The True Cost is one of those documentaries that everyone should watch, and then tell their friends and family to see too. I discovered the film after a friend told me it was necessary viewing, and I’m so grateful for her insistence. In order to be conscientious consumers, it’s imperative that we know where our clothes come from, who’s making it, and how they’re being treated. The True Cost examines the human rights, labor rights, and environmental impact of the garment industry, focusing on the horrific practices of fast fashion in particular. It’s also important to note that with women making up the majority of garment workers across the globe, this topic is a feminist issue as well.
Before watching The True Cost I admittedly shopped at places like Zara and H&M because they offered affordable, cute clothing. But such low prices are the first sign that something is not ethically produced. Now I not only shop less (why do we need so much stuff?) but I buy second-hand and search for brands that are known to treat their employees well and embrace sustainable practices. Compared to the simplicity of just showing up at any store and grabbing the best fitting outfit, shopping now takes extra time and diligence, but it’s certainly worth it. I understand that “ethical” brands are often too expensive for the average consumer, but even if you cut back on buying clothes at fast fashion stores and shop secondhand more often, you’ll be making an impact.
After you watch the documentary, be sure to check out The True Cost‘s Buying Better page, which provides information on shopping smarter and what brands promote sustainability and proper treatment of their employees.
The True Cost is available on Netflix, Amazon Instant Video, and iTunes.