Sometimes online searches yield treasures. By chance, I found this ethical fashion documentary (intended to be the first in a series), and couldn’t understand why it didn’t have more views. “Is Fashion Destroying the Planet?” was originally made in August of 2016 but it’s still very topical. I contacted the person who posted it, Jay Lawrence (who incidentally was a camera operator on the show and the editor), and he kindly gave me permission to share it here.
Hosted by the effervescent Paris Lees and featuring Lily Cole, Carrie Somers (founder of Fashion Revolution Day), Kate Goldsworthy, designer Sindoso Khumalo, Hannah Cowie of TAMAY & ME, Lizzie Harrison of Antiform and vlogger Hannah Wilton, among others, it’s full of great accessible information and is equally entertaining as it is persuasive.
This doc underlines the importance of facing the harsh realities of the fashion industry and understanding our role in it, all so that we can do better, and look good and have fun while doing so. It is fashion, after all!
As Simone Cipriani of the Ethical Fashion Initiative says in the video, “You must empower people to be the agents of change. Once you’ve done it, it’s people who find their own solutions.”
Jay shared some background information about the documentary, via email.
What compelled you to make this documentary about sustainable fashion?
Hazel McCoubrey, the executive producer, had originally made pieces of content with YouTuber Patricia Bright, showing how they re-use and repurpose old clothes. This documentary was an evolution of that and a real passion of hers. I edited the documentary and was one of two camera operators. This documentary was made with the intention of selling it but sadly it was never picked up.
The documentary was originally owned by Disney. I used to work for Maker Studios which was a Disney-owned company. At the time Maker was going through a revamp and Disney wanted to branch out and have a platform that was similar to Vice (a bit on the edgier side of things); this part of the company became known as The Studio. The Studio is now defunct and this documentary would have never been seen otherwise.