Research: Documentary

Stacey Dooley Investigates: Fashions Dirty Secrets 

I’ve always been a massive fan of Stacey Dooley. Her honesty, open mindedness and relatable nature make it easy to understand controversial issues of the world. I was really excited to see that she was exploring a topic which I feel so passionately about and using her highly influential voice to raise awareness and ultimately make a difference. I also thought it really beneficial of incorporate a variety of media in my research so sourcing information from a visual production was all the more significant.

The message behind the documentary was achievable which I feel is important when trying to make a difference. Sometimes the goals are too unrealistic e.g. never use plastic again, however in Dooley’s closing speech she made it clear that she was in no way saying stop shopping – just to be more mindful of what we buy and actually ensuring pieces get their wear before being (sustainably!!) disposed of.

Some of the facts were hard hitting. Disturbing imagery was used and although it’s not always desired by viewers, I think it was a really effective way of opening up the eyes of people from all backgrounds. The most memorable information for me was to do with the entire body of water that had been used up as a direct result of the textile industry. Terrifyingly the documentary showed that it was actually visible from the satellites in space the devastation being caused, when a whole sea was dried out.

Additionally the presenter was appealing and relatable. As a person Dooley seems incredibly relaxed. She’s young, good looking and has an enjoyably chic but casual sense of style. As much as the film isn’t about her, these attributes participate in keeping the audience engaged. I think this supports my decision to use styling as a method for creating an impression, to increase memorability and therefore have the maximum impact of change. I also really favoured the fact that she bought in ‘influencers’ to shed light to their oblivious attitudes surrounding throwaway fashion. It was clearly none of their intentions to be promoting such damaging practises but as with the point of the documentary, the main problem is that people simply aren’t educated. This exposé has absolutely made me think not only towards the throwaway fashion concept but also about reevaluating some of the choices I make. I’ve said I want to be proactive and it’s one thing to put together a shoot inspired by controversial themes however to actually make a difference it must stand out. A crucial element for this is the aesthetic content and the place where garments are sourced so I will need to think really carefully about who’s supplying my garments. 

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