Is Fashion Destroying the Planet? – Ethical Fashion Documentary



I'm Paris Lee is as a journalist and campaigner I'm known for my strong views particular when it comes to LGBT equality but I've recently been looking into another area that I'm interested in fashion I've been learning about the impact the fashion industry is having on the planet and the people you work in it and it seems that some of the clothes you wear have a dirty secret my appearance has always been really important to me and I've often used beautiful clothes as a way to feel confident and good about myself and I reckon fashions are really important part of our identity but I've realized that I have no idea where my clothes come from or who even made them in this series I'm going to investigate the truth behind our clothes from where the materials come from and their impact on the planet do you make them and where they all end up biggest issue in the fashion industry is that it's the second biggest polluter in the world and it's one of the main sources of exploitation of workers and with the help of some of the key players in the fashion world I'm discovering some innovative solutions by using and buying water or products you're essentially paying local people to make a living and therefore to protect the rainforest but if I'm going to make an impact I'm gonna need to make a movement and I'm going to need some help so I'm bringing some of the most influential vloggers to join me on my campaign to get the message out please give the video a thumbs up if you enjoyed it you do have incredible power as consumers if we choose to use it this is pure couture high street stores and fashion websites make it so easy to buy clothes these days so can we really be blamed for never questioning why our clothes are so cheap hi everyone today I'm doing a huge clothing haul and I can't wait to show you what I got I've also noticed this trend for shopping haul videos which is where vloggers go out on a massive shopping spree and then talk about all the fun things that they fought and I'm pretty sure that one or two of their fans like to go and do the same it's become clear that we are addicted to just buying more and more clothes in this country we brits spent 30 billion pounds on unused clothing every year I probably go shopping yeah quite a lot my clothes have really been useful what in this episode I'm getting to grips with a huge issue of waste what we're buying where it comes from and where it ends up once we're bored with it dr. Kate Goldsworthy is a textiles expert the way we're designing and buying and using clothes is getting faster and faster and now it's getting to the point where fashion companies are producing new collections pretty much on a weekly basis I think you know fashion is becoming so fast it's almost disposable at times now I like clothes shopping as much as an ex girl but the problem is the more we buy the more we throw away one and a half million tons of textiles going to landfill in Britain every year that's ten thousand garments or the equivalent of 40 of these compressed bales thrown into landfill in Britain every five minutes nearly 40% of all clothing is thrown directly in the rubbish a go to landfill that's 10 million pounds worth every year what about the stuff we don't very straight in the bin now a lot of us send out used clothes to charity shops and textile bins but have you ever wondered where they end up this is lmv textile recycling center in East London they collect clothes from bins to recycle or they send them to Africa to be sold Ross Berry owns the facility believe what comes along this Bell or you can guess we've had everything we've had murder weapons we've had smarty photos it comes in everything back Ross is on the receiving end of our obsession with so-called fast-fashion I can't believe just how many clothes are here how much stuff would you handle a day we'll probably get about 30 tons a day so to give you an idea that's a sort of a million garments a week I think nowadays you can see the fashion changes so quickly something could be on the cover of a magazine it's in the shops the following week and it's in here two weeks later I'm shocked by what people throwing away I think it's sterling McCartney brand new coats I totally wear that an expensive branded items see that's quite cute at least 90% of textiles received here a reused or recycled so I say to people put it into a textile bank or charity shop then it come to an expert like us and we're trying to find you some stuff it's really sort of badly damaged smelly stained yeah I'm afraid it goes to landfill but the consequences of these impulse buys not only clog up our wardrobes and our rubbish tips they're a huge waste of resources it's not just how much were throwing away it's what we're checking out there's a problem it's okay could you tell me a bit about where our clothes come from well I suppose there were two main materials really they they either come from natural materials so cotton and then the other material would be polyester or oil-based materials and that car we all say comes from oil petroleum the same stuff that you put in your car yep absolutely Wow so I probably have items hanging in my wardrobe that were made from oil more than certainly thought it's polyester actually made of polyester is a a plastic that's around us in many many forms and is something like this plastic bottle is exactly the same polyester that many of our clothes are made of but the issues don't stop once we've made the clothes they can also cause problems when we wash them micro fibers from polyester fabrics get washed out of our clothes and into our rivers and oceans our approach to waste has to change I was recently disgusted to learn that plastic has been found in a third of fish court in Britain so I guess the solution is we have to completely rethink the way we work with these materials you know we have to stop seeing it as a linear journey where we use things and throw them away we have to find a way of closing that loop but there is hope the fashion industry's joining forces with designers and scientists to clean up their act using the latest technology fashion is becoming part of the solution not just the problem and lately even the red carpet is taking on a greener change from musicians to movie stars and even luxury brands for Williams recently became co-owner of Dunham label G store all who are using discarded plastic bottles and telling them into a substance called Bionic yarn so your new threads could be made of all bottles I've been given really great opportunities by really great people and I wanted to learn more about like what's out there creatively and how I could further find new ways to express myself supermodel turned environmentalist Lily Cole is another key figure in the sustainable fashion movement she even wore a dress made of recycled bottles to the Oscars I wanted to find out more so I went to meet her to see it for myself oh wow so so this is one of the most interesting fabrics that they could find to make they were tasked with making a kind of ethical sustainable dress and they looked at all the different sustainable fabrics on the market and this one is obviously incredibly weird and interesting I love how sci-fi Blade Runner it feels I mean it's a one-off dress so one dress is not going to change the game but hopefully one dress creates a conversation and can lead to lots of other products being made of this material or similar materials so how long have you been into ethical fashion for I was thinking a lot about kind of sustainability and issues at the same time that I was working quite heavily in fashion I did have that conflict of like I'm trying to persuade people to buy stuff all day long and then really acutely aware of the problems and so my resolution to that was to start working with companies that I thought were having a positive impact and trying to help tell their stories so what other materials should we be excited about so the one I'm most excited about right now is wild rubber which means that the rubber is tapped in trees spread throughout the Amazon and by using and buying water above products you're essentially paying local people to make a living and therefore protect the rainforest I'm guessing this is a pretty sexy dress if it's made of rubber by mouths words I can show you if you want I have it here I would die oh I'd love to say can we have a letter it's amazing I love that I wanted so I'm just really into wild Reverend and continue to try and push it forward as a material you could make colorful jewelry colorful shoes you can also make condoms you can make loves you can buy it ethical you can buy wild.rover condoms you can try them yet you can only get them in Brazil through the government okay so we're trying to set up supply chain so you can buy them in the UK in the US that's also yeah I love that wait did you wear this I wore this just the Met Ball several years ago wild rubber is a great example of one of the solutions you know can we help solve deforestation through fashion you know what an interesting idea that would be but what if we aren't a Hollywood a-lister one simple thing we can do is to ask questions so I've been thinking also obsessed now with where our food comes from where our coffee comes from is it fair trade is it organic is it free range but we don't really stop to think about whether clothes that we wear come from why not I found out that most of our garments are made from cotton but cotton can be tricky to trace a lot of it comes from Uzbekistan where child labor is widespread in other developing countries the working conditions in sweatshops can be deadly in 2013 a garment factory in Bangladesh collapsed killing over a thousand people moved by this disaster designer Carrie Sommers has started her own revolution Wyeth in the question who made my clothes so Carrie what is this fashion revolution well the fashion revolution was founded after the Rana Plaza disaster in Bangladesh and the van up has a disaster factors as a catalyst for everybody who wanted to see change so much as is hidden within the fashion industry so we started with the question who made my clothes you know that simple or supposedly simple question who made my clothes is so incredibly important because we want to see the faces we want to know where the factories are because we can't start to tackle any of those other social or environmental problems unless we take that first stage and it was recently reported that Islamic state has taken over three-quarters of the cotton fields in Syria so how we is the public supposed to know that we are not supporting terrorism or slave labor with the next cotton garment which we buy so are you telling me that clothes that we've bought that I'm a book could have been funding Isis and we don't even know about it I wouldn't know no we wouldn't know because the labels and our clothes don't tell us the country of origin of the cotton cotton which comes from Uzbekistan which is harvested every year using forced labor is routinely labeled as made in Bangladesh so what you're calling for is a cultural shift where we the consumers expect to know where our clothes in yes this year at the beginning of Fashion Revolution week we published the fashion transparency index which covered false he was a major fashion companies and the more ones that in half of them had little or nothing in place to trace where the raw materials came from who do I ask where do I am you ask the brand you can post a photograph on social media I'm showing the label you were garment you would do have incredible power as consumers if we choose to use it industry experts have told me that there could have been up to a thousand pairs of hands on any given item in my wardrobe who are these people and what sort of Lies have they learned and how have my fashion choices impacted on them as I was asking you made my clothes on social media one way of ensuring you know where your cotton comes from is to use smaller independent designers I met up with South African designer Cindy Circo male whose fashion label focuses on using sustainable contemporary textiles I love fashion I love looking good and I also really want to make the world a better place you obviously really hands-on when it comes to the production process but what I've been learning is that even the materials that use can be problematic absolutely until I found out about is biggest on six months ago and that's when I was just like what I think I don't think many people actually know about this because what happens is all the cotton gets sort of put into one big pile so it's like you know some of its really ethical cotton some of its not and it all gets sort of mixed up and then people just buy it off definitely at some point I must have been you know party to this to definitely there's no way and that's why it's so important to know where your raw materials come from how important you think it is to shop ethically these days who would want to wear garments where they'd know that somebody was oppressed producing those clothes knowing that a child made those clothes whether they picked the cotton or were behind a sewing machine it's almost like just having blood on your hands to a certain extent I think this is the reality there's a really dark side to consuming fashion and because fashion is so important in our livelihoods we need to really open our eyes in the same way that we have with food we need to do that with clothing this isn't about being smuggled patronising this is about has my dress been made by a child slave and if the answer is yes then I thought comes for that so how can we as consumers become aware of the history of the clothes we buy can we ever be sure that our clothes were made in fair conditions designer Hana carriers based her company Tommy on be on a hundred percent traceability so tell me about these beautiful clothes where do they come from and these jackets come from the north of Vietnam they're all hands handmade so we can trace the whole process from them being grown as plants all the way to them being hand embroidered with silk embroidery thread they grow the cotton they grow the indigo you can see the plants all around the houses so every element of the jacket is it's all hundred percent traceable you're helping to fund women in these communities and give them work opportunities yeah it's about bringing the the best bits of their traditional culture into one garments that then provides flexible employment for the women and how did you strike up a connection with this village I traveled in Vietnam in 2008 and Metz her me I just met this woman in the market and she said to me do you want to learn our embroidery nothing yeah I want to learn and so I sat down with her and started to learn how to make it and we ended up sitting together for three months and I stay in her house and sit around the fire when the kids have gone to bed it's really nice we start to talk about all kinds of stuff we talk about women's stuff about men sex she told me about giving birth she's she's but she's amazing so there's a lot of heart in this way every time I just can't believe the connection but with these Garland's do you want to try one on Paris I'd love to there's a change of style yeah yeah oh it looks great from the back you'll have to turn around yeah and see the bag yeah oh it's nice it's really nice and if you do it out for the fraks I left this idea that our clothes can have a story that we can have a real connection with what we wear it's about changing our relationship with our clothes slowing things down making the experience meaningful rather than instant you have to empower people to be the agents of change once you've done it it's people who find their own solutions and the story of our clothes doesn't have to end with us there are lots of ways to give them a new lease of life if we could make sure our clothes are worn for an extra three months for example it would reduce our carbon or water footprint by up to 10 percent I found out that one way to make your clothes live longer is to get them fixed or remade I found a company that promises to give these clothes a new lease of life so I've come to Bristol to find out what they can do with this old thing hi hi ladies miss me you twice to do so to come I kind of bought this when I was a bit sluttier you don't wear it because it's so sure yeah so what we can do is we can make you one of our dresses up and we can rework the lace into this front panel here and then I was thinking layer it maybe something a bit shiny coming through if you were feeling yeah we could go this is one of my favorite the TARDIS genius maybe do the skirt in this I mean it's gonna be pretty Sparkle time I like to accentuate my dough yeah so we're gonna start first of all with the top that you brought in first of all I'm going to do is I'm going to split the top down the sides to undercut down there – yeah okay so how did auntie form star and so I realized that you know there's a lot of clothes that do you end up either stuck at the back of people's wardrobes you can't go wrong there there's actually real value in these materials we've worked with things like tablecloths curtains and blankets from hospitals we've done so nicely so that's serving our first piece now am I going to imagine how your dress is going to come together our beautiful so this is Kate it is putting your dress together so Kate's just pinning and stretching it out don't have a gun the machine yeah it's not gonna chop my hand off as it you will need to be really careful right so that one there this one here lifts the foot off and Answer practice on that you'll see it goes off and down so that's how you get your fabric in and then if you press the other one ah okay look at that that's what your king oh my god I decided to leave the rest of the professionals you can do this whole process in just two hours and it's great I love it he pleased I love that it's made its way back to the front of my wardrobe so really like thanks let's say I love that this dress is unique and I haven't had to damage the planet to make it but I'm realizing that I can't make big changes alone I need to run put my campaign and get more people involved in this movement I'm off to meet vlogger Hannah Witton to find out more about her relationship with fashion hey guys so I'm finally getting around to filming this video that I have been promising and teasing for ages and were there the 200,000 subscribers to her channel she's the ideal person to help me get the pure get your message out there Oh cute room so do you think with social media there's more pressure for us to bye bye bye when you spend a lot of your time online and a lot of your friends are online and doing like video hauls of like things that they've bought or like look books and then like outfit posts it's so easy to get like swept up in that and be like I need everything I need everything you must have heard of sweatshops before that you've really thought about I think it's one of those things I have like cognitive dissonance about which is like I know that it's really bad and yes probably most of the clothes that I own and buy are like manufactured in these kinds of places but then I've never like changed my behavior because of that do you know where your jacket was made nope do you know where the cotton was fixed no it's really complex and that's why I just don't think that most people think about well where this does come through me I mean it has genuinely really opened my eyes to it but it's not all doom and gloom because no I've actually bought you some clothes because it's all we're talking about this stuff but you want to look nice right yeah exactly and there's that just presumption that if you're wearing like ethical sustainable clothing then it's gonna be like a bag and like dull and beige I think that's probably been one of the biggest surprises actually is a lot of these clothes like really cool yeah but yeah I've got a bag of clothes with me so hey John have a look yeah oh wow you look amazing I love it so much it's such a cute little summer outfit yeah this is definitely something that I would wear as well I'm very good in yeah and I'm really into these wooden sunglasses I know I did they were a thing the human is sustainable worked oh cool so have to toe yeah it's cute right yeah so have I convinced you but this is the thing that we need we're taking seriously yeah yeah for sure will you help me get the pure get your message outlet with your fans absolutely I mean I'm so Peter on board Hannah yeah let's do it do it Hannah stuck to her word and it was amazing to see how many of her fans engaged with the message I'm asking her to post more about sustainable fashion I love my clothes especially dresses look I have loads fashion isn't really something that I've thought about all that much until recently pur Couture looks at the impact of this culture of buying heaps of cheap clothing and the amazing people who are working towards a fair of fashion industry meeting Hannah I've realized just how much I've learned about this issue but also how much I care seeing her looking so excited in our outfit made me think that I need to get this message out to even more people it's so simple to make a difference by taking a look at your fashion habits and following three easy steps which we've called the pure Kajal promise step one if you don't love it don't buy it sustainable fashion advocate Livia Firth launched the 30 where's hashtag so if you can't commit to wearing an item at least 30 times save your money step 2 look at the label is it a blend of materials that will make it harder to recycle what cotton requires huge quantities of water to make polyester consumes large supplies of non-renewable resources try to find organic cotton recycled polyester or new textile innovations like the wild rub that we found out about earlier step 3 DIY before donating clothes to charity think could you fix it or turn it into something new this really is a tip of the iceberg there are so many more topics that I want to explore in the next episode I'm learning more about what the fashion industry is doing to help women around the world I really do believe if you can empower women you can really begin to change the world I'll also be doing some digging into the environmental impacts of cheap metals and meat jewelry designer Rosalie McMillan to hear about what she's doing to recycle materials if this sort of dark brown material here is made from recycled coffee grounds so it's witchcraft basically yes yes and I'll bring in another online influencer to help me push my campaign even further you

8 thoughts on “Is Fashion Destroying the Planet? – Ethical Fashion Documentary

  1. I find fast fashion so despicable and the fact hardly anyone ever thinks about it. I go to charity shops and make sure they are the independent ones who are not throwing lots things . At the moment I can not afford to buy ethical clothing but if I had the money I would support these companies . People throw out perfectly good clothes straight into hard wate and do not even bother to donate them . It is disgusting,

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