Women’s Center shows “The True Cost” of fashion

Marcella Brown

The True Cost, a provocative documentary about sustainability and the global impact of the clothing industry, was shown by the Women’s Center on Mar. 9. The film focuses on sweatshop workers in Bangladesh and the tragedies they have faced. Sommer Hodson, interim director of the Women’s Center, said the issues presented in the film are ones everyone can identify with. “It’s relevant to everyone and gives everyone the opportunity to consider the previously-unseen impact of the choices they make with regard to clothing,” Hodson said. Hodson said she hopes it will lead to reflection, and that it will lead viewers to stop and think about what goes into clothing. She said making the right choices might minimize the negative impact associated with some clothing manufacturers. “Whether we’re talking about the poor working conditions of garment manufacturers in other countries or the impact on the environment from growing the crops used in clothing manufacturers, the film will raise issues about whether these practices are sustainable,” Hodson said. Morgan Schoen, UWO psychology student, said viewing the film made her see consumer consciousness is important when making everyday purchases. One of the pervading themes throughout the film is the selfishness of the American people when making consumer decisions. “Not many people think of where these goods come from because it’s just not something we necessarily have to worry about,” Schoen said. College of Business professor Ivana Milosevic, said she hopes students will grasp the importance of personal responsibility. “Don’t just say that the issue is somewhere out there, but rather what are the things that I can do today and tomorrow to do better,” Milosevic said. Milosevic said it’s important for people around the world to be educated about sustainable fashion. “At the end of the day, if you push the notion that companies need to do good because they have the power to do good, you will reach few people,” Milosevic said. “If we do a better job educating companies and educating consumers to behave in a more sustainable way to create a better product, you’re going to get further.” Milosevic said the film is available for streaming on Netflix and recommends anyone who missed the viewing to watch and share it. “We live in an interconnected world, so if you stay in your bubble and close your mind to what is going on around you, ultimately you yourself will suffer,” Milosevic said.