4 Sustainable Fashion Films: The Power of Storytelling to Captivate & Convince


Is sustainable consumption an oxymoron? Forward-thinking companies are increasingly using storytelling as a branding device to educate and engage consumers who want to know the impact of their purchases.

Another fire in another factory. The murder of a labor leader fighting for garment worker’s rights. Rivers turned indigo by waste water from denim manufacturing. How long can we keep yet another worrying headline separate from our love for cheap clothing?

As we recognize what consumption is doing to our planet, changing consumer patterns reflects both a yearning for simplicity and an expectation of transparency – especially among the younger consumers companies covet. That quality of wholeness we prioritize in our food – the connection to the handmade, local and distinctive, quality ingredients, and the story behind the artisan and the passion for her craft – is beginning to inform all of our purchasing decisions.

One way brands are beginning to respond is by using video to simply and powerfully communicate the story of sustainability behind the products and services they’re selling.  While the ability to reach out to style-lovers without negating fashion’s design and feel-good focus can be challenging, evocative visual stories can be a powerful tool in sharing the importance of a more considered approach. Here are some of our favorite video visions for the future of fashion:

Honest Us from Vinícius Bobsin on Vimeo.

1. Honest By founder Bruno Pieters tells the story of his enigmatic brand and what it means to live an authentic life in ‘Honest Us.’ Directed by Vinicius Bobsin and lasting only a few seconds, the mesmerizing short captures the mood of the innovative Honest By collection perfectly.

piece x piece from Elizabeth Brunner on Vimeo.

2. In this video, San Francisco-based designer Elizabeth Brunner shares the inspiration and process behind her visionary line, Piece x Piece. Bringing to life the story behind her innovative garments – which take months of collaboration, exploration and experimentation to make – she illustrates the power of how a simple decision skillfully executed can create meaningful change.

Organic Cotton – Grown in the USA from Patagonia on Vimeo.

3. An industry trail blazer, Patagonia was one of the first companies to tell consumers about the eco impact of its product line via the ‘Footprint Chronicles.’ In their latest video, they document the characters involved in the Texas Organic Cotton Marketing Cooperative (TOCMC) one of the company’s first suppliers of organic cotton grown in West Texas.

Detox Fashion by Greenpeace.

4. Greenpeace effectively used Anime to describe a futuristic warning of things to come their latest  for their Detox Fashioncampaign. Overcoming difficult messages by using a fun, comic book style, the film remains a thoughtful and provoking on-topic perspective on why beautiful fashion shouldn’t cause toxic pollution.

Top Image: Piece x Piece

Rowena Ritchie

Rowena is EcoSalon’s West Coast Fashion Editor and currently resides in San Francisco, CA.