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20 Sustainable Fashion Documentaries You Need to Watch


Whilst the fashion industry’s pace seems relentless and fast fashion brands churning out new designs at breakneck speed, a quiet revolution is underway. 

Sustainable fashion documentaries, an exciting medium for educating and moving people, are shedding light on the environmental and human costs of the clothing we wear. Most importantly, it also inspires hope for a more sustainable future.

If you want to visually learn and explore the fashion world through films or series, watch and be inspired by these sustainable and ethical fashion documentaries.

What are the Must-Watch Sustainable Fashion Documentaries?

The True Cost

Sustainable Fashion Documentaries - The True Cost

This groundbreaking documentary takes a critical look at the unsustainable practices in the fashion industry. From the environmental degradation caused by textile production to the exploitation of garment workers in developing countries, “The True Cost” explores the enormous human and environmental costs of clothing consumption.

River Blue

Sustainable Fashion Documentaries - RiverBlue

As an international river conservationist, this film delves deep into the impact of the fashion industry on the world’s rivers. From water pollution caused by textile dyeing to the dumping of chemical waste, “River Blue” exposes the ugly truth behind the fashion supply chains and calls for urgent action to protect our waterways.

The Machinists

Sustainable Fashion Documentaries - The Machinists

This short documentary shines a light on the unsung heroes of the fashion industry – the garment workers. Through personal stories and interviews with female garment workers in Northern India, “The Machinists” reveals the human cost behind the clothes we wear and highlights the urgent need for ethical fashion practices.



With a focus on both the imagination and the reality of sustainable fashion, “Slay” follows the journey of a creative director as she challenges the status quo of the industry. From innovative textile recycling to ethical supply chains, this film inspires hope for a greener industry.



The Final Resting Place of Your Cast-off Clothing: Ever wondered what happens to your discarded clothing? “Unravel” takes viewers on a journey to Cape Town, revealing the environmental and social impact of our throwaway culture.

ReDress the Future

Redress the Future

This short film shows the environmental and ethical implications of the clothing industry, offering hopeful solutions for a more sustainable fashion future. This is an entry-point film that inspires viewers to rethink their fashion choices.

The Ugly Truth of Fast Fashion

The Ugly Truth of Fast Fashion

As the title suggests, this film takes a hard-hitting look at the unsustainable practices of fast fashion brands. From the environmental cost of producing cheap clothing to the exploitation of factory workers, “The Ugly Truth of Fast Fashion” reveals the dark side of the industry.



Through the lens of a female garment worker in Bangladesh, “Udita” provides a powerful insight into the harsh realities of working in the fast fashion industry. From unsafe working conditions to meagre wages, this documentary highlights the urgent need for ethical change in the industry.

Alex James: Slowing Down Fast Fashion

Slowing Down Fast Fashion

Blur bassist turned cheesemaker Alex James embarks on a journey to explore sustainable alternatives to fast fashion. From wool production in rural England to ethical fashion brands, “Slowing Down Fast Fashion” is a film that offers a refreshing perspective on slowing down our clothing consumption.

The Next Black

The Next Black

What does the future of fashion hold? “The Next Black” explores innovative technologies and design solutions that are shaping the years ahead of the industry. From 3D printing to biodegradable fabrics, this documentary offers a glimpse into a more sustainable fashion world.

Cotton Road

Cotton Road

Delving into the complex global supply chain of the cotton industry, “Cotton Road” reveals the environmental and social impact of cotton production. From small-scale farmers in Africa to factory workers in China, this film provides a holistic view of the textile industry.

Made in Africa

Made in Africa

This documentary celebrates the burgeoning fashion industry in Africa, showcasing the creativity and talent of African designers. From traditional craftsmanship to sustainable practices, “Made in Africa” highlights the continent’s potential to lead the way in ethical fashion.



Offering a glimpse into the lives of garment workers around the world, “Fashionscapes” tells personal stories of resilience and determination. From factory owners in China to seamstresses in Bangladesh, this film humanises the often-overlooked individuals behind the clothes we wear.



With a focus on transparency in the fashion supply chain, “Traceable” explores the journey of a garment from the cotton fields to the retail store. By tracing the origins of our clothes, this documentary empowers consumers to make more informed choices and support ethical and sustainable fashion brands.

Luxury: Behind The Mirror Of High-End Fashion


Beyond the glitz and glamour of high-end fashion, this documentary takes a critical look at the environmental and ethical implications of luxury brands. From the use of exotic animal skins to the exploitation of workers, “Luxury” reveals the hidden costs of luxury fashion like a true crime genre.

Sweatshop – Deadly Fashion

Sweatshop – Deadly Fashion

Through the eyes of three Norwegian fashion bloggers, “Sweatshop” provides a firsthand glimpse into the harsh realities of garment factories in Cambodia. From long hours to meagre wages, this documentary exposes the human cost of our obsession with cheap clothing.

Remake’s ‘Made In’ Series

Made In

Remake’s “Made In” series takes viewers on a journey to different corners of the world to uncover the realities of garment workers’ lives. From Cambodia to Mexico, these short documentaries shed light on the human stories behind our clothes and inspire action for change.

The Clothes We Wear

Through a series of short films, “The Clothes We Wear” documentary explores the environmental and social impact of our clothing choices. From the use of heavy metals in textile production to the exploitation and unsafe conditions of women working in the industry, this documentary series offers a comprehensive look at the true cost of fashion.

Catwalk to Creation

This short film follows the journey of discarded clothing from the runway to the recycling plant. From huge bales of cast-offs to innovative upcycling techniques, “Catwalk to Creation” offers a glimpse into the circular fashion economy.

China Blue

Offering a behind-the-scenes look at a denim factory in China, “China Blue” exposes the harsh working conditions faced by factory workers. From unsafe machinery to low wages, this film highlights the urgent need for improved labour standards in the global fashion industry.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the documentary about fast fashion’s environmental impact?

What are the 5 Rs of sustainable fashion?

What is the most sustainable fashion brand?

What is the most successful campaign currently in the sustainable fashion movement?

Final Note

These sustainable fashion documentaries offer a sobering yet hopeful glimpse into the world of fashion. From the environmental degradation caused by textile production to the exploitation of garment workers, these films shed light on the true cost of our clothing consumption. 

However, they also inspire hope by showcasing innovative solutions and empowering viewers to make more informed and ethical fashion choices. 

Whether you’re a fashion enthusiast or simply curious about the industry, these documentaries are a must-watch for anyone concerned about the future of fashion.

Ellora Sharma

Ellora Sharma is a 26-year-old fashionmonger from Leeds. She discovered her love for fashion through the many intricate and flashy designs found in the Bollywood films she religiously watched when she was younger (and continues to watch to this day). She has since developed an affinity for colourful and distinctive clothing, and loves to experiment with her style on the daily. She wants to help others find the same kind of joy and fun in clothing as she has.

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