A documentary was released at the end of May which is all about the cost of clothing to the environment and human rights issues.
I love a good documentary! But what makes this one special is how recently it was made AND how big it is – this interviews are with incredible people like the director of People Tree, Stella McCartney and Vandana Shiva as well as people around the world who are affected by the fashion industry.
40 million people are employed as garment workers – I knew this was a big issue, but it’s just incomprehensible! It shows as individuals what difference we can make as we buy clothes.
The world now consumes about 80 billion new pieces of clothing every year – what?!! Again, this is incomprehensible. It’s so wasteful and shows how unnecessary most of it must be. I donate any unwanted clothing to charity shops, but that’s not a closed loop as I don’t buy ALL my clothes second hand.
There was also a load of really interesting stories and facts about the importance of organic clothing. This was something I wasn’t really aware of, so it was super interesting! I’m going to make an effort from now on to buy more organic food and clothing.
I think I knew most of the human rights issues around the fashion industry, but it’s good to get a reminder! And I didn’t really consider the environmental factor before. So while this is a great way to be introduced to the issues with fast fashion, it’s also a useful film for anyone really.
The website has 5 Tips for Shopping Smarter which I will be putting into practice!
In addition to the individual responsibility and brand responsibilities, it also touched on the economic system. Capitalism demands constant growth – this is inherently unsustainable and requires some people to forgo their human rights in order for the system to work. I think this is really important for people to recognise, as we are limited in what we can do as individuals.
However, my personal target will be to buy everything from truly ethical companies (People Tree, Braintree etc.) or second hand (charity shops, ebay etc.). I think the only time I’m going to fall down on this is with underwear, socks and tights, as I don’t want to pay THAT much and I also feel a bit icky buying it second hand… We’ll see!
Have you got any tips for avoiding fast fashion?
As for capitalism… Well, I’ll have to work on what I can do about that!
Here’s the trailer for The True Cost: