There is a lot you can say about Winnipeggers, but when it comes to shopping, there is nothing a pegger likes more than a good deal. Growing up, I remember deals like Claire’s 10 pieces for $10, or stores like Stitches/sirens that sold fashionable pieces for a fraction of the price. I could literally purchase my summer wardrobe for under $200. Those were the days. I never thought much about the construction of the garmet; where it came from or the material used. At the end of the day all I cared about was getting a replica Beyonce dress for $10.
As I matured and my style shifted, the urge for the deal never changed. I would walk into the mall looking for a staple closet black dress and leave with 7 bags. Zara, H&M, Oritzia, and dynamite were all hotspots that would steal my paycheck week after week. As the shoe racks doubled, the purses exploded out of storage containers and my room increasingly felt smaller and smaller, I still had nothing to wear.
Today we live in a society that constantly pushes a message that you never wear anything twice. A statement piece, cannot be a statement, twice right? WRONG. I give you Tiffany haddish:
I started to think, damn girl you right. Why do I HAVE CLOTHES I LOVE WASTING AWAY IN MY CLOSET.
This past week in Winnipeg was Fashion revolution week. Haven’t heard of it? Neither had I. Some amazing Winnipeg brands and influencers I follow like Sarah Sue, Azura Bay,and Blue line vintage had all been gushing about the many events for Winnipeg fashion week. I honestly felt a bit confused still on what exactly was going on, so on one of our wine dates, Sarah, the incredible doll that she is, invited me to tag along with her to the Gala. Sidenote, I still wasn’t sure what to expect. As fate would have it I won two tickets the next day and thought ok I have to see what this was all about.
I got all dolled up in my ecofashion bodysuit from Azura bay and headed over there with my best gal pal. We schmoozed, and then headed into the theatre to watch The true cost with a glass of sangria.
Here is what I learned without giving too much away:
- I had no idea the impact my shopping addiction, my “don’t wear it twice” attitude, was having on the world I committed to help saving
- I can’t comprehend how my $10 dollar dress was made by someone making less then a dollar a day.
- These big brands making BILLIONS of dollars have no compassion and don’t respect the human rights of the workers creating their garments
- Brands do not assume the liability of the workers putting their health, and lives on the line because they only worry about the bottom dollar
- The fashion industry is the second largest polluter in the world. The waste we have created by buying exorbitant amounts of clothing, shoes ,accessories is astronomical, along with the fast fashion process of creating garments.
- 250,000 Indian cotton farmers have killed themselves in the last 15 years. You need to watch the film for a full explanation on how large fast fashion companies affect family owned farms in India.
- Because of the chemicals used to create fast fashion there are generations of families being born with physical and mental disabilities.
I could go on but frankly my heart hurts. The first reaction I had was throw everything away, my second was F*$@ that doesn’t make sense either. Speaking with Sarah, Christine and Melissa, they believe, as a consumer we can fight the fight by literally consuming less, repurposing the fashion we already have, mending our clothing and holding brands accountable to higher standards.
Fashion revolution aims to “ explore the fashion industry’s impact on people and planet, what the Sustainable Development Goals are, and how they are intrinsically linked.” With a vision to “believe in a fashion industry that values people, the environment, creativity and profit in equal measure.” This is a fashion culture I can get behind, one that celebrates creativity, acknowledges the hard work that goes into every garment made and holds the brand accountable to human right standards with all businesses they employ.
Let’s be real a company grossing 18 billion dollars a year can afford to shell out a bit more in order for garment workers to make more the $35 CAD a month.
The movie is available on Youtube, and Netflix.