Even with so much useful information about fashion’s toxic relationship with the environment out there, there’s still a large per cent of the population that doesn’t seem to know about it or is plain oblivious to it. This image that slow fashion has carved for itself, wherein shopping from “sustainable” brands is the only way to be a part of the solution is nothing but incorrect. The main takeaway, which is to be mindful of your choices, is nowhere to be found.

The thing that people are blindly obsessed with is never-ending profit. The impractical world that the fast fashion industry is creating is also doing its best to not let consumers from changing their fashion habits. The habit of taking it slow, being more mindful, educating themselves because if that starts happening, these fast fashion brands are going to have to compromise on, well, profit. So then they resort to practices like greenwashing. And marketing gimmicks like that, unbelievably cheap price tags, trends that are at your beck and call, toxicity fueled “gram” culture and many other factors make it hard for people to be the change.

Fast fashion possesses an incredible danger to the planet and no words can catch the intensity of it. But visuals? They certainly can. Which is why this World Environment Day, do this planet a favour and make time to watch these documentaries that will show you the dark side of fashion and truly open your eyes.

5 documentaries that will make you question your fashion habits:

1. The True Cost

The more they produce, the more you want and the more you want, the produce is doubled and tripled. This is how fast fashion has created a vicious clothing cycle what with attractively cheap price tags, trendy styles and the frequency of new options. As requirement doubles, the pressure on manufacturing invariably doubles and in a situation like this, you’ve pretty much got two choices—forget the planet and focus on profit or forget the corporate greed and make the environment and human life the number one priority. The True Cost discovers exactly this about fast fashion, how corporate greed trumps everything.

2. RiverBlue

After watching this documentary, chances are you’ll want to stop drinking water too just to save it. I went through a similar phase for a day or two. Discover the mind-numbing state of our rivers around the world made so bad by our beloved fashion industry in this 95-minute movie, which will also give you an idea about the amount of water that goes into the making of clothes. One horrid example would be a cotton shirt which takes about 2,700 litres of water to be made.

3. The Clothes We Wear

Cadmium, chromium and lead—3 toxic chemicals that are a byproduct of the textile industry make their way into the foods we consume as well. How? When textile factories dump untreated wastewater into the rivers, the same water is used for cattle and farming, as well, mainly because non-toxic water seems to be non-existent in many third world countries that export vegetable produce to other countries. This brief documentary shows you how the impact of our greed comes right back to bite us in the ass.

4. The Ugly Truth Of Fast Fashion

From the rapid rise of fast fashion and its massive reach, the culture of knockoffs to just how ignorant the industry is towards the environment, this documentary will give you immense knowledge about the ugly truth of fashion packed with a whole lot of laughs brought to you by Hasan Minhaj.

5. Alex James: Slowing Down Fast Fashion

Alex James is a musician who learned about the ill effects of fast fashion during his musical tours prior to 2019 when he was sent tons of new clothes by various brands on a regular basis. This led him to question everything about clothes—how they are made, who makes them, how long they last, etc., which then led him to go on a discovery to seek answers to his questions. With answers, he also speaks to various designers and activists about possible solutions and how we can reverse the impact of clothing on our planet.

What is your take on this? Drop your thoughts and opinions in the comments below.

And don’t forget to join Girl Tribe by MissMalini to be a part of more such thought-provoking conversations!

Explore the app