It’s a little chilly here in Australia.
As the weather cools and we start to get ready for the winter months ahead there is nothing better than a night in with good people and a movie, doco, or series. Given that today is Earth Day and our Fashion Revolution week celebrations will be kicking off on the 24th why not have a sustainability or fashion themed home-theatre night in this weekend? The following suggestions should help you theme the ideal nights line up to suit your own Earth Day or Fashion Revolution theme.
There is nothing written anywhere to say that a fashion revolution movie night has to be serious. You can have some fun with your pals and watch some frivolity while learning a little more about the in’s- and-out’s of the fashion world. The following three movies won’t give you a sustainability education but if you watch them with a critical mind you will learn a lot about the way that we consume fashion and you will also get a good giggle out of them.
- Confessions of a Shopaholic: This would have to be one of my all time favourite fashion movies and it’s one that I watch every time I clean up my closet. Funny, grounded in a reality that most of us have experienced at least once (I need these gloves because…. it’s winter… and I have hands!), and a great look at the consumer mindset- there is more to this cute flick than comedy. Becky Bloomwoods struggle with a passion for fashion is scarily identifiable at the most, and entertaining at the least. Think critically about your relationship with fashion while you watch this.
- The Devil Wears Prada: If you were wondering what happens behind closed doors in the fashion world ‘The Devil Wears Prada’ is a good insight. One might think that Miranda Priestly is a little over the top as the ‘fashion boss’ but chatting to other fashion folks has identified that most of us have had a Miranda in our lives. My Miranda boss even looked simmilar to the movie one! There is unethical workplace practices in the fashion industry from top down. Interns, PA’s, designers, editor and store clerks often work long unpaid hours. Exploitation isn’t limited to the manufacturing floor and this is an entertaining look at the impacts of working hard in the top part of the style chain!
- 13 Going On 30: This isn’t specifically a fashion movie but it’s based in the fashion editorial world. Through the eyes of her 13 year old self we see the magazine world with a fresh sense of innocence. The pitch that Jenna makes to make her magazine Poise a more accessible and relatable read is sweet and gives hope that with some ingenuity that the mainstream print media we see today could be revolutionised overnight to be more inclusive of shapes, genders and sizes (which has been slowly trickling in since this movie was first made).
If you were hoping for something a little bit more enlightening and core-shaking than the fashion flicks these should do the trick. None of these will be an ‘easy’ watch but you will learn quite a lot from them. It’s nice to have friends around to support you through the viewing and to chat with afterwards. These revealing docos and series might be something you want to check out:
- Clothes to Die For: This is a really hard one to watch and has sort of slid under the sustainable fashion blogger radar. While I’m a huge fan of The True Cost movie as ‘the’ doco for getting your head around the impacts of the fashion industry, this watch hits hard with the human suffering associated with unsafe manufacturing practices. The story follows the events that lead to the Rana Plaza collapse. A blow-by-blow account of the whole disaster told by those who were affected by it. A must see for those who really want to understand why human ethics is an important part of the redevelopment of the way we shop for fashion.
- The True Cost: This is ‘THE’ doco that got everyone buzzing about the need to revolutionise the way we interact with out closets. It covers most of the issues associated with the whole garment manufacturing supply chain addressing environmental and human ethics. If you haven’t seen this one watch it- you won’t find a more comprehensive overview. Again, not easy to watch, but it’s a little less emotive than Clothes to Die For.
- Freetown FashPack: Sometimes the sustainability and ethics of fashion gets a little exclusive. A lot of the info we see suggests that only those in developed nations are concerned with appearance and that to be stylish is a decadence only afforded by those with no cares in the world. As a fashion lover you might have been told that you are ‘frivolous’ or that there are others things more important to worry about like war, poverty, and disease. This fun and happy series flips this notion on it’s head showing that in a country associated with civil war, poverty, blood diamond mining, and Ebola that style is fierce. That fashion can be a way to get ahead, stand out, escape the ordinary, or make sense of a world that’s not always easy.
- State of Undress– Fashion model Hailey Gates heads to some unlikely fashion destinations chasing fashion weeks across the globe. Brave, intrepid, and charming Gates takes us behind the scenes of some of the most unique fashion stories. While the series is focused on following fashion weeks, she really takes the exploration further discovering, through style and fashion, how people live in some of the most challenging cultures and situations around the world. From surfing on the Gaza strip to getting up close and personal with the plastic surgery culture of Venezuala this series will delight, surprise and educate you- stylishly!
- Kill it Cut it Use It– Not specially a fashion related watch but this series (if you can get your hands on it) will give you a solid understanding of how we use animals in our manufacturing processes. It’s incredible to see just how much we rely on animal products in so many weird, wacky and surprising industries and ways. The stand out for me was the fire test of wool vs. synthetics. Once you see that you will see the dilemma we face in trying to find a biodegradable Vegan alternative that naturally replicates the properties of wool. Warning! This might be a hard series for some to stomach!
- Blood, Sweat, and T-shirts– Still hands-down one of my favourite looks at the workings of the fashion industry. This series takes a handful of fashion loving Brits and makes them work in the garment industry manufacturing supply chain. A brilliant way to show the reality of the hard work that goes into making the clothes we wear, many of the crew start cocky but- by the end- are humbled by the hours and labour that goes into every thread and each stitch. Hard to get a hold of but if you can find it it’s a must see!
Sustainability and Ethics Watches
- Minimalism: This doco (recently trending on Netflix) has been a fave with most of the ethical/sustainable fashion bloggers with good reason. Breaking down the ‘trend’ of minimalism this is a great watch for anyone interested in simplifying their life and making sure their life is lived with meaning. Sustainability and minimalism shares the same set of base values and although minimalism is often considered to be a tend of ‘downsizing’ or living with less, this watch highlights that it’s more about living with intent and discernment than throwing out all your stuff.
- Cowspiracy: A movie primarily focused on sustainability, Conspiracy looks at how the industrialised meat industry is having a detrimental impact on our environment. While there is a focus on animal ethics, the focus on environmental impact makes this a far more educational than emotive look at the reasons why one might want to opt out of eating meat or dairy.
- The Truth About Meat: Another doco that’s a little more difficult to find, this is my favourite look at why one should eat less meat. Not at all ‘preachy’ and focused on an exploration into the impacts of meat on human health and the environment I’ve found this to be the most balance and rational look at why one might shake up their eating habits. Be warned, while this isn’t an emotive or overly graphic watch, it has one of the most disturbing science experiments I’ve seen (even though the cow subject doesn’t look too bothered by it).