Cast: Stacey Dooley (Presenter), Susie Lau, Niomi Smart
Director: Emeka Onono
Rating: * * *
Platform: Sony BBC Earth (premiering on Feb 23, 2020)
As Stacey Dooley the ace investigative reporter and highly competitive contestant on ‘Strictly Come Dancing’ states, “We live in a golden age of fashion. In the past year we have spent nearly $50 Billion on clothes.” Most of it is unnecessary consumerism. Fashion’s impact is huge. It’s on par with Oil and chemicals both of which are also used in the creation of fashion. Most of us are unaware of the large scale effect that fashion has on our world at large. Many fashion consumers are not even aware of how the fashion industry pollutes the world.
Fashion has become one of the root causes of poor people in poor countries getting sick, destruction of the environment as well as devastating climate change. It’s costing us the earth and we are very fast running out of time. The global scientific conference has already announced that there’s just 12 years between now and overall devastation through climate change. Are we going to pay heed? This incisive documentary hopes to open our eyes wide to the conspicuous consumption of clothing that we have become addicted to.
Water is the harbinger of life but with our addiction to clothing we have been allowing water to be used indiscriminately and the results are there for all to see and experience. Stacey Dooley shows us how we’ve allowed our uncontrolled obsession for cheap fashion to override our need to protect and conserve our environment.
Dooley takes us to the epicenter of fashions’ devastation – The Aral sea which has been declared as one of the largest environmental disasters in the last century. What once was a beautiful inland oasis has now become a dry desert bed thanks to the staggering amounts of water required by cotton farming practices in nearby Uzbekistan.
Picture this – Nearly 15000 litres of water is required to make one pair of jeans. Just add all the clothes in your wardrobe and multiply it by 10000 (a conservative estimate) and you will understand how much water goes into making them. In a world where millions live below the poverty line can we really afford such careless extravagance?
Through the process of this frank and matter-of-fact expose, Stacey contacts fashion corporations, and other bigwigs from the clothing industry to find answers but most are unwilling to entertain her. She then targets fashion bloggers and influencers employed by these corporations and solicits their help in pitching for a more caring and considerate clothes shopper.
This documentary is not only revealing, it educates, sets your mind thinking and makes you more aware of the fragile environment we have created in our lust for all the good things in life.
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