'The True Cost': Why Your Fast Fashion Habits Are Killing The World

Saturday 11th March 2017 | Katelyn

Over the years clothing has become cheaper and so increasingly more disposable in the eyes of the consumer.

It is something to be used and thrown away to make room in your wardrobe for the latest must have item. But who is really paying the price for our cheap clothes? The True Cost explores the harmful environmental and social impact of the fashion industry.

Fashion is a multi-million dollar business which is ruthlessly moving towards ways of producing that only look after big businesses. The documentary focuses on the problems of outsourcing clothing production to developing countries and the negative effect this is having for the workers and the environment.

In America 97% of clothing production is outsourced to developing countries in order to cut costs and produce cheaper garments.

The documentary looks at specific events such as the disaster at Rana Plaza in Bangladesh where an eight-story building collapsed, exposing the unseen background of ‘fast fashion.’ 

Over 1,000 garment workers died in the tragic incident despite workers already having pointed out to the management that there were cracks in the building. This is just one incident with garment workers paying the price for cheap clothing.

The True Cost also looks at the environmental impact the ‘fast fashion’ evolution is having with the use of chemicals to grow cotton. There has been a huge increase in cancers and birth deformities in areas surrounding cotton farms.

It’s heart breaking to watch these peoples stories whilst the companies growing the cotton refuse to acknowledge the after effects of the toxicity amongst the areas, and the negative health impact this has for their workers.

Of course one of the main reasons these harmful practices are taking place is because of the consumers.

People buy cheap clothing with the intention that they can just throw it away when they’re bored of it. Because of this clothing in landfills have been steadily increasing over the last 15 years.

Fashion should never be thought of as a disposable product, this type of thinking is harmful for the factory workers producing the cheap garments and also for our environment.

The True Cost also looks at more ethical clothing brands such as People Tree. Whilst most brands think of an idea for a collection or specific look, People Tree begins with the skills they have and then they design the collection up.They have built up a network of fair trade developers so you know that when you purchase from them you are supporting the workers creating the clothes.

Everyone should know where their clothes came from in order to make more well informed choices on their spending habits.

This documentary is definitely a shock to the system and will hopefully help viewers to re-evaluate the way they view their wardrobe.

As consumers we have a power over these companies that rely on our hard earned money. By investing our money in more ethical brands we are able to send a message to big businesses that we do care about how our clothes are produced.