Fashion Is Not Saving Lives, It Shouldn't Kill People Either: The True Cost Tackles Cheap Clothing

I just watched The True Cost on Netflix and I urge you to do the same. The documentary explores the adverse impact of dirt cheap clothing on the people who make them and the natural resources they are made from.

For us, consumers, fashion is fun. Fashion should be indulgent, but it shouldn't be irresponsible. Fashion can be expensive but The True Cost will make you reconsider buying that cheap thing.

People are dying from how our clothes are made. Garment factories are collapsing and killing the workers in them. They knowingly ignore these problems because pressure to keep costs low from these fashion companies is very high. If they cannot fulfill orders for a certain price, there will be another factory to do so.

At the most emotional part of the documentary, a mother Shima talks about being a garment worker. "There is no limits to the struggle of Bangladeshi workers. People have no idea how difficult it is for us to make the clothing. They only buy it and wear it." She then talks specifically about the collapse of Rana plaza (with a reported 1133 deaths, it's the biggest death toll from an industrial disaster) and starts to tear up. "It's very painful for us. I don't want anyone wearing anything, which is produced by our blood."

The True Cost Shima Mother Interview Firth

The fashion industry is second most polluting industry (oil is first).Tanneries (leather) are poisoning the workers and the environment they work in. The chemicals (chromium) used are being dumped in to their water resources. It is poisoning children (death or cognitive and physical disorders) who drink the water and contaminating the crops grown from their land.

These are some of the hidden costs of cheap clothing. They're not financial, they're social and environmental ones. Ones that doesn't affect us but others in a way that is more significant than the dollars we are saving.

Fashion is not saving lives, it shouldn't kill people either.

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