“Fast-fashion” is ever popular in the modern, “first” world. Forever 21, H&M, Zara, Gap, ETC. never fail to supply us with new, stylish clothing for cheap(er) prices… but where are our clothes really coming from?
I recently watched the documentary The True Cost. As far as I’m concerned, it’s fairly new to Netflix, and I figured I’d give it a watch. I’m glad I did.
After watching this documentary, I began to think twice about the t-shirt, bra, underwear, socks, shoes, and yoga pants I sport at home, and the clothing I wear to school — where do my clothes come from?
The answer is simple, but the situation is complex. All you have to do is read the tags — MADE IN CHINA, INDONESIA, MALAYSIA, CAMBODIA, VIETNAM, INDIA, THAILAND, BANGLADESH… The list goes on.
Human beings are single-handedly being exploited by these huge fast-fashion corporations, not ensuring that these individuals, over 75% of whom are women, are earning a living wage. The system of capitalism has failed them. These corporations only seek to make money, therefore the well-being of their “employees” is simply ignored and neglected.
What’s extremely unfortunate is the fact that it’s difficult to escape the reality of the world we live in. Wholesale clothing, flash sales, Black Friday and the like are attractive to us consumers, as we seek to save our money. However, the clothes are cheap at the expense of another individual’s ability to simply live and possibly support a family.
Here in the U.S. (or in any other “first-world” country, for that matter), we wouldn’t even THINK of allowing citizens to work in such conditions, assumably earning less than $150 USD a month. Sadly, this is the reality of MILLIONS of children, women, and men in developing countries. They usually do not have a say in their working conditions, wages, etc. Many who attempt to form unions and submit demands are often met with wage cuts, and even violence.
Hell, I’m 17 (almost 18) years old. It pains me to see people desperate for work being subjected to such neglect and exploitation at the hands of greedy CEOs and corporate executives. If I had the power, the money, and the support to advocate for these individuals, to advocate for systemic change, I 100% would… but there’s only so much I can do.
There’s only so much we can do.
But so long as attention is being drawn to this issue (for it has been largely ignored for the better part of 50+ years), I believe that’s where change starts.