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H&M May be Dumping Clothing Labels in Elephants Nature Reserves

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The labels found dumped in the Wetahirakanda Nature Preserve. Image from the Daily Mirror

BY JACKSON CURTIN

H&M Clothing Company is currently in hot water after a group of volunteer conservationists reported to find thousands of H&M clothing labels covering the jungle floor in the Wetahirakanda Nature Preserve, an “elephant corridor” in Sri Lanka. If you’re unfamiliar with the H&M line, it’s the type of clothing that boring people think is fashionable. A lot of black long sleeves with light grey or tan pants. What I am saying is, for the amount of pollution, you’re not even getting anything dope. Adidas and Puma were founded by brothers that designed boots for the Nazis, but damn it if both brands don’t make visually distinctive, comfortable footwear.

Climate Action Now Group, a volunteer activist action group which organizes environmental impact projects, were the first to find “thousands of H&M labels” spread throughout an area 50 metres (164 feet) inside the preserve. As they began to clean up the labels of clothes deemed too poorly made to sell to people that have more money than personality, they realized they had no method in which to deal with the non-recyclable materials. In the end it took the help of several district officials to properly dispose of the labels.

How exactly these labels came to be in the middle of the jungle is unknown ( *cough* capitalism *cough* ), but it may be linked to factory rejects.

Whereas I thought the factory rejects just ended up here

So far H&M hasn’t made an official statement as to where these labels came from, and are currently investigating internally (read: probably pulling a Toobin).

This is indicative of a larger issue in the area with trash dumping in Sri Lankan wildlife preserves. According to the same Climate Action Now group, elephants have been consuming garbage dumped in protected elephant corridors. They report that elephants have been contracting diabetes because of the amount of discarded food. Whether or not that statement is 100% factual, it is true that elephants are consuming an extraordinary amount of non-biodegradable waste, which can’t be good for them.

This waste consuming elephant has been ruining this country for two decades.

But wait, it gets worse. Even if all dumping were to be eradicated, the elephant corridors are still under danger, as constant construction and deforestation devastate the elephant population. According to the Daily Mirror, elephant refuges in Sri Lanka are being sold to private companies by the acre. In areas such as Galgamuwa, Wilpattu, and Kala Wewa previously sectioned land for wildlife are being leased to mango plantations sometimes 150 acres at a time. 

So what I am saying is, let’s all start buying from the Gap instead.

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