What is the true cost behind the products we are consuming? Besides price tags, there is a cost we fail to see: the cost to the people working in dangerous conditions to create those products. Over 1,000 were killed in the collapse of a clothes factory in Dhaka, Bangladesh, this year. This is not a isolated incident.
Director Andrew Morgan is using Kickstarter as a way to fund the film “The True Cost” showing the impact global fashion has upon people and the world. Slice of Simplicity asked him some questions about this film…
What drives you each and everyday to make this film?
There is a photograph on the wall in our office. It’s an image of two boys walking past a massive wall of missing person signs. It was taken in April outside of Daka Bangladesh after the Rana Plaza factory collapse. This is a massive global issue we are exploring in the film, and yet most days as I look at that photograph is feels very human and very personal.
What elements of film (as a platform) make it perfect to deliver messages?
Film lets us see life from someone else’s point of view. It has the power to take us around the world and experience people and places first hand. That can be a life changing experience.
How do you envisage this film creating real and long lasting change?
The global clothing industry is one of those issues that has been invisible in plane site. It has been referred to by some as the biggest lie of the modern world. But I believe the eyes of the world are beginning to open, and my desire is for this film to tell the story clearly so that people can get there heads and hearts around what is taking place.
Which organisations are you working with to make this film truly impact on the fashion industry?
We have a growing list of partners. Production will take place in more then 10 countries around the world and we have plans to premier along side the world fashion weeks of 2014.
What problems, if any, do you see yourself having to overcome in making this film?
This is a hugely challenging film to make for a multitude of reasons. The logistics alone are intense. Even more challenging though is the complexity of the issue we are facing. My focus is on telling a big story that honors the complexity but also gives voice to the moral clarity that cannot be ignored.
If people were to take one message from “The True Cost”, what would you like that message to be?
I would love to see people walk away from the film having a new conversation about what the true cost of our consumption really is. There are clear violations of the most basic human rights that we must account for. There is irresponsible care of the environment, damaging the world we will leave to our children. But perhaps most importantly, this is something we have the power to change.
And if they were to act upon that message, what action would they take?
A great place to start is to begin buying with purpose. Learn the story behind the brands you buy from. As consumers we have a vital role in this, we must demonstrate that we will use our buying power to reward brands that are making good choices in how they source and manufacture the clothing.
What are the most heartbreaking and hopeful thoughts behind this film?
The heartbreaking part is that we have been living in a system where the success of some has come at the expense of others. A system that has turned a blind eye to irresponsible behavior in the name of progress and profit. The consequences for that behavior are real and painful to acknowledge. The hopeful side is that our past does not dictate our future, and we have a history defining moment here to set a new course moving forward.
What role do those funding the project through Kickstarter have to play in creating a better world?
I love Kickstarter because it underscores this idea of cooperative action. We are not spectators but rather active participants in the world we are shaping together. We will only be able to make this film, if people reading this take part in supporting the work with their hard earned money. Their generosity will allow us to tell this story.
And finally… how did you come across Slice of Simplicity and how do you feel this fits with the work you are doing?”
Someone on our team showed me your writing and I instantly felt connected to it. The idea of approaching a complex world with the innocence and curiosity of a child really spoke to me. You are using your voice for ideas that matter, I hope that more of us will choose to do the same.