Water and Fashion: RiverBlue Summary

Film Synopsis

Through harsh chemical manufacturing processes and the irresponsible disposal of toxic chemical waste, one of our favorite iconic products has destroyed rivers and impacted the lives of people who count on these waterways for their survival. RIVERBLUE brings awareness to the destruction of some of the world’s most vital rivers through the manufacturing of our clothing, but will also act as a demand for significant change in the textile industry from the top fashion brands that can make a difference. (Visit RiverBlue

RIVERBLUE – Collective Eye Films

Award-winning documentary, RiverBlue, narrated by water-supporter Jason Priestley observes internationally celebrated river conservationist, Mark Angelo in an adventure to uncover the secrets of the fashion industry. Travelling all over the globe to investigate the world’s second most polluting industry, this documentary exposes images and anecdotes addressing issues the industry progresses upon and the destruction it’s doing to the planet. It focuses on the river destruction, the effects on humanity and possible hope for a future in sustainability. 

Specifically addressing the world’s most untarnished waterways to the most polluted, the film introduces viewers to the tragically under-reported water pollution problem. Through the harsh chemical production process and improper disposal of waste created during manufacturing, the creation of our everyday clothing is the cause of water-body deterioration (Water Docs). 

The documentary’s trailer addresses the necessity for water and the way it accommodates all of our needs as humans. The need for water remains the same, however the usage of water bodies grows progressively worse over time, especially with the implementation of factories and manufacturers in the present day. Because of irresponsible waste disposal, rivers across the world are deeply impacted by the dumping of poisonous toxic material. Each piece of clothing comes with a cost. Each part of the clothing production process has proved harmful to the environment. Starting with the removal of ecosystems to create factories, to stripping land of nutrients by growing energy-sucking crops like cotton. Then the fabric dye used in the designing process containing hazardous materials, the distribution of garments spreading air pollution, and finally, the disposal process of waste and used garments. The chemicals used in production processes do not break down, instead they travel around the world. The trailer specifically touches upon how companies divert attention from their manufacturing and waste disposal processes and keep their customers in the dark. The factory pipes are underground so nobody can see the factories dumping materials into water; contaminated liquids and materials are then placed into irrigation canals and this enters the food chain. 

The Fashion Industry and Water: Statistics

80 billion garments of clothes are being delivered out of factories per year (The High Price of Fast Fashion), creating tons of waste through production and disposal.

Nearly 20% of global water waste is produced by the fashion industry (United Nations Partnership on Sustainable Fashion and the SDG’s) and textile dyeing is the second largest polluter of water globally.

It takes around 2,000 gallons of water to make a typical pair of jeans (UN Environment Program) and 20,000 liters of water is used to create one kilogram of cotton, which is equal to one tshirt and a pair of jeans (World Wildlife Foundation).

Overall, the textile industry is one of the top 3 water wasting industries, discharging over 2.5 billion tons of waste water annually (Edge Fashion Intelligence).  

The fashion industry and its impact on water purity and availability is an unavoidable subject when addressing sustainability. Open your eyes and see how the creation of garments has progressed in such a way it has caused water to globally regress. 

“Buying something at a lower price actually contributes to the death, illness and suffering of people in some other part of the world” (RiverBlue Trailer

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