I discovered the documentary movie, The True Cost, through a YouTuber: Luke Meagher of HauteLeMode. (Seriously, you never know what “rabbit holes” you’ll fall down into while researching information about characters in your story.) Right now, The True Cost is on Netflix. You can also rent this documentary through Amazon or download it through the movie’s website.
Here’s a trailer for the film:
I’ve always been thrifty when it comes to fashion. I have some BEAUTIFUL items in my closet that are more than a decade old, but most of the time I wear jeans and a top. Basic stuff. I buy a LOT of items through thrift stores and since my husband loves to sew, anything too worn out to be donated will often find a new life as a quilt, throw, or chair slipcover.
Even still, I had NO IDEA how harmful a simple $4 dollar “fast fashion” t-shirt could be in the vast scheme of things. Every piece of clothing we wear has gone through MANY hands, from the seeds to make the cotton, to the manufacturing of the fabric in a mill, to the dying of that same fabric, to the women who do the sewing (often for less than $3 a day), to the stores where we shop. It’s almost overwhelming when you take the time to think about all the work, and time, and energy that’s involved in each and every piece of clothing that we own. It certainly makes me want to treat my clothing with a LOT more respect.
- Consume less.
- Shop only for items that you need.
- Remake/tailor what you already have.
- Consider shopping at thrift stores, from local artists, or sustainably made retailers.
- Ask yourself, “Will you wear this item at least 30 times?”
Clothing isn’t magically made, even cheap clothing. I certainly don’t want to put a damper on anyone’s holiday shopping, but I think it’s important to think before we shop. Is that “ugly holiday sweater” something you’re going to wear at least 30 times, or is it something you’re only going to wear to one party, and then toss it in a landfill? It’s something to keep in mind.
I’m really glad I watched The True Cost. It was truly enlightening.
Thank you so much, Luke Meagher, for educating me about the fashion industry.