Documentaries offer a visually compelling way to raise awareness about slow fashion and the importance of embracing a truly sustainable lifestyle. We’ve compiled a list of the top documentaries that will make you think deeply about fashion.
The True Cost
Written and directed by Andrew Morgan, True Cost is arguably the most influential fashion film of our time. Through the eyes and voices of Livia Firth, Stella McCartney, and Vandana Shiva, this Netflix documentary is an eye-opener into the people who make the clothes we wear, the impact of decreasing price clothes and the constantly increasing human and ecological costs. Watch this film if you want to understand the real cost of the fashion industry and more so the inhumane results meted on the most vulnerable- those in developing countries.
If you keep up with the news, you’ve probably come across the many horrific stories of sweatshop workers in distant countries. The Machinist takes a non-sensational look at the lives of these garment factory workers. Directors Hannan Majid and Richard York tell the cost of the high street fashion frenzy through the stories of three Bangladeshi women and a union boss. If this documentary won’t make you teary, it will open you up to the miserly realities of the labourers who toil to clothe you and the contribution of high fashion brands such as Ralph Lauren, Banana Republic and Tommy Hilfiger to this stark reality.
Do you ever think about where all the t-shirts, jeans, caps, tank-tops and socks you wear maybe once or twice and then discard end up? Fashion waste, a direct product of fast fashion, is rapidly becoming an environmental crisis. Directed by Meghna Gupta and Lucy Norris, this 15-minute documentary showcases the ways in which the Western fashion industry contributes to massive wastage and dumping especially in developing such as in second-hand markets in India. This documentary will make you question the contribution of Western fast-fashion culture to global environmental pollution.
Slowing Down Fast Fashion
Slowing Down Fast Fashion is directed by Alex James and won the Best Fashion Documentary at the London Fashion Film Festival. This documentary provides an excellent introduction to the concept of fast fashion and the catastrophic impact mass fashion consumption literally has on human survival. James shows how the fashion industry is increasingly utilizing non-degradable, synthetic fibers to produce tons upon tons of clothes that are worn for only short periods before they are discarded. This is a quest to find out if anything can be done to embrace slow fashion.
Did you know that each year millions of animal are killed for the fashion industry? Earthlings, narrated by Joaquin Phoenix, is a sobering showcase of the insatiable demand for high street mostly in the West and how every fur jacket, wool sweater or leather shoe causes untold mass suffering of animals all over the world. From puppy mills to slaughterhouses to pet stores, Direct Shaun Monson takes you behind the scenes to show human exploitation of animals all in the name of fashion, health etc.
Given the massive size of the fashion industry and the role it plays in the global economy and in our personal lives, it is important to especially understand the dark side of this industry. Awareness is the best way to make a change.