hasan minhaj speaking at the Planet Home 2019 event

On Tuesday, August 18, Hasan Minhaj, a Planet Home solutionist, announced via Twitter that his Netflix series, Patriot Act, has come to an end. 

For six seasons, Patriot Act with Hasan Minhaj explored global news, politics, and culture, covering issues such as civil rights, student loans, mental health, and many more. Lauded for its impressive research, brilliant analysis, quality production, and expert comedic delivery, the show earned an Emmy, a Peabody Award, two Webby Awards, and landed Minhaj a spot on the Time 100 Most Influential People list.

In every episode, “The Daily Show” alumnus delivered solid, deeply researched reporting through unapologetically critical takes, served with a side of laughter. As the show’s creator and host, Minhaj brought the same nuanced perspective, humor, and storytelling skills to the screen that he did to the stage of our Planet Home 2019 event, where he was also our host.

Looking Back on Patriot Act’s Coverage of Environmental Issues

Minhaj used the show’s platform to raise awareness about the challenges our planet faces, taking a deep dive into the social and industrial phenomena that have a negative impact on our environment. One episode, “Oil,” dove into the fossil fuel industry. Minhaj discussed the causes and effects of the Taylor oil spill and took a closer look at the impacts and scale of the United States’ continued reliance on and expanding production of oil as a fuel source.

One of our favorite episodes of Patriot Act shined a light on the environmental impacts of the fast fashion industry. The third episode of the fifth season, “The Ugly Truth About Fast Fashion” covered the way the constant demand for new styles has created an industry that turns out large volumes of new styles every day.

Minhaj explains that the production of synthetic materials uses 342 million barrels of oil annually and that over 10,000 liters of drinking water can be used to produce a single piece of clothing. That’s a tough statistic to swallow, considering the average American only wears a piece of clothing 3 times before it gets sent to a landfill.

How Do We Make Fashion More Sustainable?

Luckily, we’re seeing positive change happen in the fashion industry thanks to solutionists like Jennifer Sey of Levi’s, where they’ve found a way to reduce the amount of water needed to produce a pair of jeans by a whopping 95%. Environmental educators like Dominique Drakeford are helping companies raise the standards for sustainability in fashion through green manufacturing.

The best way to improve the environmental impact of fashion is to move the industry to incorporate the concepts of a circular economy. The Ellen MacArthur Foundation is helping to accelerate the transition towards a circular economy by working with businesses and governments to design a regenerative ecosystem. The foundation has partnered with fashion leader Stella McCartney to publish a report that outlined the environmental impact of the textile economy.

What you can do to help? Learn more about the Ellen MacArthur Foundation or sign a pledge to help fight pollution.

Although Patriot Act has come to an end, we’re thankful to everyone at the show for shining a light on these important issues and we look forward to seeing Hasan Minhaj and team continue to do incredible work.