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7 Sustainable Fashion Documentaries to watch in 2020

7 Sustainable Fashion Documentaries to watch in 2020

Ethical clothing brands are taking the lead in the sustainable fashion world and it’s a beautiful thing. Choosing ethical clothing is a great place to start a more mindful and sustainable lifestyle. If you’ve ever wondered “who made my clothes” or want to learn more about ethical fashion, keep reading! 

With what’s happening all over the world today, every individual action matters. Putting together an ethical fashion wardrobe is one place to start. 

One way to create a positive and long-term impact is to stay informed and see the bigger picture. We’ve included a list of 7 documentaries you can watch this year on the existing fashion industry. From the rise of fair trade clothing and ethical brands to the industry’s effect on the environment and the darkest parts of fast fashion, these documentaries cover a lot of ground. 

Knowledge is power and the spread of information is crucial to creating permanent and sustainable change. The fashion revolution is here. 

1. Riverblue 

    Riverblue investigates the irresponsible disposal of chemical waste and harsh manufacturing processes of the fashion industry and its destruction of some of the Earth’s most vital rivers. It uncovers the destructive effects on humanity, specifically the communities living along these rivers. The film ends with a hopeful note, presenting potential solutions that inspire and call for change. 

    “The wars of the future will not be fought about oil, the wars of the future are going to be fought about water.” (Kumi Nadoo, Riverblue)

    2. The True Cost 



    The True Cost is an honest story of the clothes we wear, the people who make them and the devastating social and environmental impacts of fast fashion. While the average price of clothing continues to decrease, the natural and human costs only continue to skyrocket. The film asks who really pays the true cost for our clothing. 

    3. Minimalism 


    Minimalism is a film on the ‘less is more’ movement. It’s a series of interviews with the movement’s faithful followers and their rejection of invasive, American capitalist ideals. Minimalism is ‘a movie about the important things,’ concluding most of these are not things at all. 

    4. Unravel 


    Unravel follows the Western world’s throwaway clothing items on a journey to the small town of Panipat in Northern India. When received, the items are unravelled back to thread by women in the local community. The film listens to their imaginative stories of the clothings’ previous owners and lives. Unravel is a firsthand look at what it means to ‘throw it away’.

    5. Sweatshop - Deadly Fashion 

    The short documentary follows the experience of 3 Norweigian fashion bloggers leaving the comforts of home for a month long stay in Cambodia. With 3$ a day, they live as a local garment worker and come face to face with the demanding and demeaning human consequences of fast fashion.

    6. Vice News - From Sex Worker to Seamstress 

    This episode of Vice News takes you to Phnom Phen, Cambodia to investigate the country’s aggressive anti-trafficking campaign designed to rescue sex workers. However, the national efforts to rehabilitate the women fall short as they’re merely re-assigned to another dangerous industry - garment production. The documentary interviews former and current sex workers, labor organizers and government officials to investigate.

    7. Alex James - Slowing Down Fast Fashion 


    This episode with Alex James critically examines society’s disposable attitudes towards the clothes they buy and wear. Slowing down fast fashion is another recent and confronting look at the massive environmental and human costs of the current fashion industry.

    “Fifty percent of what we cast aside ends up in a landfill. Cheaply made, environmentally unfriendly, plastic clothes are part of an epidemic.” (Alex James: Slowing down fast fashion)

    What other resources have you found to be useful in your journey to more mindful and sustainable living? We’d love to hear from you. 

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