Today I ordered 'The True Cost' online after seeing a link to it from a friend's Facebook page (who said Facebook wasn't good for something) and of course I was immediately drawn to it, one, because she is a local fashion designer herself and two, because of my Zero Waste lifestyle (blog HERE)
I always knew the fashion industry was hugely corrupted and of course, heard about the Rana Plaza Tragedy (which by the way, amazing news for Rana Plaza workers getting compensation HERE), but I didn't realize how much it has an impact on the whole world. Second to oil, the fashion industry is the most polluted industry and takes no consideration into the working lives of others and it's effects on the environment.
I first became aware of the "fast fashion" movement because of a client I had the opportunity to film promotional videos for: Want It All, an upcoming clothing line in Montreal, Canada that supports slow fashion, sustainability and supporting local. They were tired of their clothes falling apart from companies that only thought about profit so they wanted to be a part of the change.
As Zero Waste lifestyle became prominent, downsizing my closet, consuming even less and thrift shopping in an effort to reduce landfill waste, became extremely important.
I'd never really bought into consumerism and fast fashion as heavily as most people in society did. I took a lot of second hand clothes from family, did shopping hauls maybe once or twice a year and thrifted, but I admittedly, never took into consideration where my clothes were being made and just what it meant on a greater scale. I loved the prices, but didn't realize at what price everyone else who had created them, was paying. And I should have known better being from a third world country, living in a first world country knowing full well where our goods are coming from... I couldn't believe I was only now being exposed to all of this in full light.
This movie, opens a huge window into the industry that needs to be exposed in order for it to change. It was beautifully created, portraying all sides, from the cotton farmers, to the garment workers to the big box chains - places that include Wal-Mart and showing just what happens to our donated clothing that we deliver to charity. It raises the important questions like: How are we going to take responsibility for our actions? What do we want to say with our purchases? How are we going to change? And while it is completely sad and horrifying, this film also gives me hope. Companies like WIA (Want It All) and the other designers who helped produce this film, give me hope. The seed has already been planted; starting with fashion designers who rethink what they are creating and consumers who rethink what they are buying.
I realize, we have been doing a good thing here, by up-cycling and repurposing previously loved items. I realize that there is a lot of learning and growth to be had. I realize that if I am to purchase clothing, I will save the money so that I may support local, so that I may buy quality products, from ethically sourced companies.
Not only has it increased my awareness it has fuelled my strong desire to change and be a part of the change. Because the last thing I want is to have an opinion about it all, but not follow through on what I believe is right, what is just and what is moral.
I strongly recommend you watch this movie. For $10, the knowledge you gain and the people you may help is worth it.