Degrowth in the clothing industry?

A capitalist approach to “degrowth”? Interesting analysis of clothing sector energy use.

The Clothing Industry Is Set to Consume a Quarter of the Global Carbon Supply by 2050

In an industry based on bottomless consumption, ever-cheaper prices, and ever-declining labor and environmental standards, fast fashion and earth-friendly just don’t seem to match.

Manufacturers would systematically decrease the pace and intensity of production, so that a company’s energy consumption would automatically shrink to fit the reduced resource needs for fewer garments and less overseas exporting. As the carbon footprint downsizes in production, circularity would be encouraged in the retail market as well by designing more durable styles, which could be worn for years, rather than become disposable within a few months. EMF also recommends creating a second shelf life for used clothing by expanding the marketing of resold and rented apparel.

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Building counter-power out of madness – State of power 2018 TNI

This opens with a litany of elements of the negative context, but is actually heartening in its description of counter power alternatives across the USA.

Among the many forms [of counter power] are new cooperative, small businesses, neighbourhood-owned and operated gardens and corporations, land trusts, municipalized energy and broadband systems, and hybrid forms of self-governance…

In 2016, 51% of US citizens between the ages of 18 and 29 told Harvard University researchers that they opposed capitalism. Only 42% expressed support. In October 2017, pollsters found that 44% of US millennials would pick a socialist rather than a capitalist country in which to live.

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David Graeber and David Wengrow on pre-history

From: Sam Bliss <samcbliss>
To: degrowth-reading-group
Sent: Sat, 03 Mar 2018 11:14
Subject: Re: David Graeber and David Wengrow on pre-history

This feels relevant to degrowth somehow

“..focus on one figure: the [assumption of a] Palaeolithic income of $1.10 a day. Where exactly does it come from? Presumably the calculations have something to do with the calorific value of daily food intake. But if we’re comparing this to daily incomes today, wouldn’t we also have to factor in all the other things Palaeolithic foragers got for free, but which we ourselves would expect to pay for: free security, free dispute resolution, free primary education, free care of the elderly, free medicine, not to mention entertainment costs, music, storytelling, and religious services? Even when it comes to food, we must consider quality: after all, we’re talking about 100% organic free-range produce here, washed down with purest natural spring water. Much contemporary income goes to mortgages and rents. But consider the camping fees for prime Palaeolithic locations along the Dordogne or the Vézère, not to mention the high-end evening classes in naturalistic rock painting and ivory carving – and all those fur coats. Surely all this must cost wildly in excess of $1.10/day, even in 1990 dollars. It’s not for nothing that Marshall Sahlins referred to foragers as ‘the original affluent society.’ Such a life today would not come cheap.”

On Fri, Mar 2, avansintjan> wrote:

The story we have been telling ourselves about our origins is wrong, and perpetuates the idea of inevitable social inequality. David Graeber and David Wengrow ask why the myth of ‘agricultural revolution’ remains so persistent, and argue that there is a whole lot more we can learn from our ancestors.

Our species did not, in fact, spend most of its history in tiny bands; agriculture did not mark an irreversible threshold in social evolution; the first cities were often robustly egalitarian.

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Life on the Left: Latin America: End of a golden age?

A long read which should be of interest to degrowth, eco-socialist and P2P activists.

Translated by Richard Fidler from the Spanish text published in Viento Sur, January 23, 2018

Following their participation in the international symposium that we coordinated last June on “Progessive governments and post-neoliberalism in Latin America: End of a golden age?” at the University of Grenoble, France,[1] we thought it would be worthwhile going back over the Latin American context with the sociologists Edgardo Lander (Venezuela) and Miriam Lang (Ecuador). Both of them have a sharp critical view, very often at odds concerning the present scene, and both have participated actively in recent years in the debates on the initial balance sheets of the progressive governments of 1998-2015, in particular those of the Rosa Luxemburg Foundation in Miriam’s case[2] and of the Transnational Institute in Edgardo’s case.[3]

For example, they have written probingly on such topics as the problematics of development and the state, neocolonialism and extractivism, the lefts and the social movements, and both have tackled the difficult issue of conceiving roads of emancipation at times in which humanity is going through a profound ecosystemic crisis of civilization, challenges that mean, inter alia, re-inventing the left and (eco)socialism in the 21st century. — Franck Gaudichaud

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Downsizing – a new approach to Degrowth? 😁

Downsizing: Review of a sci-fi satire about a revolutionary new micro-utopian method of shrinking human beings to matchbox size so they consume less, help the planet and boost their own consumer lifestyle in leisure-oriented downsized community.

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What will spark a degrowth movement in the USA? – Uneven Earth

by Sam Bliss

Things are big in the United States of America. Returning home after a year away reacquaints me with big detached single-family homes, big single-occupant vehicles, and big single-species grass lawns. I find wider roads, longer distances, larger supermarkets, and more stuff everywhere.

As a student of ecological economics, it makes me a little anxious. Such individualistic extravagance isn’t ecological or economical. I remind myself: it is precisely why I came back.

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Proposal for a US (?) Degrowth gathering 2018

Hey everyone. Please see message below, especially if you’re in North America. Apologies to those of you who will get this email multiple times.
from Sam Bliss
———- Forwarded message ———-

Hi degrowth fans,

The United States arguably has the most degrowing to do of any nation on earth. Last year, one of us asked, What will spark a degrowth movement in the USA? We can start by gathering the movement that already exists. Surely we are more than we think!

We want to organize an event somewhere on the Atlantic coast this summer to bring together degrowth activists and academics in the U.S. and Canada. To our knowledge, we’ve never intentionally gotten together before. This regional gathering will complement the 3 international degrowth conferences this year in Sweden, Mexico, and Belgium. We envision something like two leisurely days with some combination of facilitated discussions, shared meals, outdoor activities, provocative lectures, maybe some art, disobedience, or a film screening. We need your help to plan this thing collaboratively.

If you are interested in such an event, please take this survey by March 1 to weigh in on possible activities, locations, dates, and so on. Forward this email to your degrowth friends — please don’t spam it to your whole listserv unless it happens to be a degrowth-focused listserv, in which case we want to know about it. (:

Also, if you want to form part of our small planning committee, email Luísa at


Luísa, Luiza, and Sam

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