Water Pollution Due to Imported Textile Waste

by AHANA TORAJAMELO on September 14, 2023  in Social Impact

In the symphony of life, where currents of passion, activism, and audacity converge, there emerges a trailblazer – Yvette Tetteh. Picture this: a 30-year-old Ghanaian-British visionary carving ripples through the mosaic of Ghana's Volta River, swimming an astonishing 450 kilometers. This aquatic marvel wasn't a mere sporting feat; it was an impassioned ode to our planet, an outcry against water pollution that stretches its gnarled fingers far and wide.

Tirelessly, day after day, for a month, Yvette immersed herself in the Agbetsi Living Water Swim project. Four to six hours of aqueous embrace daily – a relentless dance with the river's heartbeat. Her purpose, as noble as the water's flow, was to spotlight the monstrous issue of textile waste in her homeland. Textiles, the threads that weave cultures and histories, were turning into a haunting echo of unsustainable practices.

The Agbetsi Living Water Swim wasn't just a solitary odyssey; it was backed by research and a deep understanding of the environmental havoc caused by textile waste. Ghana, a vibrant tapestry of colors and cultures, ironically ranks as one of the world's largest importers of secondhand clothing. Weekly, the land embraces 15 million garments discarded from the corners of the EU, the U.K., and the U.S., flowing into Accra's Kantamanto Market like lost chapters of a global story.

But here's the heartbreaking twist in the narrative: 40% of these precious garments, once brimming with stories and dreams, are deemed unworthy of a second chance. The rise of fast fashion, akin to fleeting dreams, has ushered in an era where textiles lose their value quicker than a sigh. This discarded fabric, abandoned like forgotten verses, finds itself in landfills, waiting to be whisked away by rain's tender touch. And there, the tragedy unfolds – the waterways bear the burden, the cost of our collective neglect, while the local garment industry grapples with upheaval.

As we marvel at Yvette's aquatic ballet, let's find echoes of her determination in our own hearts. At TORAJAMELO, we've woven our path alongside visionaries like Yvette. Our voyage spans over 15 years, supporting indigenous women's communities with a tapestry of opportunities – markets, education, and a spotlight on their artisanship and cultural heritage. 

With pride, we announce our mantle as Indonesia's 12th B-Corp Certified company, a badge of honor that we wear with the promise of mindful practices and a pledge to protect this planet we call home. 

So, as we embrace the #BUYBETTER mantra and lace our voices with #TORAJAMELOSUPPORTSWORLDACTIONS, let's spin a new story – one where threads of sustainability, compassion, and culture intertwine. Let's celebrate #WEAVINGSTORIESOFINDONESIA and dance to the rhythm of a shared purpose.