Fashion is more than just a business, it can cause changes in social, environmental, economic and political landscapes. The importance of fashion cannot be underestimated as it has great influence on the modern world, especially on the youth and how they perceive certain aspects of life. Fashion designers can use their positions in the fashion industry to impose and popularize certain perceptions, such as sexuality, gender identity and cultural diversity. So, as you build up your fashion business, it is important to remember that fashion is neither all about fame nor money; it also plays a role in the betterment of society. Now more than ever, it is important to practice ethical and responsible fashion, especially designers in Africa. African fashion designers have an opportunity to use creativity to promote fashion in Africa and to use their art in impacting positive development. However, it is not just African designers; the fashion industry should operate with a simple motto, fashion for good.
This year (2015), a documentary called True Cost was filmed in countries all over the world examining the price of fashion on humans and the environment.
The film is unapologetic as it shows you the grim, depressing world of fast fashion. It shows you how fast fashion, a system that relies on speed and price deflation, has led to the worst casualties in the industrial age, while we consumers have idly sat by doing nothing. The documentary uses empirical facts and figures about the fashion manufacturing industry, pointing out that fashion is the second most polluting industry on Earth, right behind oil.
True Cost not only shows us a glimpse of the conditions of factory workers but the unchecked exploitation of worker’s rights, especially in Bangladesh and Cambodia. The viewers get a taste of some of the devastating effects of fast fashion as the film tackles issues of capitalism, ethics, consumerism and structural oppression. After watching True Cost, you will start second guessing your cheap clothes and as businessmen or women, you will hopefully be encouraged to practice ethical fashion.
The documentary is a great film that you can use to better understand the consequences of fashion. Hopefully, as your fashion business grows, your society will benefit from your growth.
The documentary is now available on iTunes, VHX and Amazon.
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Check out the trailer: