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Documentary: The True Cost
2nd September 2015

Documentary: The True Cost

The True Cost is a documentary film on the human and environmental impact of fast fashion. 


The film travels the world meeting those directly affected by the production of garments with disposability woven into them. The *snap – quick fix* of buying cheap clothes leaves a devastating trail of global destruction in its wake. Interviews include those with economists, farmers, eco-businesses, factory workers and those in the fashion spotlight; Livia Firth, Stella McCartney and Vandana Shiva, as well as People Tree founder and CEO, Safia Minney 


There are various reasons behind why fast fashion has become such big business in the last two decades – the main one of these is undoubtedly consumerism. The desire for more has become terrifyingly ingrained. Subconsciously there is a desire for the newer and better version of both a product and of YOU. A force that has destroyed need to a pulp. In the last 50 years through advertising, the internet, media and the yearning to reach happiness through accumulation of ‘stuff’, fashion retail has become both over-saturated and overwhelming. 

Fulfilment doesn't come from fast fashion 

The message: There’s something out there that will make you the most beautiful, popular and fulfilled person in the world! If it doesn’t look right, don’t worry, try infinite other products. You could be GREAT! The cycle of desire overrules any regard for the origins of each piece of cheap fabric. “The clothing comes from our blood,” says one female factory worker, beaten by the owner of her workplace for requesting fair working conditions. “I don’t want anyone wearing the clothing we have made.”


Devastatingly destructive business model

Fast fashion is constant, bitesize consumerism. It taps away incessantly – with new products going on sale not just twice a year, but every single week. One economist believes that as the cost of housing increases and the ‘big’ purchases become more unattainable, the lure of an item of clothing that’s as cheap as a bottle of washing up liquid provides a glimmer of gain in the desire to have it all. The results of this business model are truly shocking, from every stage of a garment’s life – starting at the cotton farms coerced into using pesticides, to the factory workers on $3 a day and ending with being unceremoniously dumped in landfill for 10 years – releasing chemicals into the air. 

Consumer power

As Stella McCartney states in the powerful documentary, we decide whether these fast fashion retailers exist and continue on their path of destruction. They are dependant on consumption. As the pollution in the rivers increases, more factory workers die in unsafe conditions, like they did in Dhaka, Bangladesh (a far from isolated incident), greenhouse gases are emitted ferociously into the air, millions of acres of land become further soaked in pesticides, more farmers commit suicide, landfill grows and children continue to be separated from their parents, with no choice but to work in the factories – we have to ask ourselves FOR WHAT? Is that top worth it?


Buy fair trade and organic – understand where your clothing is made and look after it, take responsibility and use the power that you have – as a consumer. 

At Nomads, we believe in slow fashion. Working to produce unique and ethical clothing in two collections each year. We design with you in mind, working to produce timeless, stylish clothing made to last, not become landfill. We regularly visit our factories in India and look at the traditional skills held there – from block printing to embroidery and hand looms – and see how we can incorporate them into each collection’s aesthetic. For over 25-years, Nomads has ensured producers work in the best environment possible. The manufacture and detail is intricate and awe-inspiring, we want our garments to be cherished and each part of the journey to count. We believe in quality of life and respecting nature – one of the reasons you can find us proudly in the wilds of Cornwall and supporting wonderful charities like Tamwed.


Passing on this ethos is very important to us. Our children need to see the forests, rivers and fields of content crops. They need to see work places around the world that are safe, fair and inspiring – skills need to be passed on with happiness and gratitude. Quality needs to be appreciated, care taken. The next generation need to know that they don’t need it all, they need enough – simplicity benefits everyone. Long-lasting and nourishing, love is the answer – for people, nature and the future of the world. The true cost of fast fashion is everything about greed and destruction, nothing about love. 

“The eyes of the world are opening, and I believe history is giving us this moment to choose a better path.” Andrew Morgan, Director. 

Watch the trailer, HERE. Watch The True Cost on Netflix: HERE. Or rent, HERE.

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