Ethical Fashion: Considering the True Cost of Our Choices

Written by Rachael B. - November 9, 2016

As we approach the holiday season, many of us will be considering buying new clothes, either for ourselves for the party season, or as gifts for loved ones. When making these purchases, how much time do you spend considering the journey these clothes have been on before they reached the store, and what impact your choices might have..?

These questions were addressed as we discussed ethical fashion at our recent community film screening. Jointly hosted with Impact Hub Westminster, this event attracted more than 70 people. Fellow Impact Hub members, clients and friends joined us to watch fashion documentary The True Cost, which explores the real impact of the fashion industry on people and the planet and asks, “who pays the price for our clothes?”

Featuring leading influencers such as Livia Firth, Stella McCartney, Richard Wolff and Vandana Shiva, this eye-opening documentary takes us on a journey around the world, unravelling the real human cost that is fuelled by our desire for fast fashion.

The western world’s obsession with clothing and acceptance of the lie that we need to follow the latest trends means that we are largely disconnected with what goes on ‘behind the scenes’ to make cheap fashion so readily available. True Cost reconnects us in a way that cannot be ignored and asks us to more carefully consider the choices we make.

Fuelled by vegan nibbles made from surplus food, supplied by sustainable caterers Elysia, we enjoyed continuing the discussions after the film, with a focus on what we can do to make a difference.

Making More Ethical Fashion Choices

As well as the five tips from the movie below, highlighted in detail by our friends at Impact Hub, we also recommend:

  • Buying pre-loved clothes from charity shops or vintage clothes stores
  • Sharing/swapping unwanted clothes with friends and family, or donating to charity
  • Making your own clothes (or having them made locally)!

Ethical fashion brands we recommend:

We shared more suggestions for eco-clothes shopping last year, in our Wholesome Business podcast on eco-travel.

True Cost’s 5 Tips:

  • Think: Will I wear it 30 times?
  • Break the cycle – You do not need to change clothes every season
  • Spread your fashion – Make more sustainable choices (suggested ethical fashion brands below)
  • Detox your wardrobe – Phase toxic substances out of your wardrobe
  • Join the revolution.

True Cost movie is available on Amazon,iTunes and Netflix.

Have you seen this eye-opening documentary? What impact has this had on the choices you now make? Do share your thought in the comments below!