The top books, movies and podcasts to learn more about sustainable fashion

Whether you’re a designer, a maker, a shopper or a casual observer, it’s hard to ignore the stats and stories that are being revealed as the standard practices of the global fashion industry. Access to this information has fuelled a global movement to help lead and encourage change in the industry. But there’s still work to do. These resources will help you to gain an insider’s perspective to the fashion industry, its waste problems, human exploitation, and animal involvement, so that you can make more informed decisions about your fashion purchases.

As the founder of Fashion Revolution Orsola de Castro says, “Provided you wake up every morning and you’re aware of the fact that your wardrobe is in the fashion supply chain, then you’re a fashion decision maker.”

Arm yourself with everything you need to know about the global fashion industry, let it inform your decisions, and educate others.

Books

Wardrobe Crisis: How We Went From Sunday Best To Fast Fashion by Clare Press

Britt reading wardrobe crisis

Clare Press’s Wardrobe Crisis is a must-read for any person wanting to familiarise themselves with the nitty gritty elements of the fashion industry. Having spent years as an international fashion journalist, she retells the tales she’s collected around the globe to educate readers about the many, many issues involved in the fashion industry. The story is also a reflection of her own journey as she learns about the fashion’s impact on people, animals and the planet. It’s the hard-hitting wake up call we all need.

Slow Clothing by Jane Milburn

Slow Clothing presents a compelling case for why we need to change the way we dress, to live lightly on earth through the everyday practice of how we wear and care for our clothes. In an era dominated by passive consumption of cheap and synthetic fashion, Jane Milburn arrived at the Slow Clothing philosophy by refashioning her own garments in her wardrobe to provide meaning and story. Milburn tells her journey to Slow Clothing and provides ideas for you to easily implement.

Fashionopolis

Fashionopolis presents an “investigation into the damage wrought by the colossal clothing industry – and the grassroots, high tech, international movement fighting to reform it.” Bestselling 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. In Fashionopolis, Thomas sees renewal in a host of developments, including printing 3-D clothes, clean denim processing, smart manufacturing, hyperlocalism, fabric recycling – even lab-grown materials. #FutureofFashion

To Die For: Is fashion wearing out the world? By Lucy Siegle

Taking particular issue with our current mania for both big-name labels and cheap fashion, To Die For sets an agenda for the urgent changes that can and need to be made by both the industry and the consumer. Far from outlining a future of drab, ethical clothing, Lucy Siegle believes that it is indeed possible to be an ′ethical fashionista′, simply by being aware of how and where (and by whom) clothing is manufactured. Siegle analyses the global epidemic of unsustainable fashion, taking stock of our economic health and moral accountabilities to expose the pitfalls of fast fashion.

The Conscious Closet

US fashion journalist Elizabeth Cline has developed the definitive guide to building an ethical, sustainable wardrobe you’ll love. Based on her personal experiences “getting off the fast-fashion treadmill and figuring out a common-sense and affordable approach to conscious style,” Cline shares how to pare down your closet; swap, resell, or recycle what you don’t love; better care for and repair what you do; and how to affordably buy, thrift, or rent the ethical wardrobe of your dreams.

Podcasts

Wardrobe Crisis

The Wardrobe Crisis podcast is an extension of Clare Press’s book of the same title, where she tackles the current issues and speaks to change makers in the global fashion industry – from budding designers down under to esteemed fashion and environmental thought leaders. Each week Clare interviews guests about fashion, culture, sustainability, ethics, activism and the environment. Listen here.

Who Made My Clothes: A Fashion Revolution Podcast

Fash rev

In recognition of Fashion Revolution Week 2017 (April 24th – 30th) Fashion Revolution Australia New Zealand and Jackrabbit.FM teamed up to look closer at the brands, people, designers and ideas behind some of Australia and New Zealand’s most responsible independent fashion labels and start answering the question of Who Made Your Clothes. Throughout the series you gain an insight to the issues in the industry and how local brands and tackling them. Listen here.

Videos

The True Cost

The True Cost is a documentary that “pulls back the curtain on the untold story and asks us to consider, who really pays the price for our clothing? “Filmed in countries all over the world, from the brightest runways to the darkest slums, and featuring interviews with the world’s leading influencers including Stella McCartney, Livia Firth and Vandana Shiva, the film is an unprecedented project that invites viewers on an eye opening journey around the world and into the lives of the many people and places behind our clothes. Watch here.

River Blue

River Blue is a devastating documentary about the damage the fashion industry is doing to the planet and in particular, our rivers. River Blue sees international river conservationist, Mark Angelo, travel the globe to examine the destruction of our rivers by the fashion industry, the effect on surrounding communities, and the solutions that inspire hope for a sustainable future. This documentary was the tipping point for me, and in some ways is the reason why Britt’s List exists. Watch it, you’ll know what I mean.

War on Waste

Image credit: ABC’s War on Waste

The ABC’s War on Waste program was a big wake up call when it was released on Australian television in 2018. Across the series, The Chaser’s Craig Reucassel takes a critical and first-hand look at household, retail and farming waste in Australia and asks, what has changed in the Australian psyche, and in our consumer culture, that has led us to become among the most wasteful nations in the developed world? Series 1 is where Reucassel gets stuck into Australia’s obsession with fast fashion.

Patriot Act with Hasan Minhaj (Netflix series) Episode: The Ugly Truth of Fast Fashion

In his Netflix TV Series Patriot Act, comedian Hasan Minhaj brings an incisive and nuanced perspective to global news, politics, and culture. This episode in particular, the focus is on fast fashion. Minhaj looks at the industry generally, how it came about, what brands are leading it and how consumers have responded to the phenomenon. He then unpacks the claims of two major players to exposure what truly is greenwashing. A great watch indeed. Watch here.

 

About Author

Brittanie Dreghorn

Brittanie Dreghorn is the founder and editor of Britt's List, and an advocate for sustainable and Australian fashion.

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