Don’t Mention The Garment Workers! The True Cost of Fast Fashion

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This post was inspired by a documentary titled ‘The True Cost’, which you can watch here. It is a fascinating look at the bigger picture of the fashion industry.

The full story is shocking and heartbreaking – and it is something that as many people as possible should hear. The human cost of the business is alarming, with exploitation being the root of what allows us to purchase such a staggering array of cheap clothes – something that is known as ‘fast fashion’.

Andrew Morgan takes us on a journey to the heart of the clothing industry, which is a global trip to some of the poorest areas of the world. It is gut-wrenching to meet the many hearts and hands that make our clothes.

I’ve Got Nothing To Wear

It is typical to see wardrobes in our modern world overstuffed with clothes, with a constant stream of new items being forced into it. Bags strewn across the floor, shoes everywhere and accessories galore. Yet the cry from the masses is that they have nothing to wear.

Clothes are available so cheaply that there is often little or no thought behind each purchase. It is considered normal to buy something on the hop, as such little commitment is required in terms of cost. But what does that matter when you can just throw something away?

Fashion has become disposable, and it has become fast.

The entire industry has changed in order to turn over more product – so far from the original 2 or 3 seasons per year that we used to see, it is now closer to 52 seasons. New lines are introduced every single week, and the pressure to stay up to date is high.

Until as late as the 1960s the vast majority of clothes sold in America were also manufactured in the United States. Today that number is drastically different. Approximately 97% of clothes sold in the States are manufactured overseas, with just 3% made domestically.

Why Is Clothing Manufacturing Outsourced?

It is far cheaper for companies to outsource the manufacture of clothes. Labour costs in the United States are significantly more than in third world countries including China, India and Cambodia.

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