I don’t think there is anyone on this world today who doesn’t get slightly disgusted by the amount of consumption that takes place in developed countries. With all of that consumption comes an immense amount of trash which pollutes our world.
That is just one of the ‘true costs’ covered in The True Cost.
The True Cost is a documentary directed by Andrew Morgan which seeks to inform viewers of the real price of cheap fashion. The film covers every aspect from the agriculture which produces the raw materials to the people who manufacture the finished products.
While we may not be so concerned with the amount of chemicals used on a plant we don’t ingest, do we even think about the farmers. The film highlights the struggle of U.S. farmers and the negative repercussions on their health; as well as cotton farmers in India who are unable to compete with the large companies and therefore are stuck in unsustainable businesses.
The majority of the film focuses on the human capital used to manufacture products. The pressure for cheap goods is on them. The textile industry is powerful enough to keep governments from imposing proper working conditions, lest the industry decide to move on to another country.
We spend some time with Shima, a garment factory worker from Bangladesh. She is a young single mother who finds that without the support needed to raise her daughter in the city, must send her back to her town for schooling in the hopes that someday she may do better.
There is nothing surprising in this movie. Nothing groundbreaking. We all know this is happening. However, I applaud the effort to provoke critical thinking about how and on which companies we spend our money.
It would have been great to see alternative solutions we could pursue immediately. Though I suppose, we can do that research ourselves.
There is one line, said by some suited man towards the end of the film, that encouraged views and the rest of the world to begin thinking of the garment workers as creatives. These workers are spending their days and their lives producing art. And yet, we don’t consider them as part of the creative economy.
Should you watch it? Sure. Hopefully it will change the way you think about your consumerism but I wouldn’t be surprised if it was just too weak to do so. Though the message is so SO important!
The movie is available on Netflix.