Pollution, human rights violations, extreme poverty, cancer, consumerism and egregious waste - all of this and more in one documentary that tackles the fashion industry. This past week saw the release of the long awaited documentary, "The True Cost." Director, Andrew Morgan has been working on this film for the past two years, and I must say, it is a huge project.
"The True Cost" exposes the fashion industry for exactly what it is - ugly, profit-focused and exploitative. The documentary attempts to make a point about every aspect of the industry today and to tie them all together into the larger message that current conditions are unacceptable, and that we are in dire need of change. The topic is vast and highly controversial. I imagine that Morgan felt overwhelmed by the task at hand, and yet, I think he has done a wonderful job.
In the film we get to hear from the perspectives of a wide range of people who are involved in and affected by the fashion industry. There is Shima Akhter, a garment worker who tells her story of physical abuse and poverty. Vandana Shiva weighs in on seed monopolization and capitalism. Safia Minney, the founder of sustainable fashion brand, People Tree, talks about her hopes for the future of fashion. There is a powerful moment during an interview with Bangladeshi factory owner, Arif Jebtik, as he reflects on the Rana Plaza tragedy of 2013. These perspectives, and those of many more, all come together to show the huge problems that the fashion industry has created in our global society and our environment.
I know that I’ve talked about the problems in the fashion industry before, and I’m sure that you have seen some of the horrors through other sources. However, “The True Cost” is the first of its kind in that it stitches together a comprehensive story. By showcasing different aspects of the fashion industry, from garment workers to farmers to consumers, the film reminds us that every step of the process is interconnected. Indeed, the film reminds us that as humans, we are all connected. Unfortunately, this is a story where everyone (except for a small handful of executives in charge of the industry) is losing, and losing hard. From cancer and physical abuse to a lack of happiness and the slow poisoning of our planet, the effects of the fashion industry have an impact on everyone in some way or another.
Read the rest of the review on Sustaining.Life.