True Cost Movie: a must see movie


Arriving at Studio 145, a co-working space downtown Tauranga, all eyes were on Tias Taco truck with hot yummy food being served at trestles outside. The offer of hot water bottles and rugs were taken up as the night was cold and frosty but it was made even better by my hot delicious chicken quesadilla. You can find the truck along with other vendors at Food Truck Friday’s held fortnightly at the Mount Maunganui RPM headquarters in Hull Road.

The movie event was run by Little Big Events and Night Owl Cinema and Studio 145 is the base of a project Hand-to-Hand that collects unwanted clothing and distributes them to needy families in the BOP.

ReCreate had a display of their ethically produced clothing and accessories inside the venue. A New Zealand company who use 100% certified organic cotton for their t-shirts and work with women in Cambodia and other countries to give them employment and opportunities.

True Cost is a must see movie. When you buy a $5.00 t-shirt do you wonder why it is so cheap? Deflation of clothing prices has been taking place for years. Where we used to have spring/summer, autumn/winter ranges we now see mini-seasons where new ranges of clothes are in stores every month. This movie investigates how this fast fashion has happened and how it is impacting on both people and ecology around the world.

From the runways of Milan to the crowded sewing rooms in Bangladesh we see behind the glamour to the daily grind of the factory sewers. The ecological impact of cotton crop pesticide spraying, toxic dyes from leather manufacturing going into waterways and tonnes of unwanted discarded clothes dumped in Haiti were graphically shown not only by images but by showing people living with the consequences of our demands for cheap clothing.

Interviews with influential people around the world who are helping to make change and awareness were inspiring. Dr Vandara Shira, an environmental activist and author, Livia Firth, Creative Director of Eco-Age a sustainability brand consultancy, Stella McCartney, fashion designer, Lucy Siegel, ethical living columnist, Safia Minney, founder of sustainable Fair Trade fashion label, People Tree, and many more.

But the real message of this movie was shown by the testimony of one woman living and working in Bangladesh. To work long hours in the factory and give her daughter an education to get out of the same situation she was in, she took the child to live with her elderly parents in the country. As she talked about her work conditions and the Rana Plaza disaster where over 1000 people died when a clothing factory above shops collapsed, the painful reality of her life was heart breaking. The sacrifice of not living with her daughter was hard to watch. Other scenes that shook to the core were workers in Phnom Penh in Cambodia being beaten and arrested by police for protesting at their bad working conditions and low wages in clothing factories.

We all need to think about our disposable attitude to fashion and where our clothes are made and what they are made of.

Diane Hume-Green Photo Rosemary Balu

Diane Hume-Green Photo Rosemary Balu

Diane Hume-Green. Diane Hume-Green is a regular contributor to ARTbop in her column Scene About Town.  Diane is a total Tauranga person, from a family with a history of involvement in business, music fashion and fibre.  She has a design background and is out and about around Tauranga at events of all kinds.


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