The True Cost (2015) Poster


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The True Cost Delivers
officea31 May 2015
"The True Cost" is a professionally-done documentary by Andrew Morgan which covers many of the multiple problems caused by America's current clothing gluttony. Going to thirteen separate countries, the viewers visually get a small taste of some of the devastation caused by "Fast Fashion", whether it is drenching of farmlands with pesticides and the resultant birth defects in India to the following of a Bangladesh single mother and garment worker who knew people in the Rana Plaza building collapse which claimed more than 1100 people. Although the topics are,at times, heavy and thought provoking, the overall tone of the documentary is neither gloomy nor preachy. "The True Cost" is an ambitious project that opens your eyes to many of the ills caused by our current economic policies and our addiction to spending. It is a great springboard for further discussions and movie projects. -Jack A
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An absolute must see for consumers
justsayinme26 June 2015
It's really an eye opener to the secrets behind the clothing industry. In fact the western corporates and consumers have blood on their hands by choosing to stay ignorant about the clothing and food industry. It's sickening how these "happy commercials of lush beauty and nice clothes" are use to fool the world and making it worse and worse for out planet and third world people....SEE THIS AND THINK AGAIN!

Never ever will you buy your clothes without thinking about where it's coming from and what role it played in the environment and the workers behind these clothes. I hope people will start opening their eyes with this documentary
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Really good movie about the clothing industry
tenshi_ippikiookami13 May 2016
This movie is biased. A lot. But that doesn't mean that what it isn't saying is right.

Because it is.

"The True Cost" is a movie about the clothing industry and the costs the fast fashion world we live in today has, with uncontrolled consumerism and a total lack of understanding of the processes behind the clothes we wear.

And the movie does a great job in showing many aspects behind the product you are wearing. It tells the story of many of the workers, and also owners of industries, and brings home many points, from how the workers labor is made cheap, or how they have to work in horrible environments, to the illnesses people get because of the way the industry works or the consequences for the environment.

The movie unashamedly points to out-of-control consumerist capitalist society as the big reason behind what is happening, with people just buying for the sake of it, and society sending constant messages about the need of buying and changing clothes constantly. It is, as said above, a movie that doesn't hide its agenda. But, at the same time, it is absolutely true that the work conditions of the workers of the industry are terrible, that the environment is suffering because of the industry, and that we buy too many things we don't really need.

This is a movie necessary to think a little bit about what's behind the clothing industry, what we don't see/don't want to see, and how we should care about it because we should care about other humans and the world we live in.
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Well-made documentary about the clothing industry.
Amyth4728 March 2021
My Rating : 7/10

If you've ever wondered what 'sweatshops' mean then 'The True Cost' will truly give you the inner details of the industry which makes the world's garments along with the sad reality of the workers.

Must-see for consumers and eye-opening for sure!
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Compulsory Consumption
burakparlak11 October 2019
I live in Turkey and there are many "cheap" textile factory in terms of their work conditions and quality of their products. People buy more items than they actually need and this behaviour causes textile industry growing day by day.

Any kind of shoe production costs approximately 2$ - 5$ dollars, Any kind of t-shirt, sweater, shirt costs 1$ - 3$ dollars, Any kind of hat, sock, belt costs 0 - 1$ dollars,

Nike, Adidas, H&M, Zara, Pull & Bear, 21 Forever, Gucci, Berschka ect. doesn't matter where you buy your clothes, they are all produced very cheap and sold for five times more expensive than they worth.

Why do you pay extra money for famous brand logo?

Being minimalist is similar to being vegan & vegetarian and it means sacrificing luxury for the long term benefit.
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Truth mixed with Ideology and Propaganda
mxsuba263 January 2019
I gave it a five since it exposes the true ugly and dark underside of the clothing industry. With all but the very high end clothing produced offshore in the West, a massive industry of unregulated, nonunion dangerous sweatshops in the lowest labor cost nations produces most of our clothing. Think of that next time you buy a 100 dollar shirt and see that it was made in Vietnam probably for about $2.00 cost.

However the movie takes a hard left turn in the second half. They have the requisite video segment from a Fox News talking-head about sweatshops and how they might really serve a purpose. Then they interview Marxist economic Richard Wolf who blames the problem on not on idiot consumers or corrupt governments in producer nations, but on capitalism and calls for a new system. What new system? Socialism of course. Every useful idiot academic these days is in love with socialism.

Capitalism is not the problem. It is brain dead materialistic consumers who turned shopping from necessity into a weekly hobby and became addicted to cheap overseas products. Generations X and Y who consume like fools. Look at the ages of those waiting in line on Black Friday and in front of an Apple Store when Tim Cook announces the newest $1200 iPhone. These are all younger Americans charging in to buy the products of sweatshops. Change their minds and you solve a great part of the problem. The other issue not addressed is the fault of the governments of the producer nations. No unions, labor laws, decent wages or environmental controls. The movie implies that these governments has no power against these corporations. Sure they do. This was the situation in the US 100+ years ago and we solved it. But somehow the third world is not at fault. In this film. The Western capitalists are at fault in the logic of the producers and writers. Worth watching with a critical eye.
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The True Cost
teteu23 January 2018
"The True Cost" is a documentary by Andrew Morgan which explores the whole network of clothe's production and consume, unlatching the concept of fast fashion and his implications. Approaching the social and envirement impacts, the film shows the true cost of the fashion consume in this age, including the physical and psiquic ills caused by the chlote's production in poor countries without labor laws, ground's contamination caused by the agriculture required for the sector's industry and the social problems related to the economic policies and globalized production chain. The great problem of this film is the attempt to investigate all the issues intrinsic of the fashion cost. When treating multiple questions, the documentary ends up becoming a shallow investigation, without deepening and solidity. This desorganization is allied to a lack of interactions with the viewer and boring interviews, besides not including important social actors of the fashion production.
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Anti-GM Propaganda
tylerwoodrownichols18 October 2017
The exploitation of wage-slaves in developing countries as a key component of our current economic system is a very important topic, one that I'm deeply interested in, but this film doesn't do the subject matter any justice at all. The collapse of the factory in Bangladesh and the narrative about the mother who tried to unionise but was shut down by the owners, along with a brief but similar story in Cambodia are really the only parts of the film that had anything to do with the premise.

The rest of the film is just a mess. The time wasted on following around a woman who works for a "fair trade" clothing company just comes across as a long-winded advertisement, and conveniently skirts the issue that this woman is still a capitalist who is profiting off the labor of people in other countries. She throws the phrase "fair trade" around a whole lot without ever actually defining what it means in respect to her company's business practices. I guess we're supposed to feel good that the poor people in Bangladesh are being slightly less exploited by her company.

The non-sequitur in the middle of the film about GM crops and "organic" cotton is where I really started to lose respect for this film. The charlatan known as Vandana Shiva makes an appearance, spouting out her typical disinformation about the "evils" of GM technology. This woman is not by any means a scientist, and is not in any way an expert on biotechnology or agriculture. So many of her claims have been debunked a thousand times (namely the claim that GM crops have led to increased suicide rates in India) that it almost defies belief that people still listen to anything she says. All I can really say is look to actual scientific/public health organisations and they all agree that GM crops are perfectly safe. "Organic" food (and especially clothing, what a joke!) has no health benefits over conventional crops and is actually a hugely profitable capitalist enterprise in itself, despite the wholesomely smug, "we're the good guys" image that these companies use to market their overpriced crops to the worried well. Say what you want about Monsanto trying to monopolise on seeds (which isn't true by the way, there are other companies in the GM market), just realize that the patenting and marketing of seeds was around way before GM and exists in the "organic" world as well. This economic angle has nothing to do with the safety of the crops, their environmental impact, or the fact that we almost certainly will need GM crops to feed the world. The ability to design high-yielding crops to adapt to the catastrophic climate change that's on the horizon, or to remedy nutrient deficiencies in the developing world (just read about how Shiva worked tirelessly to sway public opinion against Golden Rice) makes this technology invaluable to the future of our species.
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Must Watch -
yssp24 March 2019
This documentary clear shows the exploitative methods used by Big companies and owners and how the slavery has been outsourced to 3rd world countries. This documentary also invokes the responsibility of an average citizen towards our environment. Being a citizen of a 3rd world country like India, i completely understand the situation of the workers in india and the neighboring countries and how our people are being exploited in every industry.

One thing we need to understand is our role in the society. Everyone's role is being reduced to a role of "consumer". Think about it.

Don't worry about the Metascore and Critics reviews. They don't understand how important this film is.
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Passionate and compassionate account of fast fashion's social and environmental impacts
bradley_flamm222 October 2018
The True Cost documents filmmaker Andrew Morgan's efforts to understand the world of fast fashion (with it's "fifty two seasons a year" marked by $5 shirts and $20 pairs of jeans), a world that's only existed for a few decades and has had enormous impacts on people's lives in both high- and low-income economies. It's a well-traveled and wide-ranging film, sometimes so much so that you get a bit lost for it's jumping from one place to another. But the economic systems that connect garment workers in countries like Bangladesh and Cambodia to North American, European, and Asian consumers are complicated, often intentionally obscure, and they affect people and ecosystems all over the globe, so the film's wide angle view makes sense. To covers so much means that the film sometimes jumps quickly from topic to topic, without digging very deeply into any one issue for long (towards the end of the film, for example, its critique of consumerist / materialist capitalism follows logically from all we've seen, but the discussion can't do justice to the complexity of the questions posed). But for a documentary meant to introduce the topic, that's a reasonable directorial choice to make. Beautifully filmed, with passionate, informed, and compassionate interviewees, The True Cost is worth watching.
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Reveals the truth we should think every time we buy new clothes
santoshtwry18 August 2018
Appreciate people are making such documentary which reveals bitter truth of the fashion industry. Bigger brands are increasing profits every year over the blood of cheap labours. Industry needs to revise the process to increase wage, provide medical facility and improved working conditions. Happy to know that some people across the world have realized and actively working to get things better.
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Everyone should see this.
nouwsh21 January 2019
I've seen people complaining about being a propaganda, anti capitalism documentary. And because of that you rate the documentary low? Shouldnt' you be worried about the main message of the documentary? Rate it low and people won't see this. So we won't change and everything stays the same. You could at least put your ideologies aside and help spread the worth about this problem.
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The true cost: human progress
ersbel7 February 2019
A primitivist stance in which the losers of their markets (film production, fashion, journalism) gang against what they call "big business". Meaning the workers in poor countries would be far better crouched in the rice paddy under the Sun, than having a wage. Yet somehow, the entitlements on which the Western losers live are NOT to be sent to the poor workers.

This is yet another refined argument for protectionism and closed borders.
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Makes you think about your choices
sanmccarron24 February 2019
Great documentary about the real price we pay (people and the planet) for fashion and overbuying clothing. At times it seemed that it was repeating and dragging, but overall worth the time. I can no longer justify my clothing donations to charity.
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mnagaditya30 January 2019
I have seen many documentaries, but when it comes to human exploitation this is by far the most question arising docu i have ever seen.

what is development? social justice? basic humanity?

when companies in order to reduce their cost prices and increase profits employ destitute people who doesn't have any alternate career other than being a laborer for a meager salary in sweatshops, and supporting their act by claiming that they are providing livelihood to these wretched lives as if they were not living before these companies came. what do you call it if not social exploitation?

The words spoken by the environmental activist are cent percent true. Fertilizers and seed business in an epidemic in INDIA that is not there before the 1950s. They affected the generations of Punjab region both medically and economically.

Many might think this docu to be an anti-capitalistic propaganda. But developing capitalistic economies at the cost of what? companies might not feel empathy with argument, but a consumer should feel it before falling in the craze of "Brands". They have to remember those hands that suffered for producing the clothing that you're buying at "discounted" prices and festive sales.

The least as an audience should you do is give this a higher rating so that the problem is addressed and more people become aware of what "REAL SLAVERY" would look like in the modern world.
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