Yesterday life as I knew it changed for me. I watched a documentary called “The True Cost” which is on Netflix in Canada right now. The Director, Andrew Morgan, forewarned me in the film that by watching “The True Cost” it may change me, mostly my ideas on how I shop, where I shop, why I purchase something.
I think I was happier living in ignorance carrying on with my day to day life, not thinking about how my clothing purchases would impact anyone besides contributing to a not so thriving economy. I never gave much thought about who was making my clothing or the impact my thrifty ways to find a good deal would have on the world – yes, on the world, not just Canada.
I was of the mindset that trendy fashions which have a short life span, but may be cute to wear for a season, it was “disposable fashion” like a tissue you blow your nose in & toss away. And by golly there are heaps of stores which carry cute, on trend and best of all mega cheap threads! I can wear this non-biodegradable pleather skirt which smells like plastic for 20 bones! Even if I only wear it once – I felt like I was getting my money’s worth. After all, it is cheap & disposble. I would never chuck an item in the trash, but I would take a “haul” to the Value Village bin, Red Cross bin or any bin accepting my cast offs.
Sadly, only 6% of our cast offs are actually sold in thrift shops, the rest is either burnt, tossed into our landfills or shipped off to countries like Haiti who have most than enough clothing, but could use some help in other ways. Also, impacting Haitians who work as tailors, as in taking away their business.
I am happy to say though since I gave up my shopaholic ways a few years now & embracing minimalism trying to reduce my wardrobe I have been more thoughtful in my purchases, but I still like a good deal. Who doesn’t? Joe Fresh was my go to for an inexpensive trendy item to spruce up an old wardrobe, but unless something drastic changes and I know for certain those who are making my clothing are being paid at fair wages & in safe conditions I won’t be occasionally shopping there anymore.
I don’t want anyone to suffer so that I can look cute. I know I don’t know these women, and I will probably never meet them, but they are still my sisters in God’s eyes, well, in my eyes and they are human beings. I live a life of privilege, I assume anyone reading this is in the same boat.
The conditions are hot, crowded, and often unsafe. We in North America and Western countries are the drive behind this heinous cheap labour. We are driving the cost of a garment down, but also the quality of the item, the wages of workers who are so desperate for miserly wages they put their lives at risk so they can make ends meet which I suspect is still a bit short.
Imagine if a friend of yours was working for this cheap & the cost of living may be less than here, but come on now…. These workers are living in poor conditions in addition to working long unruly hours.
There is so much more I didn’t cover in this blog. I want to thank Andrew Morgan the director of “The True Cost” and Livia Firth, Executive Producer for sharing this upsetting yet needed truth.
Please watch “The True Cost” and let me know how it impacts you. Trust me, it is good stuff to know! You can visit the website for more information on “The True Cost” & different options on how you can view the documentary at https://truecostmovie.com/
I know I am sounding like a negative Nancy, but I want to share some positive options for shopping yet also address our over consumption issue. If enough people become loud about what is going on in Bangladesh, Cambodia, Thailand and other countries we can make a positive change.
Me in a Club Monaco top (top is from four years ago not sure if that would be eight seasons ago but still cute), gold necklace is older than me (not saying how old!) which my Mom gave me – still stylish!
More to come & I promise I will be more upbeat.
Peace & Love – Rachel