The True Cost (2015)

The True Cost is a 2015 documentary film directed by Andrew Morgan that focuses on fast fashion. It discusses several aspects of the garment industry from production—mainly exploring the life of low-wage workers in developing countries—to its after-effects such as river and soil pollution, pesticide contamination, disease and death. Using an approach that looks at environmental, social and psychological aspects, it also examines consumerism and mass media, ultimately linking them to global capitalism. The documentary is a collage of several interviews with environmentalists, garment workers, factory owners, and people organizing fair trade companies or promoting sustainable clothing production.

Morgan's attention was drawn to the topic after the 2013 Savar building collapse when a commercial building in Bangladesh named Rana Plaza toppled and killed over a thousand workers. Starting the project in October of that year, he traveled to thirteen countries to collect information and conduct interviews. The film was funded by Kickstarter and premiered as a side screening during the 2015 Cannes Film Festival in May 2015 before its release in select American and British theaters later that month. Critics have been both positive and dismissive, with reviews ranging from "vitally important documentary" to "vague liberal agitprop".