Funded! This project was successfully funded on November 11.


'The True Cost' is a documentary film exploring the impact of the global clothing industry on people and the planet.

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While the price of clothing has been decreasing for decades, human rights and environmental costs have grown dramatically. It is the goal of this film to make those costs vividly clear as we explore how we got here, the damage being done, and the hope filled prospect of choosing a different future.

We have taken a first step in creating the teaser and building a growing team of experts around the world.  We are now raising this money to begin full production on the final film.  Funds will go to principal photography and the post-production process.  

The film will feature interviews with top industry leaders from the international clothing industry, illuminating this complex dilemma. In addition to these professionals, the audience will get to see the human side of the issue as we take cameras around the world to capture the lives of the people affected by these issues every day. More than just underscoring the problem, this is an effort to highlight real solutions that we can all take part in. The road we are on is not sustainable, but there is an opportunity here; a defining moment in history for us to set a new precedent for the future we will create.

Why is this film important? 

The clothing crisis represents one of the most complex and urgent challenges of our time. The choices we make now will set the precedent for how we do business in a more fully realized global economy, thereby affecting human rights, employment issues and the environment now and in the future. Film has the power to show the world as it is and how it could be; unlike any other medium. A feature length documentary gives this subject the time, research, and insight a global problem like this deserves. 

Why now? 

While this issue is not new, events in recent years have exposed exacerbated problems that can no longer be ignored. The collapse of the factory at Rana Plaza only furthered what informed and concerned advocates already know: an unregulated clothing industry creates unsafe and unsatisfactory conditions which can result in disaster and the loss of human life. We are at a tipping point of critical concern and action, as more and more people are yearning to become involved in this human rights and environmental cause. We believe the time is right for a film that will open people’s eyes to a global problem, while also exploring possible solutions.

What is the Goal? 

Our desire is to take this topic out of the smaller, individual conversations of industry, human rights or consumer behavior. We will approach the issue by taking a holistic view: that one solution to the problem is not the answer. Real change can only be sustained through the creation of a synergistic approach, one that involves the adaptation of policy, the improvement of industry standards and a shift in consumer consciousness. Our hope is to bring a new understanding to the problem and the role that we all play in solving it. We realize the difficulty of approaching such a hot topic; but feel the best way to explore something is by actually showing and experiencing it first hand. 

Risks and challenges Learn about accountability on Kickstarter

1. Major Brands:
One of the challenges associated with a film of this nature, is to get major brands involved. Many well intentioned past efforts on this topic have created an over simplified blame game that creates an isolated conversation. We are focused on moving past mere finger pointing, and into meaningful discussion about the role we can all play to create change. We cannot do that without engaging with the many brands who are a driving force on what happens with the future of this industry. Only when we acknowledge that we have a shared responsibility (business, policy, consumerism) can we move towards real solutions.

2. Access:
We have been shocked by the warm welcome from many members of the fashion industry. They will be crucial in helping us navigate the logistics of the people and places we hope capture in the film. Still, we are reliant on more of these industry leaders to help guide us as we move forward.

3. Scope
Filming will take place in more than 10 countries around the world. Approaching a project of this size comes with it's inherent difficulties of navigating in developing countries and some potentially hostile environments. This underscores the need for our team to continue connecting with industry leaders in a coordinated effort to access the right people and places.

We do not believe we can tell the whole story unless we remain unrestricted on the places we are willing to go and will rely on our team we are building to guide us through new experiences.


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Funding period

- (34 days)