An Argentine journalist recorded the sad reality of the Atacama Desert near Alto Hospicio: tons of unused clothes from all over the world that are discarded in this place.
Sadly, the Atacama desert in Chile has been transformed into a clandestine dump of clothes from all over the world. New garments, with a label and others with very little use, make up true mountains that litter the beautiful arid landscape.
As reported by BioBioChile A few months ago, it is estimated that some 59,000 tons of clothing are thrown away each year that arrive through the free zone of the port of Iquique, also known as Zofri.
The Argentine journalist and popular tiktoker, Jason Mayne, moved to the place to portray this reality. There he verified that most of the garments were in good condition, and some even had a label.
It turns out that in the Atacama desert there is a clothing dump. Yes, a place where there are -at least- 100,000 tons of garments. Many have tags and have never been used. pic.twitter.com/hqUtmZER96
— Jason Mayne (@MayneJason) January 3, 2022
“The Atacama desert and in the middle these mountains of clothes. The mountain that man made (he says pointing to the piles of thrown away clothes) and the mountain that nature made (pointing to the sand dunes)”, he says in one of his videos.
“Yes, what you are seeing is post, there are at least 100 thousand tons of clothes, a lot of new clothes, with labels”, he adds.
As an example, it shows a new pair of jeans for which it is estimated -according to UN reports- 7,500 liters of water were used to manufacture it. “What a person consumes in 7.5 years”, explains Franklin Zepeda, CEO of Ecofibra, a company that makes insulating panels with this waste.
@maynejason Tremendous the impact that the industry has #fashion. I went to the new clothes dump in #chile In my IG the full note. #argentina #tiktokinforma #journalism ♬ Monkeys Spinning Monkeys – Kevin MacLeod & Kevin The Monkey
On his tour, Mayne also met a group of Venezuelans who went looking for clothes in these mountains of clothes.
@maynejason Reply to @nose._083 I met 4 guys from #venezuela looking for clothes. They came walking with what they were wearing. #fashion #chile #argentina #tiktokinforma #journalism ♬ original sound – Jason Mayne
In another clip, the journalist says that the clothes, mainly from Europe and the United States, end up there after being discarded by importers. The latter make a selection of the garments that arrive and get rid of what they consider “unsaleable”.
@maynejason Responder a @rog3rrp #fashion #chile #argentina #tiktokinforma #journalism ♬ original sound – Jason Mayne
It should be noted that these tons of garbage hidden in the desert are found at the height of Alto Hospicio, in the Tarapacá region.
a toxic industry
A 2019 UN study indicates that the production of clothing doubled between 2000 and 2014 in the world, becoming “responsible for 20% of the total global water waste”.
This same report indicates that the manufacture of clothing and footwear generates 8% of greenhouse gases, and that “every second an amount of textiles equivalent to a garbage truck is buried or burned.”
If you dig into the desert land, you will find more clothes, as some municipal trucks have covered them to prevent fires, which are very toxic due to the chemicals and materials that make up many of the garments. However, this clothing pollutes the same and not only the landscape, but releases pollutants into the air and into the groundwater tables.