Greenpeace's anime video about hazardous chemicals and fashion

Brian from Greenpeace sez, "They say you can tell what next season's hottest trend will be by looking at the colour of the rivers in China and Mexico due to the dyes and hazardous chemicals used by the fashion industry. An animated collaboration between Greenpeace and Free Range studios (creators of such activist classics as Meatrix and Story of Stuff) exposes the trail of hazardous chemicals from factories in the developing world to the clothes the developed world buys. Greenpeace claims some of the chemicals present in trace amounts in those clothes are banned in European and the US, making your washing machine a potential source of illegal hazardous waste."



  1. So, you shoot a TV with an arrow and suddenly the dome vanishes and the toxic waste pours into the city and you are a hero?

  2. Won’t give Greenpeace the “views” increment. For me, they fall into the category of “May you never be known by the loudest advocates of your cause” — they have too much of a history of going over the line and giving the environmental movement a bad name.

    They may outgrow that. I hope so. But I prefer to put my support behind folks who actually get paid attention to rather than dismissed as extremists.

    1. Everyone is always dismissed as too loud when they have something unpopular to say, except sometimes in comparison to someone louder.

        1. “What the Green Movement Got Wrong”, broadcast this week, by the same channel that aired the hugely controversial “Great Climate Change Swindle”

        2. That’s what Monsanto, who aren’t actually planning on giving away their genetically modified “Golden Rice” to feed the starving, would like you to believe. Corporate control of a patented monoculture food supply in a food distribution system in which profits increase with scarcity? Sure, that’s a great recipe for stopping starvation. 

          1. Citation needed. AFAIK, Monsanto does not own the Golden Rice, even if they have one of the patents that was involved. I might be wrong, in which case I would love to correct my mistake.

            In any case, opposing golden rice does not help those who need it. In any case, making GM hard to develop is not good news for small research groups. If you want diversity, let other people do GM with local varieties.

          2. I think what a lot of pro-science people (which I count myself as one) don’t understand is that GM is not about moving forward, it’s about monetization. What research A or development B will provide is moot; the application of the research is generally controlled by those who have the funding and capacity to implement it, ie mega-seed companies. They really care nothing about advancements per se, all they care about is market and profit advantage, and are analogous to drug manufacturers. 

            While the objections could start with the realization that a truly beneficial seed product, say a perennial one that delivers incredible caloric and nutritional multipliers on scant resources, would never be allowed to be distributed because the intellectual property owners (seed co’s) couldn’t sell it (whelp, we gotta make sum money some hows right?) the bigger environmental issue is the unrestricted modification that a blanket endorsement of GM would allow. Since seed companies are essentially the chemical corporations, we should expect them to use the same model for modification that they use for chemical production; a flood of manipulations, reformulations and recombinations with little to no study on the impact of the release of those products. A problematic chemical released in the environment has an effect and then slowly makes its way out of the system, a problematic genetic trait would, well, I hope you get the picture.

            Experimentation is fine, but recombination and release must be tightly controlled… which makes GM unprofitable and is why Big Ag opposes regulation and restriction.

          3. Still, we eat stuff like the dwarf wheat with abslutely no problems. We create new varieties continuously. And of course, it is easy for us, well fed people with no relation to the farmers to be skeptical/dismissive about the potential of new GM varieties.

            As long as the anti GM people do not call for a moratorium in every single new variety and in poliploids, I can’t believe in the seriousness of this argument.

            As for the original, unanswered claim, opposing all GM because Monsanto, is kinda like opposing all software because Microsoft.

    2. I were a supporting member of Greenpeace a long time ago untill they ran the ad campaign “There are many ways to kill a dolphin, one is to not be a Greenpeace member” that ad were one of my most important WTF moments.

      1. Hrmm… I’ve worked for Greenpeace for 30 years. I can’t claim to see every ad, but I’d be very surprised if this were us. One of the downsides of being a big name is we get conflated with other groups a lot. 

    3. I don’t think we will outgrow it, Technogeekagain. We see our mission as catalyzing discussion and debate with the big gesture, the drawing of a stark line. And as to being listened to — one of the targets of this video, Zara, yesterday committed to a zero waste policy for their supply chain by 2020, with some of the worst chemcals being phased out by 2015. The kind of purchasing power represented by the 8 big brands that have now committed potentially means a shift in the entire industry.

      1.  Hey up Brian. I’m from GPNZ. *waves*. I quite often have Boing Boing open at my desk. Maybe we’ll cross paths one day.

    1. A strong message with a strong plot, much better than being smacked over the head. Most people react better to gentle chiding than outright yelling.

      1.  …except that most issues get ignored entirely if you don’t outright yell.  Actually, most issues get ignored entirely even if you outright yell. 

        For every noble cause that was helped by reason and gentle debate, there first needed to be some rude nuisance screaming about it.

        1. Which is why such pivotal figures as Ghandi and Martin Luther King Jr. went about yelling because how else could their messages ever be heard? By starting non-violent social movements and treating everyone, even their “enemies”, with dignity and respect? Pfft! Yeah right!

          1. Ghandi and King were dignified, respectful, and loud.  They sought all the publicity they could get, because they knew their cause needed it. 

            Being polite doesn’t mean staying silent and letting them walk all over you.

          2. Martin Luther King, as said below, was loud, and he had no time for white tone trolls such as you — Google on “Letter from Birmingham Jail.”

            Malcolm X, also important to the civil rights era, was even louder. And Gandhi is not universally respected, you may be unaware, due to his support for the caste system which continues to oppress millions of Indians.

          3. Which is why such pivotal figures as Ghandi and Martin Luther King Jr. went about yelling because how else could their messages ever be heard?

            The only reason that anyone listened to MLK is because he offered a less terrifying alternative than Malcolm X.  If it weren’t for the latter, you would never have heard of the former.

          1. Actually, I have tried it.  A nice gentleman came along and gave us a hand.  (I was yelling politely, it should be noted.)

            My second favourite city in the world.  Score one for Canada.

  3. Marumizu army!

    Also, this animation style looks suspiciously like Captain Planet.  And for that, I reject it.

    1. Macklemore amazes me. Not only with his skill and his message, but also with the fact that he’s so criminally unknown despite it.

  4. A multinational money making machine posing as a philanthropist organization through clever marketing and guilt management.
    My opinion is that greenpeace is evil. It’s also nice to see that they spend your donated money on making pretentious “western elitist view” oriented cartoons, I think they do the cause more harm than good, scaring away all moderate and sensible debate.
    Don’t get me wrong I am a leftist designer and artist who does think the environment deserves high priority.

    1. So you start with:

      I think they do the cause more harm than good, scaring away all moderate and sensible debate.

      — which is a pretty reasonable opinion.  But then you somehow get here:

      My opinion is that greenpeace is evil.

      without showing your work.  These sorts of moral histrionics undermine your credibility somewhat.  Can Greenpeace be wrong without being evil?

  5. I object to this message for the sole reason that it calls for “green fashion” in the form of fashion industry reform rather than an end to the industry period.

    1. No offence deadbilly, but big fashion brands aren’t likely to worry much about you (or me for that matter) because they only really worry about their customers. 

      So we try to craft campaigns like this to connect with the kinds of people these companies see as their customers. 

      Telling them that fashion sucks is just going to turn them off.  But there are a lot of them that want to see brands they like doing better by the world (environmentally, labor rights, etc).  And if enough of them make noise, companies generally react.

      1.  “because they only really worry about their customers” I dare even debate that statement, they only care about money, that is why they try to greenwash themselves. Not because they care but because it sells better. So you the consumer will still buy their overpriced product instead of buying (local) long lasting products, made from decent materials.

    2. It suddenly occurs to me that this week has seen postings about tobacco, quackery, copyright, and now fashion.  It’s like all the modern evils at once!  All we need now is multi-level marketing.

    3. We should destroy the game industry, too.  I’m not interested in it, so it shouldn’t exist.

  6. Who is dismissing Greenpeace? the media? the same media that depends on and is paid by, uh, certain commercial interests?

    Please, do prefer to put your support behind what makes sense, not what happens to be “popular”, a.k.a. what is in fashion!

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