The true cost of fashion

What is the actual true cost of fashion? I’ve been doing lots of research on fashion related subjects. Sometimes I even ended up doing three things at once, which of course didn’t pan out the way I was hoping for, as yours truly is not particularly close friends with “multi tasking”.

Anyways, from time to time I managed to just sit, relax and have a date with that one guy called “Netflix”. We’ve been getting awfully close recently and he started to invite me to fashion movies more and more often. Nice guy, that Netflix, really !

So, one evening I got to watch the movie….scratch that….documentary, called “The True Cost”. To cut a long story short, it’s about producing (fast) fashion and the effect it has on the environment and people.

Now, some of you might know that I studied fashion design. Yep, I am officially a fashion designer, even though I am not currently working as one. But thinking back to fashion college, how fashion is made, where it’s made and all those little details have never been mentioned. I can do an entire clothing line from planning to sketching to making patterns to sewing the item to selling it, but how it’s done “in the real world” is usually not a topic covered during classes. And therefore, neither is the true cost of fashion.

It’s also not a topic covered during everyday conversations people (fashion student or not) have. Or did you ever truly talk about how the sweater you just bought at H&M has been made ?

You might quickly check the label before you hand over cash or card and you read “Made in Bangladesh”, “Made in China”, “Made in India” etc., but that’s as close as you usually get to thinking about it.

The documentary “The True Cost” fixes that, don’t you worry! And after watching it, you will see the fashion industry with different eyes. Now let’s have a look at the trailer, shall we ?

Will this documentary change the world ? Probably not. But I believe it’s a story that needs to be told and it might influence the daily decisions some of us make.

I would love to buy fashion for a fair price. But truth be told, I can’t afford buying a sweater for 80 GBP or a coat for 300. What I am doing instead is mainly purchasing items that I know I can wear for years to come. I have items in my wardrobe that I bought maybe 8 years ago. I take good care of them. Sometimes they don’t get worn for a couple years but I just know I will wear them again, so they survive closet cleaning after closet cleaning. I wrote a guide on how I shop in-store, if you’re interested in how I do it.

I do closet cleanings regularly. In fact, I just did another one yesterday. The items that don’t get to stay are taken to charity shops (*second hand/thrift stores). And when I shop, I do so in regular high street stores, online, on ebay and in charity shops*. Vintage stores are also a great way to stock up on items in an environmental friendly way.I came across an interesting concept where you pay by weight, you should totally check it out!

It’s not much and probably doesn’t have a huge positive impact, but both, my bank account and my conscience, are a little happier.

If you want to learn more about what goes on behind the scenes of the fashion industry, watch “The True Cost” and/or check their website.

I also gathered a small selection of interesting links and articles:

What is your take on the fashion industry ? And have you watched the documentary ? If so, how do you feel about it ?


*** All pics “The True Cost” Facebook page ***

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