This is a slight diversion to my normal post. It is however very much linked to minimalism and the effects of mindless consumption in the fashion industry. It’s a story of the true cost of consumption.
I watched the movie The True Cost a few weeks ago and found it so disturbing in terms of the consequences of buying ‘a few cheap clothes’. Made all the more personal by my recent move to Cambodia where some of the garment makers were filmed. I’ve seen with my own eyes, the truckloads of women being ferried back and forth to the factories.
The content of the film takes minimalism one step further I feel. As you know, I’m not against shops, and my own experiment with not buying stuff for a year, left me with a lot of clothes that had simply worn out.
The step the film takes is to look at what we choose when we finally do make a purchase. The big brands are about volume and profit, and despite their own policies on fair trade, and rights and safety for workers, they are essentially ignored as we see in the film.
The commentary talks about “Our economic system is one of consumer capitalism, and that’s why the governments of the world need consumption at very high levels.”
“If we became less materialistic our economy would tank, and they are right at some level because our economy is based on materialism…… the problem is that that comes at a really high price.”
Scary stuff, and the reason many will never become minimalists. But the film leaves us with a closing summary;
“Will we continue to search for happiness in the consumption of things, will we be satisfied with a system that makes us feel rich, while leaving our world so desperately poor. Will we continue to turn a blind eye to those people behind our clothes, or will this be a turning point. A new chapter in our story where we begin to make a real change.”
“As we remember everything we wear was touched by human hands. In the midst of all the challenges facing us today, for all the problems that feel bigger than us, and beyond our control, maybe we could start here. With clothing.”
I’ve embedded the trailer, but would encourage you to take a look at the whole film, its available on-line which means you don’t need to make a physical purchase.
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