The True Cost


Action Item

For this week’s action item we encouraged attendees to consider getting involved with Queen’s Student for Literacy (QSL), a campus-based chapter of Frontier college. QSL is an organization concerned with improving literacy skills and literacy awareness. In partnership with Immigrant Services Kingston and Area (ISKA), QSL has launched a new program that uses literacy education and outreach as a tool to help new Canadians to build connections and settle into their new home here in Canada. Winter hiring for both circle leaders and literacy outreach volunteers is taking place now.

Applications can be found below:


This Week’s Conversation

This week at forum we watched a documentary titled The True Cost, focusing on the social, environmental, and human rights implications of the ever growing fast fashion industry. Following the collapse of Rana Plaza, a commercial building in Bangladesh, which killed over 1,000 people, Andrew Morgan, the film’s director, travelled to thirteen countries conducting interviews with workers, business leaders, staunch free market advocates, and free trade proponents, to discuss themes including ethical production, consumerism, fair working conditions, etc. Following a fifteen-minute viewing of select sections of the documentary, forum attendees discussed, and debated themes present in the documentary, and asked themselves if and how, they, as western consumers, contribute to the problems highlighted in “The True Cost”.

The documentary is available on Netflix for those interested.


As a takeaway we wanted to stress the importance of being aware as to where our goods come from, how they are made, and what sacrifices are being made in return for lower prices. We thought this message to be of particular poignancy coming into the holiday shopping season and wanted to emphasize that we as consumers do have the power to change an industry that we are unhappy with.


Our Goal

“Our goal with forum is to provide a safe, informative, judgement free space to discuss a variety of issues within development. We want everyone who comes to forum to feel comfortable expressing themselves in whatever way they see most fit. No question is too simple or too complex and you will never be judged for trying to grow in your understanding. While it is important to recognize that words carry with them a certain weight, it is also crucial that we remember everyone here is coming from vastly different backgrounds with varying degrees of development knowledge but that we all share a common desire to learn, grow, and make a difference.”

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