You can find a list of films that explain how the fast fashion industry works and its impact on the world, which will enable us to adopt a sustainable life as a more conscious individual towards the world.
1. RIVER BLUE
River Blue is a feature-length documentary film released in 2016 that chronicled an unprecedented three year, around-the-world river journey by paddler and conservationist Mark Angelo during which he uncovered and documented the extensive pollution impacts of the global fashion industry.
The film was praised for increasing public awareness of an important, seldom profiled issue, along with its efforts to make the fashion industry more sustainable and ethical.
RiverBlue won several international awards, including the 2017 Best Documentary Feature at the Raindance Film Festival. The film was also honored at the 2018 World Water Forum in Brasilia, where it was presented with the AFD Best Film Award (sponsored by the French Development Agency) and the Green Drop Award honoring the film from 2017 that best promoted sustainability.
Directors: David McIivride, Roger Williams
95 min./ 2017 / Canada
Unravel follows the Western worlds least-wanted clothes, on a journey across Northern India, from sea to industrial interior. They get sent to Panipat, a sleepy town and the only place in the world that wants them, recycling them back into yarn.
Reshma is a bright, inquisitive woman working in a textile-recycling factory in small-time India, who dreams of traveling the vast distances that the clothes she handles have. While Reshma shows us how these garments get transformed, she and other women workers reflect on these clothes. Despite limited exposure to western culture, they construct a picture of how the West is, using both their imagination and the rumors that travel with the cast-off clothes.
Producer: Gigi Berardi
Director: Meghna Gupta
14 min. / 2012 / India, UK
3. THE TRUE COST
The True Cost discusses several aspects of the garment industry from production—mainly exploring the life of low-wage workers in developing countries—to its after-effects such as river and soil pollution, pesticide contamination, disease and death. Using an approach that looks at environmental, social and psychological aspects, it also examines consumerism and mass media, ultimately linking them to global capitalism.
The documentary is a collage of several interviews with environmentalists, garment workers, factory owners, and people organizing fair trade companies or promoting sustainable clothing production.
Morgan's attention was drawn to the topic after the 2013 Savar building collapse when a commercial building in Bangladesh named Rana Plaza toppled and killed over a thousand workers. Starting the project in October of that year, he traveled to thirteen countries to collect information and conduct interviews.
Director: Andrew Morgan
92 min./ 2015 / Bangladesh, USA, Cambodia, China, Denmark, France, Haiti, India, Italy,Uganda, UK
4. THE NEXT BLACK
The Next Black documentary film introduces the designers, innovators and leaders who are shaping the future of clothing. This is not a film about what’s new, it’s about what’s next. The Next Black aims to deepen our understanding of what people will be wearing and washing - today and tomorrow.
An exploration of the future of clothing, profiling forward-thinking companies who are at the forefront of redefining how and what we wear. New technologies, sustainability concerns and innovative minds are transforming our clothes.
Fashion passes, but style remains. The Next Black is a documentary film that challenges the whole concept of clothing and its manufacture. Meet the designers, innovators and leaders who are shaping the future of what we wear.
Directors: David Dworsky, Victor Kohler
47 min. / 2014 / USA
5. THE MACHINISTS
The Machinists documents the exploitation of garment workers in Bangladesh with the personal stories of three young women working in factories in Dhaka. The filmmakers first introduce a young woman whose husband abandoned her when she was pregnant with her first child. She and her two sisters, who are also single mothers, work as machinists in the factories. They complain that they are never paid enough or on time; that paychecks are docked; and that overtime is mandatory, but often goes uncompensated. While these women sew clothes for retail giants, their mother cares for their numerous young children.
Next, the film focuses on a garment worker in her early 20s whose family sent her from a village to work in the factories when she was nine years old. She lives alone and her monthly wage is $45 US, much less than the monthly cost of living in Bangladesh.
Later in the film, there are protests organised by NGWF in Dhaka. Garment workers march through the streets demanding a fair living wage and safe working conditions despite the threat of losing their jobs for participating in the protest.
Director: Hannan Majid, Richard York
Producer: Hannan Majid
50 min. / 2012/ UK
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