I’ll be honest … I don’t normally watch documentaries ... but this one caught my attention for obvious reasons. I had heard of this documentary but was yet to see it. I knew it was about the impacts of Fast Fashion … but I had no idea just how confronting it would be. But I was drawn in, it had my full attention. It enlightened me to further depths on the devastating impacts that Fast Fashion has on the world.
I took notes while watching, with the intention to write this very blog … but I was soon overcome with emotion as I watched this truth laid out in front of me. I understand why sometimes the truth is too much to bare - once we know it, it changes us.
It’s no news that I don’t shop retail very often at all … recently announcing a 2017 challenge to even shop Preloved for gifts this year! But I’ll be honest I occasionally see something I love and perhaps it’s on sale (bargain hunter by nature) and I’ll indulge. It happens very occasionally but it does happen … well, it did … until I watched this movie. Now I carry this truth around with me … and it makes me question my most basic purchases. I wonder to myself, where was this made, who made it, were they paid correctly, were they safe?
There are so many elements and processes that go into making each garment. I can’t help but ask myself – if I buy from these Fast Fashion chain stores … am I saying it’s okay? Am I saying it’s okay to make ‘disposable’ clothing, to exploit workers, to produce excess amounts of waste! Am I saying it’s okay for people to work in unsafe factories, literally putting their lives at risk. Well it’s not, it’s far from okay.
The documentary highlights that fact that our clothing industry has changed so dramatically and so quickly that many have neglected to step back and question why and how it has changed, and recognize the impact that it is having. We are now experiencing 52 clothing seasons a year - with new stock arriving weekly to fashion chain stores. This is in comparison to what was once seasonal new arrivals that happened only 4 times a year. That in it’s self radically demonstrates just how far and just how big Fast Fashion has become. This not only encourages consumption, but it creates enormous amounts of waste. Both in discarded clothing and in fabric waste found on the bottom of factory floors.
Unfortunately it’s all about the bottom dollar, with brands outsourcing to factories overseas to find the cheapest manufacturing. The factories in these poorer countries then feel the need to ‘do it cheaper’ to win and keep business. Sadly this often means cutting corners and cutting safety measures, ultimately putting people’s lives at risk. With manufacturing costing a fragment of what it once did, brands can then sell garments for amazingly low prices … forcing other clothing brands to seek out cheaper manufacturing and do the same. A vicious cycle.
We need to educate consumers, no quality garment can be made ethically and sold for the very low prices that they are. It doesn’t add up, something isn’t right - we need to stop and question it. We all have a social responsibility; to humanity and to the environment. Fast Fashion has a negative impact on them both.
There was so much to gain from watching this documentary, it was raw, educational and incredibly heart breaking. I would strongly encourage you to watch it - it will open your eyes to it all, and I’m afraid once you know it, there’s no going back. We must remember that we have the power. Fashion should not be thought of as a disposable item - as consumers we have a choice, shop responsibly and make a difference.
Love Bianca x
*** I watched the TRUE COST MOVIE on Netflix
*** The images used in this BLOG were sourced via Pinterest