{eco flick} the true cost: behind the labels

Friday, March 27, 2015

it's true that i stopped buying clothes overnight the way i've heard some folks stop smoking cold turkey. just like that.

this is how my eco-fashion journey began:

three years ago i was working as a style columnist + blogger for a local, indie newspaper. in addition to a printed column, i wrote for their online platform three times per week. i had the bright idea that i should write about all things sustainable every friday. it seemed like a perfectly harmless task + a subject that i was anxious to dig into.

but then this happened:

i saw a photo.

in this photo, there was a river. the river ran red.

on this day, i read the accompanying article about the water + land pollution by textile manufacturing facilities that produce fast fashion.

linked to every textile + garment that we purchase from big box shops are toxic chemicals that contaminate air, water + land and are harmful to our health

i was left scratching my head. i read a little more, and there was also the issue of child labor and human rights violations related to the manufacture of apparel + shoes + accessories.

i was not aware that a seemingly innocuous decision to purchase a tee shirt, a pair of jeans or shoes was degrading the earth and depriving workers of basic rights.

and that was it. in the snap of a finger i stopped shopping.

i set out on a journey to find ethically-made apparel + footwear, accessories + personal care products that were stylish and allowed me to express myself creatively, sans harm to people, planet or animals. and now, when i buy, i buy from shops + labels that care just as much as i do: eco boutiques + slow fashion brands that are a part of the movement to make quality products for those who want to make mindful purchases.

and this is what's called a fashion revolution.

andrew morgan was also changed by a photograph. andrew is a director for commercial + film projects who believes in the power of storytelling "in the ongoing fight for human rights around the world." andrew and his team of filmmakers are now telling the story of the impact the fast fashion industry is having on our world in the documentary the true cost. hats off to this eco hero who's hoping to open eyes and hearts.

from director andrew morgan:
Growing up in America, I never gave much thought to where my clothes came from. But as I began learning more about the people and places behind the labels in my closet, I was shocked by what I found. Clothing is the most labor-dependent industry in the world, employing millions of the world’s poorest workers, many of which are women. Many of these women are paid less than a living wage, work in unsafe conditions, and are deprived of basic human rights. In addition to the human impact, fashion is now the number two most polluting industry on earth – second only to oil.

Today, we are outsourcing more, consuming more (in the US a 500% clothing consumption increase in the last two decades alone), using more resources, and paying less than we have at any previous time in history. At the same time, there are record high numbers of worker casualties in factories, and a fundamentally unsustainable growing toll on the environment.

What kind of world will we create now that we are beginning to see the cost of our actions? In a time where our impact on people and the world is measured in real time, will we choose to create new systems to alleviate this pressure?
 
These questions, and the grave implications of the answers, led me to direct The True Cost. A global documentary that explores the fashion industry around the world, examining where we are, how we got here, and how we can create a better future moving forward. For too long now, conversation around this topic has suffered from over-simplified blame games. Political and economic complexities have allowed us to miss what is unavoidably clear – that this is first and foremost a moral issue. There is consistent irresponsible care of the environment, and clear violations of the most basic human rights. But this is something we can and must change.

The eyes of the world are opening, and I believe history is giving us this moment to choose a better path. Human progress moves forward when those who have a voice use it on behalf of those who do not. It moves forward when a moment is seized rather than ignored. And it most certainly moves when we decide that the profit of some must never come from the exploitation of others. I hope with all my heart that this film serves as a needed step in that progress.

the true cost will be out may 29, 2015. to learn more, click on over here.

{image via the true cost}

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