The True Cost: a fashion documentary to make you think

Olivia and Colin Firth, true cost47500

LIvia Firth and guest

I was deeply moved by the London premiere ofThe true cost, this week. And not just because Colin Firth was on the red Carpet. This docuMentary about fast fashion and the terrible impact it has on both garment factory workers and the environment is disturbing and at times hard to watch. Directed by Andrew Morgan and executIve produced by LIvia Firth, CreatIve Director of Eco-Age, andObserverethics columnist Lucy Siegle. The film focuses on the people behind the fashion. An amazing woman named Shima, a 23 year old single mother from Bangladesh, explains how she Cannot live with her daughter because she has to work and she has to work to give her daughter a better future. Shima founded a union for the workers, but when the factory owners found out, they were all beaten and punished. Despite this, she remains incredibly optimistic, though when Shima breaks down to discuss working conditions and the Rana Plaza disaster, she is unbearable to watch.

shima-the true cost

Shima: The true cost

There’s a big Cotton farmer from Texas named LaRhea Pepper, an advocate for organic farming who talks about the effect of GM crops and pesticides on the environment, as well as her own personal story. LaRhea’s husband grew up on a “chemically intensive farm in South Texas” and died of a Brain tumor at age 50. There is an interview with her atThe true costwebsite here.


LaRhea Pepper

I was also very impressed by Dr. Vandana Shiva; a trained physicist, environmental activist and author, opposed to globalization and genetically modified crops, who spoke eloquently on ecological and social issues. There is an article about her inNew Yorker.

Dr Vandana Shiva delivering a talk at the Neka Museum in Ubud, Bali in August 2014

Dr. Vandana Shiva

At the beginning of the movie, there’s a disgusting scene where some young haul vloggers show off all the cheap tattoo they just bought. It’s grotesque when you think about it, this model based on conspicuous consumption. I am well aware of how much blogging has changed since I started THat‘s Not My Age seven years ago. How it became a business and now it’s all about monetizing and selling products. Which is fine because blogging takes a lot of time and effort, so why shouldn’t people make some money or a Career out of it? Although personally, all I ever wanted to do was write about style.

When I was a Kid, fashion was more secondHand than throwaway. We didn’t have the money or the inclination to buy endlessly. I know tHat sounds a bit rich coming from a fashion journalist whose job may seem to promote constant buying of new things, but I would always encourage responsible shopping, and as I say inStyle forever,‘Don’t buy shitty clothes’

We all know tHat fast fashion pushes prices down and tHat if you pay a couple of pounds for a T-shirt, someone further down the supply chain is being exploited. So, in tHat sense,The true costit may be preaching to converts, but it’s a movie worth watching and hopefully one that will make usThink everyone before you buy it.

Thanks to Eileen Fisher for inviting me to the premiere. Read more about the film and watch a trailer HERE.