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“The True Cost”: the fast fashion ?

October 5, 2018

The True Cost is a documentary film directed by Andrew Morgan and released in 2015 which talks about the fast fashion and explains to us the links between inexpensive clothes and shocking working conditions. You can watch this documentary on Netflix.

The fast fashion is a phenomenom which has consequences on the well-being of his workers and on the environment. It consists in producing faster and faster a big quantity of low-cost clothes in order to offer to consumers new collection every week inspired notably by catwalk looks or celebrity styles. Indeed, each woman buys about 30kg of clothing every year. Therefore, around 60% more than 15 years ago. The major actors of this industry are mostly ZARA, Mango or Primark. For instance, according to the journalist Luci Siegle, ZARA produces 12 000 different clothing every year. Indeed, the consumers want to follow tendencies that the most expensive brands are launching. This encourages us to consume abundantly and to buy more and more.

This causes a lot of environmental consequences. In fact, the textile industry is the most polluting of the world after petrol. For example, the intensive cotton production is notably the industry which uses the most pesticide; it poisons farmers and contaminates drinking water. More than 70 million of trees are felled each year in order to be transformed in different materials as artificial silk.

There are also consequences among the workers. In 2013, a tragedy shocked humanity. The Rana Plaza building located in Bangladesh, collapsed and caused the death of 1 134 people. This disaster took less than 90 seconds. The day before this tragic events, workers complained about sounds they heard which came from cracks on the building. But the day of the collapse, they were forced to enter the building  and to finish the collection, otherwise they were fired. These workers were actually very poor and they couldn’t risk their jobs – the only way for them to survive – over simple noises of which they were not entirely certain. Therefore, this tragedy outraged many organisations and people accused brands like H&M, Pimkie and many other labels of exploiting defenceless people and killing them for their own business and to always make  more profits.

Indeed, when we buy our clothes in ordinary shops like Zara we don’t think about how they are made and by whom. We don’t think about the impact that our purchase produces on the planet and on the people’s lives. This documentary makes us discover that millions of people are exploited in factories and underpaid only for our necessity. Besides, we accept  the lowest quality.

The best alternative to avoid this phenomenom is to buy clothes in thrift shops (ex: emmaus or guerrisol) or in hand-me-down (by friends or clothes swaps) !

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