BLOGPOST: “The True Cost” Screening + Panel in Santa Monica

image“I commit to looking for sustainably manufactured clothing and accessories when buying new.” 👗💗♻️ I recently went to a screening and panel of The True Cost, a documentary about the socio-economic and environmental impact the fashion industry has.

Not only did the film describe the exploitation of workers in third-world countries, but it also explained how pesticides and unnatural chemicals are sprayed on the cotton plants used to make our clothing. Something that really struck me was the concept of organic cotton and natural fiber clothing. People always seem to be concerned about the chemicals we put in our bodies, buying organic, non-gmo food. But skin is our largest organ, and the cotton fibers that make our clothing is embedded with cancer-causing pesticides. The worldwide organic market (food, beauty products, etc), has grown immensely since the early 2000s, but organic clothing is still a fairly new concept.

One of my favorite parts of the event was seeing displays of clothing made from discarded materials. Mannequins were set-up in the lobby to show upcycled, DIY outfits.

Absolutely LOVE the upcycled, tie-up shirt on the left.
Absolutely LOVE the upcycled, tie-up shirt on the left.
Both outfits were made with 100% recycled materials and fabrics.

After the film, there was an extremely informative panel and Q&A that further discussed the environmental and societal issues in the fashion industry. The panel was moderated by Garrett Gerson, CEO & Co-Founder of YSTR, and included:

Taryn Hipwell, CEO of EcoDivas and founder of Beyond the Label
Karl Bruskotter, Sustainability Analyst for the City of Santa Monica’s Office of Sustainability and the Environment
Shelly Gottschamer, Chief Sustainability Officer at Outerknown
Lorrie Ivas, Professor of Fashion Design and Merchandising at Santa Monica College

This documentary is incredibly eye-opening. If you have the chance, it’s on Netflix and will make you more conscious of the slave labor that goes into making our products. Physical abuse, unfair wages, child labor, and inhumane working conditions are a few of the issues factory workers are faced with. Big thanks to the following organizations for hosting this screening and panel discussion. 👕💕

-Santa Monica’s Office of Sustainability and the Environment 

-Sustainable Works

PS – The screening and panel was hosted in Santa Monica at the Aero Theater. This was my first time ever at the Aero Theater, which only screens classic films and contemporary independent cinema. It was originally built in 1939 and served as a 24/7 theater for aircraft workers who had shifts at all times around the clock. It’s an obscure little theater, but definitely worth checking out if you’re in the area! More info at American Cinematheque (Aero Theater).