Tuesday, July 28, 2015

My thoughts on "The True Cost"

I should start with saying that I'm not a true fan of this emotional documentary movie style they have in USA. I find that all this emotion makes it hard to stay objective and thus makes it hard to take the opinion they represent 100% genuinely. I do watch them occasionally, but I try to keep in my mind to filter facts and bigger picture from emotions and opinions.

This being said, the movie The True Cost gave me a big impression and a lot to think about.
These are my thoughts in random order.

There are actually 2 problems with fast fashion (from now on: ff)
1. we consume more than we need
2. we consume for too low price
The first problem is kind of environmental and cultural, the second one is human rights problem.
Solving first of the problems doesn't eliminate the second and vice versa. I'd even think that consuming less would worsen the situation for the workers in the industry. Because they would have less work. Their pay has to go up at the same time.

Conclusion - buying ff (buying it, but not acting it) only seldom doesn't make you a better person. You're still buying things that are made for too low pay.
The solution should start from buying clothes that are made while paying fair wages. It would leave us less money and less reason to buy ff clothes.
It still leaves the question - what would to the people who would lose their jobs when consuming went down.

There are many people who don't eat meat because they can't bare the thought that animals have to die. Way too often I notice how they're regularly and way too often (and more often than anybody would need) shopping clothing from ff that might have killed many people.
Shouldn't ethics begin inside our own species?
The same goes for those yogis who eat plants, meditate... and have no care about their ecological footprint or human rights.
Also, while there are medical and biological reasons why a human being should consume some kind of animal food sometimes, there is no reason why anyone should ever consume clothing made in sweatshops.

All empires built on slavery. You can say, that since factory workers live in their homeland they're not slaves.. but actually it's just cheaper this way.
Minimum wage in Bangladesh is 1,500 taka ($19) per month for all economic sectors not covered by industry-specific wages; in the garment industry the minimum wage is 5,300 taka ($68) per month. 
It's roughly 20 times less than in USA and 10 times less than in my homeland.
Local Purchasing Power in United States is 232.24% higher than in Bangladesh.

Ff is so popular, it's hard to find local or higher quality clothes.
So even the people who don't follow the ff mentality do buy from there, since 1)it's cheap 2) there is no other choice actually.
It does depend on where you live. But if you want to buy your clothes from store so you can try them on, then around here you have very little choice. Ff is everywhere, but you have to spend hours searching more high-quality stores. Most people give up.
If there was a store where simple, normal sitting, normal quality, timeless clothing was sold, many people would be happy. The problem is - nobody wants us to wear long lasting timeless clothes. It would be bad for the business. The best way is often to go to the seamstress.

I still have the Roots t-shirt I got 14 years ago. It has exactly the same shape it had when I got it, it has no holes. It used to be snow-white as new, now it's more natural-white, but that's all that has happened. Otherwise it has the same quality as a new shirt. I still wear it to gym. And no one has laughed at me.
I would die to get one more such quality shirt(for the next 14 years:) ! Unfortunately Roots doesn't seem to be common around here.
The ff shirts lose their shape in few months and in more than 5 months they start getting small holes inside the fabric. Even if I tried, I couldn't wear them 14 years to gym.

Ff has taken elegance out of fashion. It's like they don't even want people to look good. So people would keep trying to find new looks.
It is true that fashion keep changing with the time, but at the moment fashion is going 10 times faster than it should.

If i would be norm to pay more for our clothes it could bring some of the factories back to western world. And it could lessen the lack of jobs. But it would mean people should pay 10 times more for clothes. I think most of the people I know could afford to have around 4 times less clothes and pay 3 times more for them.

I've never understood the shopping as a recreational activity. It is cool to find new and important stuff you never knew that existed. But it doesn't mean you should buy it all.
It does take a long time to shop, though. If you know what you want (and it ain't in fashion at the time) or you actually want the item to fit really well, it will take time. But this is not recreational, nor it is something one does regularly.
I just don't get it.

Also I don't get it why I should be assessed by the age of my clothing.
Or in that case, why couldn't I be assessed by the fact that I'm still able to wear and fit into my 14 year old shirt or that I'm able to keep by assets in such a good condition I'm able to use them for so many years later.
Doesn't it say more about me than the fact that I'm able to walk into a store and get something as cheap as a lunch?

so yeas, I do recommend movie The True Cost. People should understand that cheap always comes for the price of extreme poverty in somewhere else.

Pictures come from their official Instagram site.

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