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Postcards from Scotland

Viewers' reactions to the film at our January 2016 event

130 people attended the event at Websters' Theatre on Great Western Road, Glasgow. About 90 stayed for the discussion facilitated by Professor Phil Hanlon. We gave everyone postcards and this is how they recorded their reactions to watching the film:

‘Brilliant film, one crucial point not covered was the effect of neoliberalism on ‘democracy’ – and our ability to influence power and decision making.’

‘Distraught angry + indignant overwhelmed by scale of issue – and yet want to do something.  Ashamed at not caring enough. ‘

‘I did not know it was called Fast Fashion.  Ashamed that I am still too much of a consumer and buy these things.  Film showed many valuable angles to the problem. ‘

‘Guilty & Privileged.  Conflicted about giving old clothes to charity shops.  Glad I make my own clothes!  Conflicted by how many issues were put in the one “big bad bucket” GMO’s/Organic women’s rights/poverty. ‘

‘Like I’ve been hit by a bus.  Angry? Lots of stuff I felt I knew I guess, but…so raw.  Powerless.  Can keep trying to do the right thing, but am part of just… humanity…who seem powerless and second in line to corporations.  Like.  WHAT THE FUCK.  How is $ more important than us?  I think we’re fucked’

‘Miserable.  Guilty. Hopeful.’

‘Feeling – anger, sadness, optimism.’

‘Sickened.  What part have I played?’

‘Frustration.  Anger.  Incredulity.  Respect for the dignity of the workers’
‘Sad.  Helpless.‘

‘Moved = both by the inspiring individuals featured + by the scale of the problem.  Watch this film!’

‘Sad, angry, quite helpless. ‘

‘Shame at ignorance of role of big seed/fertiliser companies.  Consumers are the unwitting fly in the ointment – accessory to the crime. ‘

‘Emotionally – it’s a punch to the guts.’

‘Embarrassed.  Ashamed.  Fortunate.  Angry.  How can it be worth a child live away from it’s parents for someone in the West to buy a t-shirt to wear once and throw away – for someone to sacrifice so much for something that isn’t even valued by the person who buys it!’

‘I feel disgusted, shocked & horrified at how humans are treated.  I feel baffled & confused about how westerners get into debt, spend money in such a wasteful, selfish & thoughtless way. ‘

Emotionally culpable, complacent, wrenching, sickening.  Called to act to exercise the power of the pocket’

‘Frustration – Helpless – RE the scale of the problem.  Determination to spread the word’

‘I was struck by the dignity of the Bangladeshi woman & wondered how that could be transferred to the owners of the companies who are exploiting her & her colleagues.’

‘Shame, angry, motivated.’

‘Angry, appalled, impressed by some speakers’

‘Ashamed & distressed about the inequalities, in fact damage to other humans to sustain our lifestyles.  Acceptance that some small parts of the world can be comfortable at the expense of the dire poverty of the world. ‘

‘I am mostly, ashamed.  I think I know all this stuff & have been ignoring it – No more.’

‘Horrified by US chemicals in agriculture.’

‘It makes me want to change the way the fashion industry works.’

‘SHOCK, SHAME, PUZZLED? SAD.  It’s all unnecessary – we could do with less, care better for people & the earth.  When we were children we had many fewer clothes & were just so happy.  HOW HAVE WE LET IT HAPPEN?’

‘Inspired to start a movement to change’

‘Despairing.  Angry.  Moved.  Powerless’

‘Horrified and genuinely surprised by the range and depth of damage being done by the industry.  And I thought I was quite well informed.  Workers conditions – environmental damage – waste – social impact.’

‘I was put in mind of the working conditions during industrial revolution.  When workers had minimal rights etc.  This should not be happening in 21st century’

‘AARGHH! Manipulated into consumerism like an addiction’

‘I felt “stupid” & uneducated.  As a 21 year old fashion student in Glasgow I feel people are not educated enough on these issues!’

‘It made me feel terrible! It made me realise once again that the root cause is capitalism.  I hadn’t appreciated the size of the problem.  Yes – it’s about the cost – to them – not the price to us.’

‘Very humble, very sad.  Agony + painful to see what they are going through.’

‘I’m shocked and annoyed about how our clothes are produced.  This film has made me more aware of the negative impacts of the fashion industry and the enormity of our situation in this day and age.’

‘Angry, responsible, fuelled to see that something can be done.  Informed amazed at resilience’

'My most powerful feeling was about how the inequalities in the world can be tolerated by us. Does the developed world have some ‘right’ to wealth and comfortable living which some other countries don’t have ??? It amazes me that the world wide communication now demonstrates to the whole world what inequalities exist and that those who don’t have money and comfort don’t rise up in revolt. How was the comfort of the west gained??'

‘Despair.  How can the small fight the powerful?  The consumers v. the capitalists; the worker v. the owner.’

‘Feel a weight lifted by the film showing the accumulation of money + things for happiness is due to brainwashing akin to Nazi propaganda’

‘Thank you!  We feel vindicated in our approach, and that we’ve found our people!’

‘Mainly, as an American, it made me feel fairly ashamed that we have such a big impact on the perpetuation of the industries shown. ‘

‘I felt disgusted by the many times I’ve made “cheap” purchases with no thought to how it was produced.  It was also troubling to me that while I was aware of “sweat shops” that I never considering (sic) further investigating those claims/taking action.’

‘I felt physically sick and upset.  It was very hard-hitting emotionally.’

‘We seem increasingly complacent about growing inequalities on many, many fronts.  What would trigger a change?  Will democratic approaches do it?  When is it a tipping point reached when we move from quiet, comfortable democratic complacency to make a revolutionary, transformational change!’

‘Lack of conscience + responsibility of fashion houses.  Damage to the planet at all levels.  Greed.’

‘I found the film harrowing – it’s hard not to feel personally accountable and guilty for buying into it.’

‘It made me want to cry.  It made me angry.  It made me sad.  It made me pessimistic about the future of the world.  It made me want to return to active politics.  It made me want to take action to help the world become more ethical, change to a workers cooperative economy – and a vegan world too.’

‘Made me feel ashamed frustrated, helpless to REALLY change things.’

‘It has all happened before in the past – sweatshops in Dickensian times.’

‘The True Cost of Fashion left me feeling horrified and sickened.  People, environment – a shocking cost on level after level.’

‘Angry that big businesses are sacrificing human lives & causing such suffering for profit.   Guilty & ashamed that I have contributed to it.  Angry & distressed about our planet. ‘


‘Felt helpless, powerless’

‘1. Angry - That those who try to defend these workers are demonised by the media.  (against the trade unions who organise them & as political parties that express their interests at parliamentary level).  2. Ignorant – off the effects of chemicals in process eg in film. 3. Sad – that mothers who work in factories have to give up their children’ 

Now read viewers' comments on what they thought could and should be done.

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