If you haven’t seen me nattering away on Twitter, then you won’t have seen my tweets about a new documentary film called, The True Cost. I first discovered it on the Business of Fashion YouTube channel (which I would highly recommend subscribing to) and had been waiting for the launch day ever since. I thought I would discuss the movie and what I’ve taken from it, to hopefully inspire you and get you all to watch it. Sorry if this is a long one… if you read all the way you might find a 40% off surprise at the end!
The film itself probably isn’t suitable for all age groups. There are a couple of graphic scenes, so please watch at your own risk, or at least ask your parents first if you’re under 13.
First of all, the film in summary: The True Cost is a documentary film about the true costs of fashion. It talks about (what I like to call) ‘diseases’ of the fashion industry. Whether that be in production or in the end, consumption. I do have to admit, it makes your stomach flip inside out. You feel a sense of guilt as you watch what is before your eyes, but I think that it is the only way anyone can get the message across. You may be thinking, why the guilt? What have you done wrong? Well, it depends who you are.
As I just mentioned, the film talks about everything from production to consumption, and I believe it is important to define what we mean by that. What exactly is a ‘consumer’? In my opinion a consumer of (mainly, fast) fashion is somebody who literally, consumes. Its somebody who takes what they can, because they can.
I don’t think I am a consumer. I don’t buy things just for the fun of it… I don’t live in a world where I run into a shop on Black Friday screaming because the deals are just SO inviting. I live in a world where I buy what I want when I need it.
Okay I admit, I don’t necessarily need any more clothes, but I never buy things just because. I’m not trying to excuse myself at all… but I do understand the problems in buying dirt cheap. Now that the problems have been put in front of me, I think more about the item and what its been through. I absolutely adore second-hand shopping and actually find it slightly more satisfying when I find something that is my style. Its like a treasure trove… but you’re not just buying, you’re recycling too.
But, I am part of the problem, and you probably are too.
We should all know about the Rana Plaza disaster by now; 1,133 people died (and 2,500 were injured) in 2013 when the factory in Bangladesh collapsed. It was the factory home to many well known western brands including the ‘almighty’ Primarni… I mean, uh, Primark. It was also the workplace of many women (and men) of which provided them with around $50 a month (or much less) and extremely poor living conditions.
CLICK TO TWEET: Share a quote from this post and get even more people involved. Educate as many people about the true cost of fashion…
The factory collapsed on April 29th 2013 after several employees noticed cracks appearing on the walls. You may recognise this date as Fashion Revolution Day which started exactly 1 year after the disaster.
If you watch The True Cost, you will soon understand that this is not the only ‘disease’. It isn’t just the fact that Rana Plaza collapsed and killed many, that makes it so important. It’s also the fact that even the fabrics, leathers and materials that go into these cheap clothes, are harmful. Chemicals used on the farms are dangerous, and there are already many cases which show that we
could should be doing better.
It has really made me start to think that the industry, including the consumers, just keep putting a one word excuse in front of them… money.
If the industry, and all the major companies and corporations really cared about the people, the environment, the future and their credibility, they would stop putting it all down to money. Did you know that a t-shirt in the US would cost 3 cents more if the factory workers in places just like Bangladesh were paid enough to live under standard living conditions?
Yes, there are middle men in between, but if it is over us and the consumers spending a few more pennies, the H&Ms and the ZARAs of the world having to spend a few more too, and mothers in the garment factories having to send their children away because working in a factory is the only answer, meaning their children aren’t being educated or looked after, then that is sickening.
CLICK TO TWEET: Sharing this blog post will already start putting the message across. Spread awareness for the true cost of fashion…
That is where my guilt comes in. I’m giving my money to companies that don’t actually care that much about anything other than what goes into their pocket. I don’t shop with them that often, but it really does make me wish I could do more.
Right now, what I can do is influence you, my readers. I can change your view on things, make you watch The True Cost and other documentaries to educate yourself on topics that effect you, the world and many individual families. I can also avoid consuming products from these shops as much as I can (I know that for some of us on tighter budgets, it is harder. It often feels like the only option). I can buy second-hand items which also recycles items that are perfectly usable. I can support and promote brands that are doing all the right things, like People Tree for example.
I know that isn’t much. If I could, I would be doing so much more. You could be too. Think about what you could be doing. Don’t think that what you could be doing as worthless because if we all thought that then we would get nowhere. If we didn’t vote for our favourite contestants on Britain’s Got Talent, then nobody would win. Use your voice and spread the word because you can. Speak for the families and workers who get beaten and killed for wanting something that is totally human and fair.
CLICK TO TWEET: Think about what you could be doing and ask your followers to start joining in too. Change the industry one step at a time…
To really get the ball rolling, the creators of The True Cost have given you guys a discount code for 40% off when you buy the movie directly from their site via VHX. To get your discount code, simply subscribe to my newsletter (click the link or use the form above) and in the “Subscription Confirmed” email, there will be a code and also a FREE checklist for you to start changing the industry.
Try and achieve all of the simple tasks on the list! Complete them knowing that even if what you do is small, it’s still making a difference. Tiny grains of sand make up the most luscious beaches, so start small and make this problem become a BIG issue.
It’s not just the companies and brands responsibility, it’s our job too.
Lots of Love… Tolly Dolly Posh xx