Thursday, July 28, 2016

Documentary #1

     Instead of watching movies like the Fifty Shades of Grey screening or reading John Green’s books (not that I am against them or something), watch some documentaries whose main purpose is to change the people’s perspective regarding some important contemporary issues. An example which hit me in all my vital senses and left me with a burdened conscience and with an immeasurable desire to make at least a micro-change is The True Cost.

     Skipping the technical specifications, like how well the film was made and what audiovisual effects were used which, however, I can say (at least from the viewpoint of an amateur) that are flawless, the idea behind the documentary is the one that counts.

     Although there are many problems today's society has to face, perhaps one of the biggest concerns the fashion industry and what is really behind it. An article may not be so strongly impressive compared to the power that images have, that is why I firmly encourage you to watch this movie, words may lose their power when it comes to such cases.
     The True Cost dawns with the idea that society teaches us only that the more we buy the greater happiness will be indisputably given to us -  this is something that any man with a righteous conscience can deny. However, we continue to buy and buy and buy, and now the only thing I can add that sums up so well this situation is the following quote: „We buy things we do not need with money we do not have to impress people we do not like

     But at what cost? How many of us have stopped before handing over some money to the cashier in a big brand store and wondered "At what cost?". Does not everything we buy, wear and use is fully made by a human hand? But no, we do not ask ourselves under what kind of conditions people – who produce clothes for fast fashion industries – work, we do not mind how those people get paid and we do not care that these situations violate human rights only to replenish stores all over the world.

     I was disgusted by myself as well for not possessing some essential parts of a critical thinking so I could ask myself at least one question – „At what cost?” During nights full of overthinking regarding my existential problems, I did not stop, neither for a second, to doubt this thingclothes – we take for granted.

     The conditions under people who produce our clothes work – whether we buy from H&M, Zara, Topshop or Forever 21, Mango, etc – are  awful: from the minimum wage to the hours spent in a place where the word "safety" is not even slightly known. If they start demanding their rights, they are killed, beaten, silenced. Big brands pursue their own interests without paying attention to the values which underpin our human condition.
     What is humanity? How could we still define it when our indifference regarding those workers reaches unimaginable levels?  Yes, it is good they have a working place, it is perfect they go to work on a daily basis,  but again – at what cost?

     I find myself in an incapacity to fully describe my guilt: at least ¾ of my clothes come from big brands. I plead culpable, yet I swear I will stop. Whether I will buy second-hand or „Made in Romania” clothes or I will take greater care than before, certainly I will never buy again something that is related to fast fashion. 

     What happens is so far from normal, and now my only recommendation for you is to watch The True Cost and let the images speak for themselves and let your conscience be touched over the limits. All that I hope is that this documentary will put a mark on you as big as it put on me. If not... then I literally have no clue what I am supposed to be thinking about humanity. 

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Maira Gall