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The True Cost

Do you give much thought to who made your clothes? Do we have a responsibility to consider who pays the price for cheap, fast fashion or is it simply a mechanism of a global economy that 'works'? Join us for this thought-provoking film and conversation with our expert panel.

This is a story about clothing. It’s 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?

Join us for this special event screening, featuring a fair trade and conscious living market before the film and nourishing food available for dinner, a Q&A with our expert panel, and a prize raffle to support Sisterworks

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, The True Cost is an unprecedented project that invites us on an eye opening journey around the world and into the lives of the many people and places behind our clothes.

Q&A panel
Rechelle Coombes, Founder, Socielle Co, is a business marketing expert determined to use her 11 years experience in some of the world’s largest organisations, as a force for ‘good’.  Socielle is an online store, social enterprise and sustainable business incubator where women can shop with a conscience and make an impact.  Established with a mission to create a better world for everyone through educating consumers, raising awareness and helping people find a cause they are passionate about, Socielle wants to put the cool back into caring; in the western world that is obsessed with material possessions, fast fashion and wasteful trends. 

Prior to launching Socielle, social entrepreneurship was a key driver for Rechelle in the Corporate world, whilst working at the Westpac Group she consulted non-for profit start-ups, founded the Westpac Youth Network’s Victorian arm advocating youth rights and partnering with charities to mentor and raise funds. Here she also represented Indigenous Australians as an ambassador for the Brothers and Sisters Network. This stint of philanthropic work lead her to embark on a new journey leveraging her innate passion for human rights and driving conscious capitalism. 

Socielle has now secured funding partnerships with some of Australia’s leading charities including OzHarvest, Wildlife Warriors, Swags for the homeless, Kids under Cover and Sister Works as part of her store’s strong commitment to purpose and people over profit. Rechelle also produces some of her store’s own merchandise leveraging only fair trade suppliers such as Sister Works a local female refugee entrepreneur support group to create beautiful, sustainable and ethical fashion items. 

Leeyong Soo, Fashion Writer
Hailing from a family who never throws anything out that could possibly be used again, Leeyong Soo grew up in Melbourne making furniture and clothes for her toys before moving on to sew clothes for herself. After studying Japanese at university she moved to Tokyo and began working at Japanese Vogue, where she had her own DIY column and initiated a designer collaboration with fair trade company People Tree which continues today. On her return to Melbourne in 2007 Leeyong became involved with local fair trade organisations and started writing for Peppermint Magazine. She established her DIY and sustainable fashion blog Style Wilderness in 2010 and after several trips to Laos, set up her fair trade jewellery label Wilderness Bazaar in 2014

Nick Savaidis, Founder and Director, Etiko Pty Ltd is one of the pioneers of the fairtrade movement in Australia. Etiko Pty Ltd is the company behind two fairtrade focussed brands, Etiko the first fairtrade fashion brand in Australia and Jinta Sport, the first fairtrade sports brand. A former high school teacher and TAFE lecturer Nick first became involved in the social enterprise sector in the early 90’s while working on remote Aboriginal communitiesNick’s business has won numerous awards for business sustainability and social responsibility including the 2008 National Banksia Environmental Award, as well as both the 2013 & 2014 Australian Fairtrade Product of the Year. Since 2013 Etiko has also achieved the highest ranking for ethical production in the Australian Fashion Report every time that report has been released. 

About the event
Join us at Shirley Burke Theatre in Parkdale, Melbourne, for a nourishing meal, fresh juice and healthy treat, available for purchase before the film. Connect with our community and explore what's on offer at our fair trade and conscious living market from 5.45pm. There's also great prizes in our raffle thanks to our exhibitors and generous local businesses.

Event program
5.45pm doors open, nourishing food and drink available, local exhibitors
6.45pm film commences
8.30pm Q&A panel followed by prize raffle
9.00pm event concludes

Earlier Event: May 11
Polyfaces: A World of Many Choices
Later Event: July 13
In Utero