Friday 29 May 2015

The True Cost: Out Today!

You'll recall a couple of months ago we first mentioned The True Cost, a documentary on the rise and impact of fast fashion. The film premiered last night, and is now available for you, you lucky ethical fashion types, to buy, rent or stream.
In an interview on The True Cost's website, executive producer Livia Firth outlines the goals of the film:
"Over the past two decades fashion has changed thanks to this new phenomenon called “fast fashion” and now we have a situation where, as consumers, we are caught in an absurd circle of micro trends. Think about it. Around two mini seasons a week in stores. Disposable clothes that stay in a woman’s closet for an average of just five weeks, before being thrown out – all in the name of the democratization of fashion.
In reality, this evil machine is exploiting everyone and everything: the consumer, the planet’s resources and the people who produce them. Each year across the world, 1.5 billion garments are sewn by an estimated 40 million people, working in 250,000 factories. These are predominantly made in countries described by the UN as the world’s least developed. All in all, the garment and textile industry is estimated to be worth some $3 trillion. And the bulk of that goes into the pockets of the owners of those fast fashion brands."
Livia Firth and her agency EcoAge have been pushing hard to get the evils of the fast fashion industry out to the general public; the Primark shoppers, the people that know a bargain. The trick is to get them to think differently about clothes, to view them as more than a disposable purchase. Lucy Seigel, who also appears in the film, says it best: if you're eyeing up an item of clothing, consider whether you'd wear it thirty times. If not, question why you want it and, more importantly, if you need it.
We'll be reviewing The True Cost next week, which means I get to put my film reviewer's hat on for once, hooray. In the meantime, there are screenings of the film worldwide tonight, from New York to Spain. In the UK, it's showing at the Curzon Bloomsbury and Birmingham City University's Parkside Lecture Theatre. If you fancy organising a screening of your own, get in touch and help spread the word: put in a screening request here. Otherwise, digital copies of the film are now available, with Blu-Ray and DVD copies shipping soon. If you have any interest in ethical fashion, you should get behind this movie.

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