the true cost: more than a documentary on the hidden costs of fashion industry

Ever since I heard about this film I wanted to watch it. So last night, I decided to do just that. What I realized was that, I was not prepared for what was in store.

Without giving too much away from the film I learned that:

1. Everything comes at a price.

2. The world is more interconnected than we can imagine. i.e: that out of sight out of mind landfill somewhere in a poor country is giving off gases that contribute to global warming and well the effects are felt everywhere, namely, temperature in July 2015 was again, record breaking. And 2015 is bound to beat 2014 being the hottest year on recorded history.

In the documentary, the filmmaker takes us beyond the shop fronts and advertisements that the average consumers are acquainted with and exposes the ugly side of the fashion industry, which after the oil industry is the most pollutant industry in the world.

Not only that, the fashion industry is also female labour intensive. The clothing that you are wearing right now, whether it be from China, India, Bangladesh, Vietnam or Cambodia – was likely from the hands of female garment workers working at a low $3/day (the statistic given in the film) and it’s sad (because I honestly can’t think of what $3 is…other than maybe a bottle of water? Or maybe a few apples?) watching the top execs of top brands dismissing this exploitive act with ‘it’s probably better than the alternative, if they are working for dismal amounts.’

Only 5% of clothes are manufactured in the United States now, 95% is outsourced.

The film is both eyes opening and heartbreaking (not just for someone who loves fashion). I would never look at a piece of garment the same again – nor would I want to throw anything out – because the image in my head now is that grotesquely high landfill rotting away somewhere in the world. I’d rather wear my clothes until I get holes in them or they’re no longer wearable – then I’d mend them myself.

Essentially, the film made me realize I no longer want to be a part of the consumption pattern that’s pushed upon us and that even if I’m an insignificant statistic in the larger scheme of things. I’ll sleep better at night.

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12 thoughts on “the true cost: more than a documentary on the hidden costs of fashion industry

  1. It’s so sad to know that we are treating other human beings in such an awful manner just so we can have material things. I don’t buy many clothes to begin with and now when people ask me why I’m wearing the same thing, I can give them a solid reason!

    1. Definitely! What shocked me the most was that the industry is only second to oil in creating pollution and to think that people in the developed world are sort of…used to just buying and then throwing it away, thinking because if they can afford it then that’s all they need to worry about. It really worries me, because some people just aren’t aware of the harmful consequences, or they simply don’t care.

  2. I feel the same way. I shop at a high end consignment shop most of the time instead of buying new. I get well made brands at greatly reduced prices and I’m being a responsible consumer.

  3. “I’d rather wear my clothes until I get holes in them or they’re no longer wearable – then I’d mend them myself.”

    I’ve been sewing up the holes in my clothes, it’s easy and doesn’t take long to do.

    Also when my socks get holes I repurpose them by using them to dust furniture.

    1. I’ve been using old t-shirts as hair towels actually (and when I tell my friends they think I’m being unhygienic, but why not?) and you could also cut up pieces of old clothes into table cloth or dish cloth, the possibilities are endless 🙂

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