And my abject fear of unforgivingly lit fitting rooms would be enough to stop me buying a ticket to Becky Hutner’s film about award-winning designer Amy Powney. Still, this engaging documentary reassuringly confirmed most of my half-baked prejudices about the fashion industry.
The film follows Powney, creative director of the label Mother Of Pearl, as she jets around the globe to source wool and cotton for a new line she can market as “sustainable”.
Powney, an admirably driven young lady raised by hippy parents somewhere near Preston, discovers she works in a thoroughly dirty business built on animal cruelty, child labour and the vast consumption of fossil fuel.
Eventually, she realises she has to make a few compromises. Her wool will come from a lovely, sheep-friendly Uruguayan farmer called Pedro, but it will be shipped thousands of miles to an Austrian mill, albeit one that doesn’t rely on kids, plastics or chemicals.
Her organic cotton will be sourced from a certified Turkish supplier but they, for unexplained reasons, refuse to let her inspect their plantations.
While I don’t know much about fashion, I have seen more than my fair share of documentaries and the best ones don’t leave so many vital questions unanswered.
I had to turn to Google to find out what exactly the “sustainable” banner signifies (the definition is woollier than Pedro’s flock) and the retail prices of Powney’s eco threads (jeans are £195, T-shirts are £95) are eye-watering.
As those prices make this a top-down revolution, it seems the most eco-friendly option open to the masses is to keep wearing unfashionable old togs until they fall apart.
As I have several shirts in circulation that are older than Powney, I’ve decided to self-certify my collection as “shockingly sustainable”.
- Fashion Reimagined, Cert 12A, In cinemas now