5 Documentaries that will make you want to quit fast fashion

Wanting to learn more about the true cost of fast fashion? These documenters will give you an insight into what really goes on in the fashion industry & will leave you wanting to quit fast fashion for good.

Each documentary is incredibly eye-opening and educational. Many of them contain emotional and raw accounts from the people who suffer the most at the hands of fast fashion – the garment workers.


1. The True Cost - By Andrew Morgan (2015)

Andrew Morgan’s 2015 documentary ‘The True Cost’ is the best place to start learning more about the effects of fast fashion. It was the first documentary I watched which started me on my journey to becoming more conscious of my fashion choices.

The documentary is inspired by the 2012 Rana Plaza collapse. The factory that killed 1138 garment workers and injured hundreds more.

The true cost educates us on the environmental and humanitarian impacts of fast fashion on people and the planet.  It also follows the life of a young girl in her 20s working in the garment industry, which I found hard to watch at times. 

This documentary is eye-opening and emotional. It asks us to consider who really pays the price for our clothing?


2. Bitter Seeds – By Micha Peled (2011)

More than 250,000 farmers have committed suicide in India. Every 30 minutes a farmer commits suicide. 

This documentary tells the shocking story of why so many farmers committed suicide in India as a result of the financial pressures from massive crop failure and the price of Monsanto's Bt seeds. It is a heart-wrenching insight into the impact of genetically modified cotton on Indian cotton farmers. 

This film was painful to watch & I'm not sure I had a dry eye from start to finish. Although shocking, it is worth the watch and the documentary has won 18 international film awards.


3. Made in Bangladesh - By Rubaiyat Hossain (2019)

This is a film rather than a documentary, but is still educational and based on the real-life struggles faced by Bangladeshi garment workers, working grueling hours in unsafe conditions for very little pay. 

The film follows a group of garment factory workers in Dhaka, Bangladesh, as they take steps to form a union after one of their own is killed in a fire.

It is a powerful and moving film showing the story of the women fighting for their basic human rights to better working conditions and fair wages.


4. River Blue - By Mark Angelo (2017)

Through harsh chemical manufacturing processes and the irresponsible disposal of toxic chemical waste, this documentary looks at how fashion has destroyed rivers and impacted the lives of people who count on these waterways for their survival. 

River Blue is a shocking look into the destruction of some of the world's most beautiful & vital rivers, shining the light on the manufacturing of jeans especially.

It was heartbreaking to see the horrific state of these once beautiful waterways and the irreversible effects toxic chemicals are having on nature and the people who are exposed to them. The documentary asks us the question, How dirty are your jeans?


5. The Next Black - A Film About The Future Of Clothing

I thought I would provide a more positive recommendation to end with. This short film shines a spotlight on the future of fashion from a technology & sustainability point of view. It looks at some of the leaders in the industry for sustainability such as Patagonia.

Its a look into where the future of clothing could possibly go & the clever technologies that are already in place to make the future of fashion look for more sustainable. You can watch the full documentary below on YouTube.