You thought about watching The True Cost, but haven’t made the time. I get it; watching a documentary that questions your consumer spending is a little uncomfortable. I’m here to give you 6 quick takeaways so you can still look like a fashionista all while buying brands that your conscious agrees with.
We wear our clothes to show off our self-identity, to feel good and so we don’t run around naked. Is the glamorous fashion industry really that bad? To quote Cher in Clueless, “From far away, it’s okay, but up close, it’s a big old mess.”
The true environmental, economic and social ramifications of producing cheap clothing is actually quite costly. We’re bombarded with information about the food we eat. It’s time we know about the clothing we wear on our bodies everyday.
- The current garment industry is far from pretty. There are exploited workers who are not paid living wages, yet expected to work 12 hours per day. Think your work-life balance is tough or you can barely afford childcare in the US? Garment workers are some of the lowest paid in the world. Do you have a second means of egress, fire extinguishers and air conditioning in your office? These (mostly) woman have it much, much worse.
- The average American generates 82 pounds of textile waste each year. We buy and toss out a lot of disposable garments.
- “At least I donate my clothing when I’m done with it.” People may have good
intentions when donating their clothes, but unfortunately all that wearable donated clothing has ruined the textile industries in many developing countries. It also contributes to huge landfills in these developing countries- from our waste.
- Consumers buy over 400% more garments than they did just 20 years ago. They’re produced so fast that they are ill-fitting, poorly constructed and unflattering. Do you have a closet full of clothes and nothing to wear?
- Want to feel really dirty? Fashion is the second most polluting industry in the world; oil is the first.
- Want to feel better? There is a way to buy better without ‘splurging’. Shop smarter-buy from brands that are made ethically, constructed to last and use fibers that are better for the environment- and your health. Buy quality clothing. Seeking a bargain on a black blazer or jeans? Buy ones that fit well and are made to last- they will last longer and you’ll look better. The movie provides a partial list of ethical, stylish brands to check out.