says: “Every Pair of Blue Jeans You Wear is Paid With Lives”.
The author describes the onerous working conditions and environmental damage caused by the blue jeans industry in Xintang town in Guangzhou, South China’s Guangdong province. The author claims that, “every pair of blue jeans, pricey or cheap, carries sin”. Known as the “Blue jeans capital of the world”, Xintang has some 3,000 businesses related to the jeans industry. It also meets 40 percent of the market demand in the US.
But it seems to me that the Chinese government should impose environmental tariffs on all exports to the US to compensate the Chinese people who bear the environmental costs of providing cheaper goods to US citizens.