Between getting everything organized for college re-starting in September and working full-time, I really haven’t had much of an opportunity to just sit down and write for you all. In fairness to me, I have been posting super regularly on Instagram and Facebook- which is better than nothing- but sometimes not good enough.
This week I have taken the plunge and dived deep into the controversy of the fashion industry and the capitalism it bears. I have also done homework on the food industry and just how much we really know about what we are giving to our bodies. I watched two seemingly ordinary documentaries, out of pure boredom, on Netflix that have changed the way I will view general consumption for the rest of my life.
The first documentary I watched is named Food Inc. Although this documentary is based in the United States of America, it does share a lot of similarities to the food industry here in Ireland. Here in Ireland, we also eat a lot of American produce (McDonalds, Kfc) in which during the manufacture of the food, workers and animals are being treated completely unfairly. I cannot even begin to explain to you the diversity of the food industry in which this documentary goes into because the aspect of it is just too large. It even goes into the produce of Soy Beans and just how unfair the justice system is for farmers and their families, their life’s work. It truly is such a mind-grabbing documentary and definitely deserves a watch! So, if you want to know more about what exactly could potentially be in your Euro Saver hamburger or EVEN just your tomatoes that you buy in Tesco… maybe give this documentary a chance to explain!
On that note, let me tell you all that even though this documentary completely changed how I view food consumption, it has not turned me into a vegetarian or vegan. Don’t be super scared that if you watch it, your dinner will never be the same again. It has simply just helped me to be more aware of where I will buy my meat, poultry and vegetables. It has helped me understand the food industry as a whole and just how it really works behind the scenes. Genuinely, there was just a lot I didn’t know that I am now enlightened to with thanks to this amazingly structured film.
Moving on, the second documentary that I watched was called The True Cost. This is also on Netflix.The most amazing thing about this documentary is that it wasn’t just based in America, it took me to places such as Bangladesh and Cambodia, meeting genuine people living genuinely hard lives. I remember in school we learned a lot about sweat shops and how they worked, how unfair they were and what kind of impact they had in Asia, for example. But this production takes that thought and goes into every single crack, every single detail that it possibly can to just show you what it’s really like.
Before watching this, I bought most of my clothes at H&M, Penneys and other high street stores such as Topshop and River Island. It breaks my heart that I probably won’t have the courage to shop from any of these stores again. The reason being that the clothes that they are selling are made by women and children working in unbelievable conditions with the reward of no more than 1-2 American dollars a day. And we hear of things like this all of the time, so why would it change your mind now? I mean, my mentality up until now has been “Sure, it doesn’t affect me so what’s the big deal!?”.. and yeah, that may be the case. But if you drop that ignorance for just one minute, this documentary takes you into the lives and homes of the workers that have lost legs because buildings have collapsed on them while they were simply doing a job, single mothers that have to leave their children for nine months of the year just to feed them and not even knowing if they will return safely. An every day job should not be a life or death situation in this day and age. If you just listen to their stories, your mind will be blown.
Because I was so intrigued by this documentary in particular, I visited the website (CLICK HERE) and took a pledge to be a bit more aware of my fashion consumption (there are other actions that you can take on this website like sending letters and taking other pledges). This doesn’t mean I can’t wear anything nice or anything with a logo. It just means that I will be a little bit more aware of where I buy my clothes from and how exactly they are made. There are so many alternatives nowadays- so many local businesses, so many small brand designers, so many other ways to dress in fashion. It doesn’t have to be the way it is. And I know you’re thinking “One person doing this won’t make a difference”- well, you are wrong. A fashion designer on the documentary said it herself: without you, the customer, there is no company, there is no business, there is no money. If you don’t like the way things are done, you don’t have to feed into it.
Hence, the last week of my life has been a significant one regarding lifestyle changes. I hope you all give these beautiful productions a chance and join me on a journey of small changes!
Also, I have a tiny competition running on my Facebook Page if you would like to join in!