5 Must-See Documentaries That Will Rock Your Fashion World

The fashion industry is a money-making machine with a value of 318 billion dollars. We all buy and wear clothing. We all participate in the market. However, few of us contemplate the environmental and ethical issues accelerated by the fashion industry across the globe. These films shed light on our closets in a way you’ve never seen before.

1
RiverBlue

Mark Angelo, a conservationist, professor, and environmentalist, takes viewers on a three-year adventure across the world to shine a light on the damage done to waterways by the fashion industry. As an avid paddler, Angelo has witnessed the changes in rivers, estuaries, and other water bodies across the globe firsthand. 

What Angelo depicts for viewers is the reality of the fashion industry and its practices of dumping chemicals, dyes, and wastewater into waterways. These practices are legal in many developing nations that lack the funding and societal structures to develop environmental boards and legislation. 

The documentary offers a tragic picture of pollution, human health concerns, and the fashion industry fueled by rich nations in the west. Solutions to this global issue are explored by Angelo and narrator Jason Priestley.

2
The True Cost

This 2015 award-winning film takes viewers to developing nations where most fast-fashion clothing is produced. Clothing waste is spotlighted in an overwhelming way, showing the hundreds of thousands of clothing items sent to landfills each year. 

The environmental, economical, and ethical tragedies of the fast fashion industry are covered in The True Cost. Hard-to-watch depictions of labor rights and abuse are portrayed, as many fast-fashion companies continue to utilize child labor and poor salaries. 

Cotton, the most widely used natural fiber, when grown in unregulated conditions, has been linked to cancer, rates of abuse among workers, and high rates of suicide for those in the industry. The True Cost is a must-watch for environmentalists and human rights advocates prepared to never look at their closets in the same way again.

3
Minimalism

Hosts Josh and Ryan take viewers on a journey about living with less. Minimalism is the concept of only purchasing essentials with prioritizing second-hand options. The lifestyle is fueled by environmentalism, spirituality, and ethics. 

Minimalism shows viewers stories of real individuals and couples practicing minimalism and the reasons behind their lifestyle changes.

4
Made in Bangladesh

The film follows Shimu, a textile worker in Bangladesh, fueled to change the industry after the death of a co-worker following unsafe working conditions. Shimu, against the advice of her husband, advocates against corporations and management to demand fair labor rights. 

Bangladesh employs over 4.5 million people in the textile industry, making clothing and other items for large consumers in the west. Shimu gives viewers an honest and intimate view of the lives of fast-fashion workers in developing countries that pulls the curtain of glamor and trends to see the abuse and harsh working conditions that lie behind it. 

5
The Next Black

On a mission to create a more ethical and environmental fashion industry, The Next Black explores the latest in innovative solutions and technology. Sustainable fashion is possible, and this film shows viewers the hopeful side of the fashion industry, where engineers, scientists, and creative minds are working together to generate effective solutions to protect humans and the planet. 

Packed with interviews, dialogue, and a positive tone, The New Black is a must-watch for advocates of sustainable fashion and human rights.

6
7
8
9
10