The True Cost

The True Cost of Fast Fashion

In the 1960s, about 95% of our clothes were manufactured in the U.S.A.  Today, approximately 97% of our clothes are manufactured in developing countries providing us with the opportunity to purchase a lot of clothing at a very low cost. 

But who really pays the price for this inexpensive clothing? The True Cost is an eye-opening documentary, directed by Andrew Morgan, about today’s fashion world and how we are all paying the price for Fast Fashion.  

"The True Cost" is an eye-opening documentary about today's fashion world.

Our style, our fashion, the clothes we wear, say a lot about us. We use fashion to communicate who we are and what we care about.  In the 60s, we were hippies, or greasers, or baldies, and each style said a lot about who we were.

During the 60s, designers designed for the 4 seasons . . . Spring, Summer, Fall and Winter.  

Today, with fashion houses like Forever 21, H&M, and Zara, designers are designing for 52 seasons . . . a new line every week.  The clothing is so cheap, many items are purchased for a one time use and then thrown away.

Fast Fashion is designed to make us feel richer because we can buy more clothes. Advertisers tell us that the more we consume, the happier we will be.

In the 60s, designers designed for 4 seasons. Today designers design for 52 seasons!

But, Fast Fashion is the second dirtiest industry following Big Oil.  Today the fashion industry ranks right behind Big Oil when it comes to polluting our environment.  

Fashion has become an industry of greed, fear, power and poverty.  Its social and environmental impact is felt around the world.

Factories are squeezed to manufacture products for lower and lower prices. If one factory cannot meet the price, the work is sent to another factory that will.

Management is told to shut down unsafe buildings and working conditions, but instead, they force workers to continue to work or lose their jobs that rarely provide a living wage. 

Fast Fashion is the second dirtiest industry following big oil.

  • 22 billion new clothing items are bought by Americans every year.
  • Fast Fashion is manufacturing disposable clothing.
  • 85 % of clothing and textiles end up in landfills. 
  • Only about 10% of donated clothing is sold in thrift shops.
  • The remainder is shipped to 3rd world countries where much of it is landfilled.
  • Fast Fashion creates demand for cheap clothes and then turns out massive amounts, accelerating carbon emissions and waste into the environment.
  • The clothes are shipped in container ships that consume fuel by the tons per hour and whose emissions go mostly unregulated.  

There is hope with houses like People Tree, Patagonia and Stella McCartney.

However, there is hope. Fashion designers and houses like People Tree, Patagonia, and Stella McCartney are looking to make changes within the industry, developing partnerships with freelance designers and creating free and fair trade agreements.  

And, it is up to each one of us to become more mindful of the products we buy. Only we can reduce the impact our fashion has on our environment. 

Only we can reduce the impact of the fashion industry.

  • Buying locally made fashion and accessories puts money back into our communities and minimizes transportation costs.
  • Buying repurposed products reduces the manufacturing emissions of new materials.
  • Buying slightly used, or sharing or exchanging fashion items is not only good for the environment but also saves money. 

When we become mindful in one area of our lives, we gradually see more and more areas where we can have an impact. It is up to us, as consumers, to make our voices heard.  Where can you make a difference today?

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