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The life cycle of a t-shirt - Angel Chang


200,792 Questions Answered

TEDEd Animation

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Consider the classic white t-shirt. Annually, we sell and buy 2 billion t-shirts globally, making it one of the most common garments in the world. But how and where is the average t-shirt made, and what’s its environmental impact? Angel Chang traces the life cycle of a t-shirt.

Additional Resources for you to Explore

Watch NPR’s: Planet Money Makes a T-Shirt to get another view on just what it takes to create that piece of clothing you just bought at the store. How Your T-Shirt Can Make a Difference from National Geographic is another great video perspective on this topic.

The Travels of a T-shirt in the Global Economy by Pietra Rivoli is a book that also follows the journey of a t-shirt across the world. Read it to learn more. What is the environmental footprint of a t-shirt? Click here to find out.

Want another look at all those machines work that make your clothing? Click here.

Wondering about the environmental impact of all those clothes you have in your closet or the dyes that may be on them? Check out this article on sustainable fashion. What should you do with those old clothes that you don’t wear anymore? My Fashion Footprint: Is Your Wardrobe Bad For The Planet? will help answer those questions.

Worried about your carbon footprint? Read this and find out how to decrease your impact.

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About TED-Ed Animations

TED-Ed Animations feature the words and ideas of educators brought to life by professional animators. Are you an educator or animator interested in creating a TED-Ed Animation? Nominate yourself here »

Meet The Creators

  • Educator Angel Chang
  • Director Lisa LaBracio
  • Script Editor Emma Bryce
  • Sound Designer Weston Fonger
  • Associate Producer Jessica Ruby
  • Content Producer Gerta Xhelo
  • Editorial Producer Alex Rosenthal
  • Narrator Julianna Zarzycki

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