THE TRUE COST
Released 2015 | Rating: PG-13 (thematic elements and disturbing images)
Written and directed by Andrew Morgan | Produced by Michael Ross | 92 minutes
Review by Sharon L. Fawcett
One in six people on the planet work in the global fashion supply chain, making fashion the most labor-dependent industry on earth. “The True Cost”—a breathtaking and heartbreaking documentary—reveals how consumer fashion choices impact these workers, the rest of us, and our world.
Eighty billion garments are purchased each year globally—400 percent more than two decades ago. The industry that once had two fashion seasons annually now has 52 as retailers peddle new product weekly, supplying shoppers with an endless fix of inexpensive clothing.
What is the consequence of this fashion obsession—the true cost of “fast fashion?” According to the documentary, it is the suicides of hundreds of thousands of Indian cotton farmers unable to escape debts to biotechnology and agrochemical companies, the decimation of local garment industries in low-income countries swamped by donations of cast-off clothing, and the toll taken on the earth’s ecosystems as every step in a garment’s life threatens them.
The enormous quantities of chemicals and natural resources used to produce the raw material for clothing (such as cotton and leather), manufacture the product, and ship goods worldwide, have made the fashion industry the second most polluting industry on earth, second only to the fossil fuel industry. They have also led to high rates of disease and disability among people exposed to this pollution—people who often cannot afford medical treatment.… Read the rest