A Fashion Documentary Sparked by New York Times Coverage

The True Cost arrives today in select cities and on VOD.

For Andrew Morgan, it started with this photo. When the LA-based filmmaker saw the shot and read the accompanying article in the April 24, 2013 edition of The New York Times, about the collapse of the Rana clothing factory in Bangladesh, he was set on a path towards feature documentary The True Cost.

The movie, buoyed by a successful Kickstarter campaign, screened last night at Lincoln Center. The Guardian sponsored a preview in London earlier this week and Morgan will be in Beverly Hills tonight for west coast screenings at the Laemmle theater.

Times fashion critic Vanessa Friedman suggests that Morgan would have been better served by a more granular and focused approach to the subject of overseas fashion manufacturing abuses:

Though lots of eye-popping statements are used, including that fashion is the second-most-polluting industry on the planet, after oil, they are unattributed. Because they are so powerful, this seems a surprising omission.

I emailed Mr. Morgan to ask about the pollution comment, and he wrote back that it came from both the World Wide Fund for Nature and the Danish Fashion Institute, and that the statement referred to the whole process used by the fashion industry. “The chemical industry” – which I mentioned in my query – “is now most often seen as being a part of other key industries, fashion being key among them,” Mr. Morgan wrote.

The film was also shown this month at the Cannes Film Festival and counts Green Carpet Challenge founder Liva Firth as one of its executive producers.