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Christmas Special: textile waste caused by "fast fashion" & organ donations in Hong Kong


Christmas Special: textile waste caused by "fast fashion" & organ donations in Hong Kong

Hello and welcome to The Pulse and Merry Christmas, if indeed you are celebrating this festival which, for Christians, marks the birth of Christ. More generally speaking it’s time to celebrate, hopefully, quality time with families and friends, and the joys of excessive consumption. Over the past few years, The Pulse has looked at some ideas for a more environmentally-friendly Christmas. This year is no exception. One way or another, it’s a season that can generate quite a lot of waste. Fashion, for one thing, is all about change and keeping up with the latest trends. So-called “fast fashion”, in which designs move from catwalk to retail to hit the trend particularly quickly, accelerates this process. It’s not surprising then that some local organisations have noticed that clothes form an increasingly large proportion of the stuff we throw away.

Christians, humanists, atheists, freethinkers, not to mention followers of other religions, all have different interpretations of Christmas. It’s widely believed that the celebration of Christ’s birth around the winter solstice had more to do with the church latching onto pagan traditions than with an actual birth date. But whatever the origins, many people see this as the season to give. In October, 19-year-old Jamella Lo passed away from a lung infection after waiting two weeks for a double-lung transplant. That case highlighted the very low rate of organ donation in Hong Kong. At any one time, up to 2,000 patients are waiting for organ transplants here.
Of the 170,000 registered donors, around half do not have their family members’ support. There are only around 45 successful transplants here each year, and often the problem is not technical but societal.

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