Fashion’s Hidden Horrors Revealed

“I was getting my coffee one morning when I saw a photograph on the cover of a newspaper that instantly broke my heart,” says director Andrew Morgan about the impetus for making the gut-wrenching documentary The True Cost, executive produced by Livia Firth. “The image was of two boys walking past a giant wall of missing-persons signs. Picking it up, I read the story of the clothing factory collapse outside of Dhaka, Bangladesh, taking the lives of more than 1,000 people and severely injuring thousands more. At the time of the collapse, the factory was making clothes for major Western brands. I soon learned that this was not an isolated tragedy.”

Morgan was stunned and sickened to realize that his own clothes could be a product of an inhumane fashion system. He set out to document its hidden horrors, while offering zero reverence to the major houses and chains that have built billion-dollar fortunes on the backs of desperately poor Bangladeshis, Cambodians, Haitians, and so on, most of them women. Fashion is the most labor-dependent industry on the planet, a situation exploited on every level. Plus, in addition to its appalling human-rights record, fashion is now the second most polluting industry on earth, after oil.

“The movie that’s going to shock the fashion world,” said Harvey Weinstein, The True Cost is a fashion documentary that unravels and reveals the grim global supply chain of fast fashion and beyond, a phenomenon too recent, too secretive to have its dark side exposed to worldwide scrutiny and outcry. Globalization, trade deals, and outsourcing have delivered the speed, disposability, and price deflation that have led to some of the worst manmade disasters of the modern age — all in the name of cheap fashion.

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