Who pays the price for our clothing? That is the question the documentary ‘The True Cost‘ aimed to answer and you bet it found out.
From the brightest runways to the darkest slums, ‘The True Cost’ documentary directed by Andrew Morgan, takes us on a trip around the world to expose the impacts our hunger for fast and cheap fashion is having on people and the planet.
The human and environmental costs that today’s fashion industry has is enormous, here are some of the most striking facts from the film:
The fashion industry is the world’s second-largest polluter, right behind the oil industry.
Over 90 per cent of the cotton used in the fashion industry is genetically modified, using vast amounts of water and chemicals, with 18 per cent of worldwide pesticide use and 25 per cent of global insecticide use.
A sickening 90 per cent of clothes donated to charities actually get sold sold to developing countries or end up filling up landfills.
We consume a whopping 80 billion pieces of clothing every single year – a 400% increase compared to 20 years ago.
The fashion industry employs one-in-six people around the globe, with the majority of these workers being women.
Although the global fashion industry is an almost 3 trillion dollars a year industry, the workers in countries like India, Bangladesh or Cambodia earn less than $3 per day, with some only earning $1 a day.
Workers are contracting cancer and children are being born with shocking physical and mental disabilities because of the chemicals used to treat the crops.
Around 50 years ago, 95 per cent of the clothing bought by Americans was produced in the US, today 97 per cent is produced overseas.
In India, cotton farmers have gone into huge amounts of debt in order to buy genetically modified cotton seeds from Monsanto, with 250,000 farmers committing suicide in the last 15 years due to being unable to cope with the debt incurred.
For those curious to find out more, here is the trailer. The movie also available on Amazon and iTunes.
The fashion industry appears to be just another example of how globalization has morphed an industry into a monster that is depleting our planet’s resources at a disturbingly fast pace, producing external costs that the planet and the people will pay for during decades to come and yet maximizing its own corporate profits to the stratosphere.