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This is a story about clothing. It’s about the clothes we wear, the people who make them, and the impact the industry is having on our world. The price of clothing has been decreasing for decades, while the human and environmental costs have grown dramatically. The True Cost is a groundbreaking documentary film that pulls back the curtain on the untold story and asks us to consider, who really pays the price for our clothing? Filmed in countries all over the world, from the brightest runways to the darkest slums, and featuring interviews with the world’s leading influencers including Stella McCartney, Livia Firth and Vandana Shiva, The True Cost is an unprecedented project that invites us on an eye opening journey around the world and into the lives of the many people and places behind our clothes.
Wages of 1.3 euros per day for 68 hours of work per week, without a contract, in an unhealthy environment, without basic rights such as sickness or union membership, in a regime of deprivation of liberty … That is still the murky labour scenario that tens of thousands of girls and teenagers face daily, many of them being only 15 years old, in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu, to the southeast of the Asian colossus. All these young women, who represent 60% of the more than 400,000 workers in the sector, are employed in conditions that border on slavery by textile megafactories that supply their products to the big international fashion firms, among them the Spanish Zara and Bershka (Inditex ), El Corte Inglés, Cortefiel and Carrefour Spain.
This is not an isolated case. According to the Brazilian government, the two Sao Paulo workshops in which illegal immigrants were manufacturing clothes for Zara in conditions bordering on slavery are just the tip of the iceberg. The South American giant’s Labor Ministry says that at least 33 other workshops subcontracted by the Galician firm would have detected the same irregularities: overcrowding, unhealthy working conditions and wages of misery . But the multinational Inditex, owner of Zara, insists that this is an “exceptional situation,” according to El Confidencial, an official spokesman for the textile group founded by Amancio Ortega .