I recently watched an eye-opening documentary called, “The True Cost.” If you have not seen it yet, I highly suggest adding it to your queue. This documentary explores the impact that the fashion industry has on people all over the world, as well as the environment.
They travel to various countries showing first hand how it is affecting people on the front lines…and not in a good way. One of the tragedies they touch on is the collapse of the Rana Plaza building in Dhaka, Bangladesh that killed more than 1,100 factory workers. Even sadder than the collapse itself was that the owners of this apparel manufacturing plant were pre-warned about the safety issues that led this eight-story building to crumble to the ground.
Shima, a Bangladesh sweatshop worker that started a union for her and her fellow workers. But when the owners of the factory found out, Shima, along with the others in the union, were beaten and punished. Photo Credit: True Cost Documentary
The storytellers of this documentary make a good point in regards to the declining prices in fast fashion. Why are these garments so cheap? “Cheap” is a relative term, especially if you add in the cost of a person’s life or well-being. Self-proclaimed fashionistas have become obsessed with needing the latest trend; once they’ve reached a satisfactory amount of likes on their Instagram photo, on to the next! The low prices of fast fashion make it possible for this cycle to continue. So most likely, where do these “that is so last week” clothes go to die? In a landfill of course! I knew the fashion industry was a wasteful one but I did not know that second to the oil industry, the fashion industry is the largest polluter. Our poor Mother Earth, she just can’t catch a break…but on the bright side, this documentary also features companies and individuals that are doing right by our planet and the inhabitants of it. These companies are urging people to consume differently and thoughtfully. This film has made me even more aware of how my purchases can impact the world, for better or worse.
Only 10% of the clothes people donate to charity or thrift stores get sold. The rest go to landfills like this or are sent to undeveloped countries like Haiti which undercut the local industry. Photo Credit: True Cost Documentary
To watch "The True Cost" and learn more, please follow this link: http://truecostmovie.com/