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Andrew Morgan, Director, True Cost The Movie

Andrew Morgan, Director, True Cost The Movie

AndrewMorgan001What attracted to you to make True Cost?

I had never really thought much about where my clothes came from. Growing up they just seemed to appear in the stores. As I got older I learned that people in developing countries were making them and was told this was a great thing because they needed the work. It wasn’t until I picked up the newspaper and read about a clothing factory collapse outside of Dhaka, Bangladesh that took the lives of 1,138 workers (mostly young women) that I began to start asking a lot of questions. I spent the next several days reading everything I could get my hands on and by the end of that week I was convinced this was a film I had to make.

 

Before the film you were never part of the fashion industry – do you think this was a benefit towards your approach?

I think so, it allowed me to come to the topic from a very outside place. It also made it easy to ask the simple questions that so often get ignored. More than anything though what really helped was my genuine curiosity. I have always done by best work when I am on a journey, in search of real answers.

 

The film tackles some of the biggest problems in the industry in developing countries. Which part affected you/opened your eyes the most?

For me the sheer scope of injustice and the systematic exploitation was overwhelming. At the same time it also became very personal as I began to spend time with people living and working inside these systems. It moved very quickly from numbers and statistics into human beings and that changed everything.

 

What do you think are the biggest environmental dangers from Fast Fashion?

The volume of consumption takes an unbelievable toll, not only in regads to pollution but just in the natural resources being used. We still think of a lot of these resources as infinite but that could not be further from the truth. To spend time in parts of the world where they are running out of these resources, while still over extending their environment to keep up the export pace is frightening. At the other end of the equation the waist is staggering. I spent time in land fills all over the world where clothing waste extends further than the eye can see.

 

What do you feel is the humanitarian price of mass produced fashion?

In our current model that only measure profit, human labour is continually marginalised and exploited. Fashion is a deflationary product, meaning it is one of the few things in our world that has gotten cheaper over time. Now if you think about that, the materials have not gone down in price, neither has transportation. Human labour is the one point in the supply chain that continues to be pushed down resulting in hellish conditions for men and women powering this magical machine.

 

Do you think there is a solution or way out?

Change is beginning to come as people all over the world are opening their hearts and minds to the simple idea that there are people behind the things we wear. That is a real shift and it has the power, if continued, to grow into industry shifts as well as long overdue adjustments to trade agreements and international law. It all begins with you and I beginning to adjust our mind-set to look past at the price tag and consider the true cost of our choices.

 

What measures can consumers take to ensure that they are not adding to dark side of the fashion industry?

I like what Vivian Westwood says, “buy less, choose well, make it last”. Let’s begin to buy things that we really love, that make us feel beautiful and that we will have and hold onto for a long time.

 AndrewMorgan003

AndrewMorgan004Do you see the new trend for fast fashion as the one of the biggest environmental and humanitarian disasters of the past century?

Without a doubt. This is the most labour dependent industry in the world. It is also one of the largest polluters after oil. It has driven forward a destructive model at the expense of so many people and resources that we simply cannot continue to turn a blind eye.

 

What solutions if any do you see for the future?

In any capitalist system the impact of supply / demand is incredibly real. The model of fast fashion has been build on the arrogant assumption that you and I won’t care enough to ask questions. As people begin to look into the things they are buying into here I believe there will be a major shift back towards quality and story.

 AndrewMorgan005

What advice would you give to people who would like to shop for clothes more sustainably?

There are some really incredible companies out there with more and more joining all the time. Spend some time and look into these companies make beautiful clothing while taking being mindful of all of the hearts and hands that touch it along the way. These companies are out there and they need our support!

 

Do you have any plans for a follow up to True Cost and its characters?

We are in development on a few new projects and one of them is directly related to this film. Nothing I can share just yet but follow the film through social media and we will keep everyone in the loop on the exciting things that are coming up!

 

What can viewers and supporters do to help?

  1. Share the film with people you know and love
  2. Begin to think carefully about how you buy, use and dispose of clothing
  3. You can help us support Shima, the Bangladeshi garment worker we followed in the film on a new donation page we just launched today: classy.org/thetruecost

 

For more information visit www.truecost.com

 
 
© 2014 The Eco Gypsy - Ethical Exploration.
   


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