H&M, a multinational fashion retailer based in Sweden, is making efforts to reduce its carbon footprint and embrace sustainability. One way it is doing so is by investing in wind turbines. Wind turbines are an excellent source of renewable energy, and they have become increasingly popular in recent years. Wind energy is clean and produces no harmful emissions, making it an environmentally friendly alternative to fossil fuels. H&M has recognized the potential of wind energy and has made significant investments in wind power. H&M's commitment to wind energy is impressive. In 2015, the company announced that it had invested in two wind farms in Northern Sweden. The wind farms, located in the towns of Björkhöjden and Päiväneva, generate enough electricity to power H&M's entire operations in the country. This investment is a significant step forward for H&M, demonstrating the company's commitment to reducing its carbon footprint. The benefits of wind energy are numerous. Wind turbines do not produce any greenhouse gases or pollutants, which means that they do not contribute to climate change or air pollution. They also do not require any water, making them an excellent choice for dry areas. Furthermore, wind energy is a reliable source of power, and the cost of generating electricity from wind has decreased significantly over the past decade. H&M's investment in wind energy is not only good for the environment but also good for the company's bottom line. The cost of wind energy is decreasing, making it increasingly competitive with fossil fuels. Furthermore, as more companies invest in wind energy, the infrastructure necessary to support it will improve, further reducing costs. However, it is important to note that wind energy is not a panacea for all environmental problems. Wind turbines can have negative impacts on local wildlife, particularly birds and bats. Additionally, some people may find them unsightly. It is crucial that wind turbines are located and constructed in a way that minimizes these impacts. In conclusion, H&M's investment in wind energy is a positive step towards sustainability. Wind energy is a clean, renewable source of power that has significant potential to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and mitigate climate change. H&M's commitment to wind energy demonstrates that the company is taking its environmental impact seriously and is willing to invest in solutions that benefit both the planet and the company's bottom line. While wind energy is not a perfect solution, it is an important part of the transition towards a more sustainable future.
the ships arrive day after day with an unrelenting cargo. In Ghana, they call them 'obroni wawu' or the clothes of dead white men. They're the charity shop cast-offs from the Western world. It's sweat. Too many of them arrive in unwearable condition. While the trade in used clothes has created thousands of jobs, it's also turning parts of Ghana into a toxic landfill. The world's unwanted fashion ends its journey here. We call them tentacles. When they first wash up from the sea, they're very long. It's creating an environmental catastrophe of unthinkable proportions. (ROOSTER CROWS) (MUSLIM CALL TO PRAYER) In Accra, the working day begins long before dawn... ..as thousands of Ghanaians make their daily migration into the centre of this West African capital. From Old Fadama, Accra's biggest slum, Aisha Iddrisu and her 18-month-old son Sharif join the throng working in the second-hand clothes trade. Asare Asamoah starts his day early too. He's a successful importer of used clothing. I always think about him... Yeah. ..because he made me who I am. Today, new bales arrive, and Asare is checking on his order. Yeah, big bale. With quality? I hope you get a good one. Thank you. These bales are being dispatched to almost every corner of Accra's commercial heart, the sprawling Kantamanto Market. It's a bustling labyrinth where almost everything is for sale. These markets are one of the biggest in West Africa, if not the world, and they're a central hub for second-hand clothing. From here, they get shipped all over Africa. For the past two decades, the resale of Western cast-offs has boomed here. It's created tens of thousands of jobs. These men and women are retailers eager to seize the best clothes from a prized new bale. They're old friends, but this morning there's lots at stake. So for the next few moments, they're also arch competitors. If they don't grab the best clothes, they don't make money. Aisha is on her way to collect a bale of clothes from Asare, the importer. She's a kayayei or head porter. Ghana's kayayei women are usually displaced from their villages in the north of the country by conflict or unemployment. But even in Accra, Aisha is lucky to earn $5 a day. The bale of clothing she's carrying weighs more than 50 kilograms. It's tough and dangerous work. The trade in used clothing is also risky for importers. They pay upfront as much as $95,000 for a container, with no guarantee if the clothes inside it are any good. Asare imports as many as 3 million items of used clothing every year, most of it from the United Kingdom. When he finds Western exporters with good quality clothes, profits are there for the taking. Asare also sells his newly imported items to other retailers in Kantamanto Market. It looks like chaos but there's a method to this madness. These retailers are picking the finest clothes that have come in from the bale in order to be ready for market day. Asare lives a few hours from the city centre. In a good year, importers can turn over $AU140,000. Asare Asamoah attributes his family's success to divine intervention. Today is Sunday, and in this deeply religious country, it's a day for traditional clothing. Western cast-offs are so cheap that local textile makers can't compete. Since the 1980s, their output has fallen by as much as 75%. (ALL SING UPBEAT SONG) Traditional African clothing has now become too expensive for everyday wear. Every evening, with the market's customers heading home, a clean-up operation begins. Alleys full of unsaleable clothing are swept up and bundled into sacks, ready for tomorrow's collection. The next morning, the sheer volume of waste is staggering. But before it's even been driven away... ..another load of used clothing appears and is put up for sale. Solomon Noi is the city's waste manager. This place is serving as a dumping ground for textile waste in the name of second-hand clothing. Close to 40% do whatever shipment is coming on a daily basis ends up to be complete chaff of no value. Every day, this truck is full to overflowing. There's roughly 6 million garments every week that leave Kantamanto Market as waste, and a huge proportion of all of that clothing is trucked two hours north of Accra and ends up being dumped as landfill. The pressure from the used clothing industry is relentless. The city of Accra now has to find somewhere to dispose of more than 160 tonnes of textile waste every single day. Christiana Manko is a retailer who sells her stock outside the city. It's a hand-to-mouth existence for the single mother of three, who travels for hours between Kantamanto Market and outer-lying villages. She says she fell into the trade after her brother used juju, or sorcery, to force her off the family farm. She goes from village to village selling her clothes. (RINGS BELL) These $2 dresses are something of a luxury item. Christiana's arrival is a highlight of the week. But it's a precarious enterprise, because many of her customers insist on being granted credit. Christiana works hard to care for her family, but it's becoming harder because the bales of clothing being imported into Ghana are arriving in worse and worse condition. (THUNDER RUMBLES) It's monsoon season in Ghana, and when these fierce rains come, the unwanted clothing washes into the city's open sewers and chokes its waterways. SOLOMON NOI: You know, we are in the tropics, so we have very high precipitation in the form of rainfall. So any heavy downfall of rain will gather all this uncollected waste into the storm drains, which are not covered in any way, and then it gets into the ocean. It means all these layers of textile waste that are stockpiling at the ocean bed, and that is what will choke the aquatic life in there. Yeah, this is, like, dug into the ground, so when we've done clean-ups here you can dig, like, 15 feet and still find tangles of clothing. Liz Ricketts has spent the past decade documenting the impact of clothing waste on Ghana. It also becomes really dangerous for people when they're swimming because they're, like, rolling back and forth and it'll hit them. And it also hits the fishermen's boats and wraps around their motors. The textiles which wash back onshore become so tangled in the sand they're almost impossible to dig out. The tangled masses of clothing, we call them tentacles, so this, you know, is all tangled up and it's a little bit harder for you to see, but when they first wash up they're very long, you know they can be 8 feet to 30 feet and sometimes 3 feet wide. These tentacles have their origins at Kantamanto Market. Emmanuel! Yeah, hello. Hey. Wow. Linton Besser, ABC. Yeah, wow. I'm Emmanuel. Nice to meet you. Yeah, thank you. Emmanuel Ajaab is another importer. We are going to take this bale. This one here. This one from Australia. We want to see what is inside. And it's ladies summer jackets. He's one of the few to import used clothing from Australia. Yeah, I'm going to open. OK. Until they open their bales, importers have no idea whether they contain trash or treasure. It's nice, blue. So this one's going like this. Top quality. OK. Here, we can't wear this one. So is that going to be rubbish? Yeah, this is rubbish. And this one too. Or quality second. Second. OK. Put it here. This, you can't wear it. Yeah. This one is going to rubbish. And also, look, it's got a stain here. It's no good. It's no good. It's no good, it's no good. Emmanuel and his colleagues despair at the growing number of low-quality clothes arriving in Ghana. What do you think of this one? See how it is... ..dirty from here all along this. It's sweat. It's an insult? It's an insult. It is insult. Sorry to say...to use this. You see how it is? This bale cost Emmanuel $92. Throw it away? Yeah, throw it away too. These ones are the ones you can sell. OK. After sorting the whole bale, he can see he's going to make a significant loss on these Australian clothes. ..five, six, seven. Seven pieces in a bale. And how many altogether in a bale? This one, they have 180 to 200 pieces in a bale. And you find seven pieces. Very bad. So at the end of today, where will you put that? We are going to throw them away. The problem is there's no room anywhere in Accra left to throw them. This massive, carefully engineered landfill was meant to be the solution to Accra's waste crisis. It should have provided enough capacity for 15 years. But once it started accepting clothing waste from Kantamanto Market, it was filled to overflowing within just five. Now the city's only alternative is a growing network of informal, unregulated dumps... So a lot of the waste is brought here by informal collectors who pick it up at the end of the day. ..like this one on the edge of Old Fadama, the city's biggest slum. Yeah, it doesn't look there's anything wrong with them at all. Synthetic textiles can take hundreds of years to decompose. This mountain of waste may cast its fetid shadow over these neighbourhoods for generations to come. I think unfortunately what happens is that the waste... they are blamed for the waste. The people of Old Fadama are not responsible for this problem, but they are forced to live with it. Then this waste ends up in places like this, where it's used to further disenfranchise people who are already living in poverty, to blame them for waste that they did not create. While all consumers bear some responsibility for this waste crisis, Liz Ricketts lays much of the blame at the door of the world's big fashion houses. Really it's brands. It's brands that are overproducing. Waste is a part of the business model of fashion. A lot of brands overproduce by up to 40%. So when did they start burning this? Uh, at least three weeks ago. Much of the unwanted clothing is simply burned. It's not unusual for Accra's sky to blacken with smoke for days at a time. But for many who live in Old Fadama, including Aisha Iddrisu, the flow of second-hand clothing into Ghana has been a lifeline. There are other problems which are simply more pressing. (BABY CRIES) Aisha lives in this small, windowless room with four other women and all their worldly belongings. So perhaps it's for the West instead to think more carefully about the quality of what we donate.