What is fashion? What does it take to create the piece of clothing you just bought? How is the clothing made? How does this impact you and most importantly the world?
For those who have not seen this one hour and thirty-minute documentary film, do you know the answers to these questions?
My guess is probably not all of them…
Even though the description of the film on Google is “Filmmaker Andrew Morgan travels around the globe to see the people who make clothes for the world’s fashion”, there is a much sinister and darker meaning to this film that was not well represented in its description.
This short film is an amazing introduction to the huge issues surrounding the fashion industry, by exploring the aspects of the supply chain, manufacturing, worker conditions, pollution and overconsumption.
The opening credits start with Andrew saying that this is a story of not only clothing but ‘It’s a story about greed and fear. Power and poverty.’ This is a powerful statement that not many people associate with fashion but as I said, this story has a sinister and darker meaning.
The first part of the documentary film explores issues of fast fashion and the constant cheapening of products. Reducing the price of products affects 40 million garment workers with more and more risks mounting to their working conditions and that was seen with the Rana Plaza collapse, which claimed the lives of 1,134 people in 2013. The Rana Plaza building collapse is a clear example of how cheapening products can affect and ruin individual lives. The garment workers are the ones being compensated and pushed further into the poverty chain.
The documentary then goes on to explore the lives of the garment factory workers in Bangladesh, who are paid as little as $3 per day and with this, they are not able to cater to their families. This results in them not being able to see their family as they are forced to work in places far from home.
It seems that we are completely ignorant and blindsided by the devastating impacts fast fashion can have on people, the environment and the world.
However, there was one concept that stood out from this film that really made me think and that was consumptionism and how it was depicted. The concept of consumption has gone from things you use to things you use up. This has become an issue where society is now built on wasting products because it is so easy and cheap to replace.
Watching this documentary was insightful because it questions the “true cost” of the clothing we buy. We as consumers have the choice to make mindful choices that can help change the trajectory of the fashion industry to a healthier and sustainable industry that helps everyone and everything in this world.
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