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New Documentary Confirms Everything You Feared About Fast Fashion

At the site of the Rana Plaza collapse. Photo: Getty Images
At the site of the Rana Plaza collapse. Photo: Getty Images

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Ever since the Rana Plaza collapse in Bangladesh, conscious consumerism has become a hot-button issue in every corner of the retail industry, from the fast fashion players to the independent eco-friendly boutiques. The True Cost, a documentary opening today in New York, London, Los Angeles, and online, seeks to uncover more about the supply chain behind some of America's biggest retail players.

The Wall Street Journal interviewed the director of the documentary, Andrew Morgan, to get his take on the motivation behind the film. "I don't want anyone to see this film and think this is anti-business or this anti-market or anti-trade," Morgan told reporter Robin Kawakami. "It's just pro human beings have rights and dignity, and the planet that we're living on has real limits. And we have to just wake up and tell a new story that addresses the reality of those things."

Morgan funded the documentary off of a Kickstarter campaign launched at the end of 2013. He then spent more than a year traveling across the world to visit garment manufacturers from every end of the supply chain, from cotton farmers in Texas to factory workers in Bangladesh.

"I hope no one feels that it's a statement of disdain towards fashion, or that we should love the things that we wear less," Morgan said. "I think clothing is beautiful and in some cases, beautifully made, and plays a vital role in the world. What I would encourage people to do as a starting point is move back to a place, or move to a place of choosing to invest in clothing that you love, that you're going to wear, and that you're going to hold on to. And getting yourself off this treadmill of just endlessly consuming cheap, throwaway stuff."