Just like us, many of you want to reduce your carbon footprint and the general impact on the planet and this process often starts with understanding and having a good look at our consumption habits and what’s in our wardrobes. The Fashion Industry is one of the most polluting industries in the world, but how do we begin and what can we do to start impacting mother earth, positively?
Our favourite way to learn more about the industry and familiarise ourselves with its issues and solutions are through short films, documentaries, podcasts and books. So, we’ve put together a list of our favourite resources on ethical fashion, fast fashion and sustainability as a whole.
Sustainable Fashion documentaries
If you’re a visual learner and want to learn about the sustainable fashion world, this is the list for you!
This documentary looks at everything from environmental impact, to labour rights abuses, to how genetically modified cotton is related to cancer incidence and suicide. It illustrates how the Western world’s demand for cheap, disposable fashion is destroying lives and the planet and really brings out the question we should all be asking ourselves: who really pays the price for our clothes?
This 2022 documentary asks the fashion industry if it really is okay to kill animals in the name of fashion. Exploring the use of fur, leather, and wool, SLAY looks at some of the environmental and human impacts of the industries behind these animal-derived materials. It also questions the exploitation of animals themselves, something that is often excluded from conversations of sustainability and ethics in fashion.
Presented by climate justice activist Mikaela Loach, this 2021 three-part documentary series, ReDress The Future, explores the ideas and innovators subverting the status quo that underlies an unsustainable fashion industry. Focusing on tangible and real solutions, this series challenges the fashion industry as we know it and gives viewers a glimpse at a more circular fashion future they never even knew was possible. We highly recommend it if you want to get inspired to start your own journey!
The Next Black is a documentary that brings together designers, innovators and leaders from around the globe for an open discussion on the concept of clothing. It probes beyond what we are wearing to explore how we produce clothes, how we interact with them and how we care for them. Each person we interviewed has a fresh perspective on the future of the clothing industry - and all of them are using their passions to fuel change.
This 2010 documentary follows the daily lives of workers who make clothes for popular high street brands like Primark, H&M and Zara in the garment factories of Dhaka, Bangladesh. The stories of the machinists forces us to confront the reality of our cheap, ready-to-buy clothes through demystifying their origins.
The documentary follows river conservationist, Mark Angelo, who spans the globe to infiltrate one of the world’s most pollutive industries, fashion. Narrated by Jason Priestley, this groundbreaking documentary examines the destruction of our rivers, its effect on humanity and the solutions that inspire hope for a sustainable future.
Started as a web-series, this quickly became an hour long documentary of three young fashion bloggers, who spent a month living the life of Cambodian garment workers in Phnom Penh. It poignantly shows the consequences of cheap fashion.
Sustainable Fashion podcasts
We've compiled a list of the best fashion podcasts that you can simply download and listen to wherever, whatever you’re doing.
Kestrel Jenkins’ podcast covers style, and sustainability. She interviews a wide range of fashion industry experts from designers, entrepreneurs, and advocates, to farmers and factory workers. talks style and ethics with guests such as Andrew Morgan, director of groundbreaking documentary The True Cost, Safia Minney, founder of People Tree and Elizabeth Cline, author of Overdressed: The Shockingly High Cost of Cheap Fashion.
Hosted by Molly Stillman, Business With Purpose highlights a number of businesses, from huge international brands, to community non-profits and everything in between, who all aim to change the world for the better. She interviews people on various subjects such as how to support ethical, fair trade, and small businesses and how to get started shopping ethically. This is the perfect podcast series to start your sustainable fashion journey!
Pre-Loved Podcast is a weekly interview show about vintage style with guests you’ll really want to go thrifting with, hosted by Emily Stochl. They chat about style, running a fashion business, sustainability, slow fashion, the stories behind incredible vintage pieces, and why they choose second.
Hosted by Clare Press, this podcast has grown into an educational and inspirational hub with key industry leaders, fashion decision makers, fashion students as guests, and it is shared as a resource from some of the top fashion universities.
Sustainable Fashion Books
To all the eco-conscious fashion-loving bookworms out there, this list for you!
How to break up with fast fashion by Lauren Bravo
In her book, she tells the story of her search for a slower, saner way of dressing, and helps you do the same. How To Break Up With Fast Fashion will help you to change your mindset, fall back in love with your wardrobe and embrace more sustainable ways of shopping.
A life less throwaway: The lost art of buying for life by Tara Button
Instead of surrounding ourselves with throwaway stuff and appliances, Button advocates a life that celebrates what lasts, what is classic, and what really suits a person, for good and not just according to the trends. Check this one out to discover the ten steps to master mindful curation, which will see you leading a happier and healthier life that saves the planet, too.
The world is on fire but we’re still buying shoes by Alec Leach
This book is an intro into consumerism and how it affects all of us, exposing the tricks that the fashion industry plays on us and explaining why we love to shop so much, unmasking the ugly tricks behind the trends cycles and fast fashion.
To Die For by Lucy Siegle
This book really puts into focus how ‘not shopping from Primark’ just isn’t going to cut it for the fashion world. According to Lucy Siegle’s book, "Big Fashion" has become unsustainable and she highlights every aspect of it in this enlightening book.
In Wardrobe Crisis, fashion journalist Clare Press explores the history and ethics behind what we wear. Putting her insider status to good use, Press examines the entire fashion ecosystem, from sweatshops to haute couture, unearthing the roots of today’s buy-and-discard culture.
Rise & Resist: How to Change the World by Clare Press
Crossing the globe, Clare Press meets passionate change-makers who believe in the power of the positive. From eco warriors and zero wasters to knitting nannas, introverted craftivists to intersectional feminists, they're all up for a revolution of sorts.
Journalist Dana Thomas has travelled the globe to discover the visionary designers and companies who are propelling the industry toward that more positive future by reclaiming traditional craft and launching cutting-edge sustainable technologies to produce better fashion.
We could really go on forever with our list of favourite sustainable fashion books, such as ‘Who Cares Wins’ and ‘Big Dress Energy’, but feel free to comment below any personal recommendations or DM us on Instagram for more advice on how to get started on this journey.
We can’t wait to hear from you!
Lots of love,
Cherchez La Femme team X
info sourced on goodonyou.eco and fashonforgood.com
Feature image sourced on canva.com
Image 1 sourced on thetruecostmovie.com
Image 2 sourced on slay.film
Image 3 sourced on redressthefuture.com
Image 4 sourced on riverbluethemovie.eco
Image 5 & 6 sourced on canva.com
Image 7: Our founder Vivienne Austin with writer and podcast host Clare Press