What is Environmental Justice?

Environmental justice is a term that was first used in the 1980s, however many people today do not understand what it means. We thought it would be beneficial to dive deeper into what environmental justice is and why Edward Joiner is dedicated to bringing environmental justice to the fashion industry.

The simplest definition of environmental justice is making sure that our planet and everyone living on the planet are treated with compassion, respect, and equality. Every major industry in the world has the responsibility to treat people and the planet justly. One example of environmental injustice occurring right now is the working conditions of garment manufacturing in countries like Bangladesh. Workers are often paid close to nothing in wage, and these factories tend to be unregulated, causing unnecessary pollution and dangerous working conditions. These conditions exist because businesses and governments care more about profit than they do about the people and the environment. For most of the people reading this article, you may never know the effects of third world poverty, but that does not mean you should ignore these issues. Environmental justice goes hand in hand with social justice. 

Since the murder of George Floyd, the world has erupted to voice its opinion on racial injustice. Racial injustice and environmental injustice are equivocal, meaning you can not have one without the other. Fighting for a healthy planet can not be achieved without also fighting for healthy societies. What most do not realize is that systemic racism is embedded into environmental policy. This manifests itself in some pretty shocking ways. For example, in parts of the U.S there are disproportionately more Black communities and other people of color living in close proximity to chemical emitting farms and factories. These families have more health issues and lower life expectancies because of the location of their homes. 

It is important to educate ourselves and each other about this topic, because as we continue to become more aware about the environmental injustices around the world, the opportunity for change increases.

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