9 sustainable fashion documentaries that will blow your mind
If you want to learn more about sustainable fashion or need a gentle push to start your sustainable fashion journey, watching a sustainable fashion documentary is an easy way to start.
They are informative, and doesn’t take much more than an hour of your time. But trust me they are effective. If you are already living your best sustainable fashion life and just looking for sothing to watch while laying in your bed today this list is also for you.
All these documentaries are educational, important, inspiring, and while make you want to do a change. So grab your favorite snack and sit back while watching one of these incredible sustainable fashion documentaries.
1. The True cost
The cost of clothes has been reduced for centuries, which has resulted in overconsumption and waste of clothes. Less than 1% of the clothes we throw out is recycled. This has led to 21 billion pounds of clothes is sent to landfills every year – in the USA alone!
The famous sustainable fashion documentary “The true Cost” explores this topic by taking a closer look at how the decrease in the price of clothing has led to dramatically higher costs for humans and the environment.
The True cost makes you think about who really is paying the price for your “cheap” summer dress. The slogan “fast fashion isn’t cheap, someone somewhere is paying for it” seems to capture this sustainable fashion documentary to the fullest, and asks us to consider who is paying the price for what we wear.
The True Cost is a must-see sustainable fashion documentary if you want to learn more about the topic or need a vaccine against buying new clothes. It pulls away the curtain and allows us to see the untold stories and truly dark sides of the fashion industry.
Take a look at the trailer down below and prepared to be shocked. The true story behind the clothes you wear might not be as pretty as you might think.
2. Slowing down fashion
In this sustainable fashion documentary, Alex James seems to be seeking solutions to the increasing problems the fashion industry is causing. By talking to designers, activists, and high street brands the sustainable fashion documentary shows there is a thirst for a change in the industry. a thirst for slowing down fashion.
Together with leaders in the industry he discus possible changes and solutions to all the problems fashion is causing. Instead of turning the blind eye to all the things happening in this industry or making an apocalyptic prediction, Alex James is taking the golden middle way.
Not only does he shows that change is needed. He also comes up with possible solutions and shows that all we need is to push for the change together.
3. River Blue
Ever wondered how many toxins were in your clothes? Or how much water it takes to produce your favorite jeans? In the sustainable fashion documentary River Blue, river advocate, Mark Angelo, invites you on a trip through the Indian rivers to some of the largest manufacturing areas in China.
On this trip alongside some of the largest rivers of the world, the true cost of the fashion industry is showing its (not so pretty) face. We are guided through the declining health of these incredibly important waterways, which are crucial to the ecosystem and the lives of the people who live around it.
Often fashion manufacturing factories are located close to water sources. This, unfortunately, has some enormous “downsides”. The harsh chemicals used in the clothes we wear are flushed into these important waterways and pollute some of the largest and most important rivers of the world.
River Blue is one of the most award-winning sustainable fashion documentaries, and I promise you, you will take a closer look at how your clothes were produced the next time you go out to by a top or pair of jeans.
4. The Machinerist
In the sustainable fashion documentary “The Machinerist” we follow three garment workers in Dhaka, Bangladesh. It tells the personal stories of the three female workers and portrays the true human costs of the fast fashion industry in the West.
The sustainable fashion documentary is a solid proof of the inhuman vilkår these manufactory workers have to live under, for Western society to be able to buy cheap clothes. It has been used by several international NGO’s to show the true cost of fast fashion and promote ethical fashion.
It gives the watcher an opportunity to see how despicable the working conditions are and how big of a change is needed. The Machinerist gives voice to three young garment workers, and document the exploitation of garment workers in Bangladesh.
It is a must-watch sustainable fashion documentary if you ask me. The Machinerist will make you prioritize ethical fashion, and make you cut off brands who have inhuman working conditions at their factories.
Have you ever wondered what happens to the clothes you no longer want? The clothes you throw away because it’s either out of style, broken, or simply was a misspelling. In the sustainable fashion documentary Unravel Reshma, a young Indian woman, who works in a small town, Panipat. The only place in the world who wants all the broken clothes of the West.
In the sleepy town, all the least wanted clothes of the West get recycled into yarn. A harsh process that isn’t exactly great for the health of the workers doing the job.
This documentary really makes you think about all the clothes you have thrown out or maybe given to charity – cause truth is, all the clothes you might have given away to a good cause might as well end up in Panipat.
If you aren’t into upcycling you will be after watching Unravel. The sustainable fashion documentary does a great job of showing what really happens to all the least wanted clothes of the world.
You’ve probably heard of this incredibly popular documentary or you might even have stumbled upon it on Netflix. If you’ve become acquainted with this popular documentary you probably also know it isn’t solely about minimalist fashion or clothes.
But that does not mean it doesn’t deserve a spot on this list of the best sustainable fashion documentaries. Quite the opposite actually. Minimalism is, as the name might give away, about living a minimalistic life.
This documentary touches upon many important subjects, one of them being the fact that you don’t need a lot of material stuff to stay happy. Having less we most likely bring your more happiness than buying new stuff every week.
The documentary takes us into the lives of minimalists and it is highly inspiring to see how these people live a meaningful and happy life – with less. So if you ever thought it was hard giving up fashion trends and your monthly shopping trips, spend the night watching Minimalism.
Cause it turns out you don’t need a lot of new materialistic things to keep you happy. You will probably be happier without it.
In Traceable the audience gets a sneak peak on the fashion supply chain, and wishes to show the Western consumers the need for traceability of our clothes. In this sustainable fashion documentary designer Laura Siegel wants to show the world, that fashion also should be about supporting and helping those communities who make our clothes.
So she goes in a journey through India where she meets with the people who produce the majority of the clothes we’ve got hanging in our closet. by doing so, she hopes to install a need for traceability in the fashion industry.
In our society today we have gotten more disconnected with the production of our clothes than ever. Back in time, your shirt might have been made at a nearby factory, at the local or even homemade. But today we don’t’ know the hands that created our clothes.
And that is a mistake. Take a look at this amazing sustainable fashion documentary and you will make definitely begin to think about the traceability of your own clothes.
8. The clothes we wear
In this sustainable fashion documentary, we follow to undercover reporters who tries to figure out what is really going on in the textile factories, which make the clothes for all the shops around Europe.
That take a good look at green washing and discovers how much companies are benefitting from the fact that sustainability sells. We see all the environmental devastations caused by the fashion industry, and how many brands only seems to care about making money of sustainability and not actually doing a difference.
This documentary will definitely make you think an extra time before you buy a piece of clothes from a brand that claims to be sustainable but in fact doesn’t seem to do much. Greenwashing is everywhere and this is a great documentary of you want to learn more about it.
9. Prada re-nylon
If you are a high-end-fashion lover I’ve got a little treat for you. I wouldn’t exactly categories this as a sustainable fashion documentary, but it is still fun (and instructive) to watch, if you have lost your heart to Prada’s nylon bags like the rest of the world.
It is a bunch of short videos that take the audience behind the scene of Prada’s re-nylon program while providing useful information to the audience about the fashion industry and how we at the moment are wasting way too many textiles.
You can watch the first episode down below and the rest of the short videos are available at Prada’s own youtube channel. So if you want to learn more about what sustainable initiatives is happening at the Prada head-office you can find out down below.
Want to learn more about sustainable fashion? That is what we are here for. We have created a bunch of informative articles that will help you navigate in this crazy jungle of information.
If you are interested in something a little more in-depth you can check out our list of the 10 best sustainable fashion books.