The True Cost: Dissecting the Practices of Top Clothing Brands

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This story is about clothing. It’s about the clothes we wear, the people who make them, and the impact the industry is having on our world. The price of clothing has been decreasing for years, while the human and environmental costs have grown dramatically. The True Cost is a documentary film that reveals the untold story about clothing and asks us to consider, who really pays the price for our clothing? The True Cost is an project that gives us on an eye opening journey around the world and into the lives of the many people and places behind our clothes.

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As director Andrew Morgan methodically lays out in the advocacy doc The True Cost, fast fashion’s impact on the world has many threads, tangled up in everything from human-rights violations to the environment to national and world economies to individual psychology. Since clothing, like food and shelter, is something nearly everyone on earth needs and consumes, it’s all but impossible to escape culpability for these issues; even those in first-world countries that don’t indulge in cheap clothes from stores like H&M, Walmart, Target, and Forever 21—which, based on sales numbers, is not many of us—likely still take part in the Western consumption patterns that facilitate the injustices illustrated in The True Cost. The True Cost’s aim is to make it impossible to ignore fashion’s impact on the world, and it takes an admirably thorough approach to its unwieldy subject. Cheap clothes are the products of unregulated sweatshops that have a frightening tendency to collapse or burn around their severely underpaid and undervalued workers. The demand for more material, cotton specifically, has led to genetically modified agriculture that is systematically poisoning the earth. The True Cost has important things to say, and says them straightforwardly and convincingly. And if viewers come away from the film inspired to stop buying cheap garments by the handful next time they’re at the local megastore, and to think more critically about where their clothing comes from, that’s undeniably a good thing. But the admirable thoroughness and frankness Morgan applies to his subject is self-defeating; the problem becomes too easy to ignore, too easy to dismiss as beyond one viewer’s capability to change in any meaningful way. It's all horrifically scary, with only a few solutions presented despite the efforts of 'fair trade' clothing manufacturers and such designers as Stella McCartney, who seems determined to incorporate environmental concerns into her business.

From national and world economies to individual psychology and everything from human-rights violations to the environment has methodically been laid out by director Andrew Morgan in the document “The True Cost”. It The injustice represented in The True Cost is facilitated by Western consumption patterns which goes hand in hand with being unable to dodge the issue of consuming products like food ,clothing and shelter that are necessities that are not considered in clothing stores like H&M .The True Cost’s aim is to include affordable clothes in shops like H&M by making it impossible to ignore fashion's impact on the world. Genetically modified agriculture has increased due to increase of demands in material such as cotton being the most wanted material. The True Cost is trying to convince the consumers to look critically about the origin of the clothing instead of buying cheap clothes in bulk.

The True Cost film fits into the Consumer Studies syllabus because it shows us the dark side of the global fast fashion supply chain. Viewers should accept the film because it is an turning point for most viewers and consumers to become more sensitive about the situations mentioned in the documentary. 

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