On Tuesday, June 16, 2015, atombash.com was on the scene for the New York premiere of fashion documentary “True Cost.” The special event was held at the Francesca Beale Theater at Lincoln Center and presented by Dean & Deluca. An after-party followed at the Frieda and Roy Furman Gallery, where guests enjoyed cocktails and hors d’oeuvres. The film is about about the clothes we wear, the people who make them, and the impact the industry is having on our world. The price of clothing has been decreasing for decades, while the human and environmental costs have grown dramatically. The “True Cost” is a groundbreaking documentary film that pulls back the curtain on the untold story and asks us to consider, who really pays the price for our clothing. It was filmed in countries all over the world, from the brightest runways to the darkest slums, and featuring interviews with the world’s leading influencers including Stella McCartney, Livia Firth and Vandana Shiva. Georgina Chapman, Harvey Weinstein, William Ivey Long, Cindy Sherman and Stella McCartney hosted the special screening. Other notables in attendance included Anne Hathaway, Anna Wintour, Isabella Rossellini, Alexandra Agoston, Michael Avedon, Yigal Azrouel, Giovanna Battaglia, Derek Blasberg, Eddie Borgo, Joy Cioci, Amy Fine Collins, Keren Craig, Todd DiCurcio, Katie Ford, Julia Garner, Lisa Jackson, Steven Kolb, Stephanie LaCava, Julia Loomis, Regis Philbin, Diana Picasso, Aimee Ruby, Ingrid Sischy and Gloria von Thurn und Taxis. Director Andrew is an internationally recognized director focused on telling stories for a better tomorrow. You can see the film via Netflix starting June 29. Read our exclusive interview with him below:
E: Talk about how you decided to work on this project.
AM: I was finishing up my last film and getting coffee one morning and I look down at the cover of The New York Times and there was a photograph of the Rana Plaza. I picked up that article and by the time I finished reading the article, I remember thinking, “How could an industry this big, powerful, and profitable, be doing business in a way that was leading to this kind of loss of life?” And also more chillingly, “How had I never thought of where my clothes came from?” Like I kind of had that dawning realization that I’ve never actually thought about it. “Do machines print them out? Do they just appear in the mall?” So I was filled with a lot of questions and that day I went to my office and I started reading everything I could get my hands on. I started calling people, Livia was one of those people, and just went help me understand. What am I missing? This is insane. How has there never been a story told about this? By the end of the week it was a film, it was something I knew I wanted to make.
E: With documentaries, so many people view them but then set them aside in their head and don’t change their actions. Do you think that this film will make a difference?
AM: I think we’re at a tipping point, I really do. I think we’re at a moment where this is our next natural step. I look at what’s happening with food, with the climate. People are generally becoming more aware about really big important issues. But I think what they don’t always know is “How can I connect that to my life? How could I do anything about that?” This is why I love fashion, it knits together the world. And you have some of the world’s most wealthy and influential people and the world’s poorest people and they are all connected somehow. That represents an opportunity to me.
E: How do you think different people within the industry view this?
AM: There is not a large awareness in customers and that’s problematic. It’s hard to incentivize something that is not there. On the other side though, there is a system we’ve created in our world, economically, environmentally, where we really aren’t counting the actual costs of the things we’re making. The idea of the film is that there are real costs here, that aren’t being factored in. Some of what you’ll see in the film is a call for a systemic thought process adjustment. We can’t just count profit. Once we make those adjustments, it will make it easier for a lot of people who do want to do the right thing to have the freedom to be able to do it. It’s personal and systemic.
E: How has your view on the industry changed after working on this project?
AM: I didn’t know anything coming in. I didn’t realize in the beginning the scope and scale of the impact the fashion industry has. And that’s staggering to me in a way that’s both upsetting and inspiring. It represents the possibility for tremendous change. For me personally, it’s really changed the way I think about clothes. I have young kids at home my wife and we’re not perfect but we’re having whole new conversations about how we buy things, how we make choices, and how we use the things that come into our home. And that was something was not on our radar two years ago. I’ve always cared about human rights but I never connected those dots. I hope that happens for people, for them to be able to connect the dots to stuff they already care about.