The True Cost
It's been nearly a year since my last high-street spend and I think it's safe to say I've broken my bad habit. The black jeans I'm wearing here are oldies from Zara and as they were last years flare obsession they had been gathering dust in a drawer. In an attempt to reuse and repurpose instead of buying new things to add to the waste-stream, I took scissors to their hems and made them this years cropped-flare obsession. Who knows, maybe next year they'll be shorts. The top is from reformation, of course, and the shoes were my splurge for real designer 'Made in Italy' shoes with all the money I've saved not wasting it on the high-street.
I haven't so much as window shopped a Zara or Topshop, H&M or Mango, in literally months. Now, for those of you who didn't know me before, this is a a crazy statement. I actually used to work for Topshop as a teen so splurging every dime of disposable income on throwaway fashion has been in my DNA for as long as I can remember. I didn't consider where my clothes came from as I was too busy buying into the short-lived buzz of newness. I wouldn't question how it could be possible to buy runaway inspired styles for a fraction of the designer cost; I never read the label to see what fabric I was putting on my body; I didn't care to look at what country an item had flown from; or question whose hands had constructed a garment. I turned a blind-eye in the name of looking good. That was until I watched life-altering documentary The True Cost.
I cannot overstate enough how eye-opening the documentary was for me. Deep down we all know that if something is so cheap then someone somewhere is paying the price, and this film brings to light exactly who that is. It saddened and sickened me to learn just how badly the fast-fashion model is exploiting third-world countries and how complicit we are for buying into it. In the coming weeks I couldn't walk past a store without thinking of the film and so I made a choice: I wasn't going to be complicit anymore. I became a label-reading fiend, asking shop assistants where items are made and learning about fabric content, finding out about brands I could trust and cutting off those who I could not. I'm a firm believer that with every purchase we make we are voting for what we believe in, so from that moment on I've been trying to make my purchases count.
To learn more about the documentary or to watch it for yourself (I cannot recommend it enough!) go to www.truecostmovie.com.