Tag Archive | Bangladesh

Review: True Cost Documentary

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A few nights ago, I went to the local premiere screening of the True Cost documentary. This documentary takes us on a journey back to the roots of how our fast fashion clothing is made and the conditions that they’re made under. It highlights the disparity between the amount we pay for the clothing and the true cost of what it takes to make the garment. Much of which is not priced. The documentary asks questions such as what price do we put on polluting the environment, what price do we put on workers who go into work everyday in unsafe working conditions and what price do we put on our personal involvement in all this? A $10 t-shirt does not put a price on any of this. Neither could a $100 t-shirt. This is why this documentary is so powerful, it addresses a hole in our consuming society.

Producer Andrew Morgan also shows the other side, the arguments for sweatshops and how developing countries and people working in these sweatshops need these jobs. And they do. I think it’s a well rounded film that doesn’t just say you should stop buying this and buy that because X is bad. It takes you through why X is bad and what effect it’s having. From the cotton farmers, the role of big seed and fertiliser corporations, the factory workers and their families/communities, their bosses, their Government, major designers and brands, celebrities, popular culture, store customers and finally fashion waste disposal are all featured in this documentary and are all nicely linked. It’s a huge industry and one that is currently having an enormous impact on your lives as you read this, my life as I write this and the lives of everyone mentioned above. It’s an industry that needs to be changed and it needs to change now.

If you get the chance to see this, I would encourage you to as it’s highly informative and there are many points that this documentary brings up that we should be thinking about, as an individual, a society, a country and as part of a global community.

-S.

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Where do your clothes come from?

In a few days, it will mark the one year anniversary since the collapse of Rana Plaza on the outskirts of Dhaka, Bangladesh that killed 1,129 workers and considered to be one of the worst garment factory accidents in history.

When news broke last year, I checked the tag of my t-shirt to see where it was made. Bangladesh. I naturally freaked out. I usually check the tag to see what materials it’s made out of and will invariably see where it’s been made but out of sight and out of mind as I don’t think that extra step of what it might be like for the workers. I was not a regular clothes buyer but I did buy clothes and knew about sweatshops but you don’t get much more information from your clothing company other than where it was made. So all of a sudden, I had all these questions.

How does a factory with THAT many people, not have at the very basic level, a structural building? Is our over consuming “i want what she’s wearing” society fueling this? Why aren’t these big western brands not assuring decent working conditions for those that are making their clothing? Does this not come under corporate social responsibility in a business model? Why should we be paying so much for a piece of clothing where the workers making them make them for so little? Why the disparity and how do we fix it?

I was tweeted this link today by Kirby Bee, which is an interactive video about the Bangladeshi garment industry and what happend the day Rana Plaza collapsed from some of their workers. It’s an interesting video that will hopefully make you think about where the clothes you’re in are made from and will raise some social awareness.

What options do we have to make a difference as consumers and how do we go about it?

April 24th will be Fashion Revolution Day, #insideout on twitter!

I have some answers to my questions and some remain unanswered, but I hope that it’s something that I will continue to investigate and hope to share on this blog in the future.

– S.