Would you like to learn more about the world and sustainable solutions for the future but you’re not sure where to start? We’ve put together some books, podcasts and documentaries that have broadened our horizons to help you. Read on to discover our 8 recommendations! We wish you happy reading, viewing and listening.

Documentaries

1. The Next Black, a film about the future of clothing

The documentary ‘The Next Black’ brings together designers and innovative leaders from around the world to discuss the future of clothing. How do we deal with our clothes and how can we do better? Discover the vision of different experts, trendsetters and innovators who are trying to bring about change with their passion. Curious about the future of the fashion industry? Watch the documentary for free here.

2. A life on our planet - David Attenborough

Watch nature documentary maker and biologist David Attenborough’s latest documentary ‘A life on our planet’ on Netflix. Attenborough looks back over his career and all of the unique species that he was lucky enough to see and film from up close. He concludes with his vision for the future: “By protecting biodiversity and opting for renewable energy, we can ensure a healthy future for our grandchildren. We will finally learn how to work with nature rather than against it.”

3. Op volle retouren (“On full returns”) - VPRO Tegenlicht

Online shopping has never been so easy. All it takes is a few clicks and you’ll receive your order the next day. If you don’t like it, you can just return it free of charge. But what happens to all those returned parcels? What is the real price tag of our “return behaviour”? VRPO Tegenlicht found out - go watch the documentary online for free here (in Dutch).

4. Closing the Loop - Wayne Visser

In ‘Closing the Loop’, Professor Dr Wayne Visser, together with various circular economy experts, brings a positive message for the future. Inspired by sustainable companies operating in various sectors (waste, food, electronics), sustainability expert Wayne Visser travelled the world to meet the people behind the companies. This documentary shows amazing examples of companies working with a circular economy model every day. You can watch it for free via this link (audio in English but subtitles available in many different languages).

Discover more inspiring documentaries here

Documentaries that will change your view on your wardrobe

Podcasts

1. Fufu & Dadels

Fufu & Dadels is a podcast run 100% by women of colour and presented by millennial women of colour. The first episode of the second season is titled ‘The devil wears prada’. Their guest is Esmeralda Schipper, fashion editor at Glamour. Esmeralda talks about her career switch from social worker to fashion editor. She takes you on her journey of trial and error, social walls she bumped into and opportunities she seized. “Never stop believing in your dreams” is definitely the message she wants to convey. Esmeralda is hopeful for the future, “the world of fashion is quietly waking up now”. Listen to it on Spotify (in Dutch).

Books

1. The most beautiful job in the world - Guilia Mensitieri

The most beautiful job in the world exposes the working conditions of jobs within today’s fashion industry. Anthropologist Giulia Mensitieri goes beyond the glamorous façade of the fashion industry and talks to stylists, photographers, designers, hairdressers, make-up artists,... Giulia shows that exploitation is not limited to textile workers.

2. Lessons for the 21st Century - Yuval Noah Harari

Yuval Noah Harari teaches history at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. More than 1 million copies of his book Sapiens were sold worldwide.

In Lessons for the 21st Century, Harari gives his vision of the future. What are the challenges of our time? How do we protect ourselves against ecological disasters and technological threats? What is causing the rise of populists like Donald Trump? How do we best protect ourselves against fake news? Is it a good idea to transfer our data to big commercial players,or is it time we regulate the ownership of our data? And who will be the new world power, America, Europe or China? In this book, Yuval Noah Harari answers the 21 most pressing questions of our time.

Tip: watch VRT’s exclusive interview with Yuval Noah Harari here.

3. Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies - Jared Diamond

Why is the West rich? Why is it that Australian Aboriginals, Mexican Indians or American nomads did not conquer the world? How come some parts of the world already lived in cities and others did not? Jared Diamond delves into history and shows that nature and climate have been the most decisive factors in the development of certain parts of the world. After reading this book, you will have a different view of the world and balance of power between countries. Over a million copies of this bestseller were sold worldwide.

Discover 14 documentaries that will change your view of your wardrobe for good.

4. A sustainable wardrobe - Stephanie van den Sigtenhorst

Stephanie helps you to make the transition from fast fashion to a sustainable style. In A sustainable wardrobe you will find tips to shop sustainably, to take good care of your clothes and to enjoy them for longer. The result? You can build a sustainable wardrobe in your own style. (Only in Dutch)

5. Meer luxe met minder (More luxury with less) - Annelies Mentink

You can learn to minimise. If there is one thing we have learned lately, it is: it is time to go back to basics. To do more with less. Can a minimalist way of life offer an answer in these confusing times? Tidying coach Annelies Mentink thinks so. In 5 simple steps, she teaches you how to live a more minimalist lifestyle. Annelies helps people on their way to more peace in their homes and more space in their heads. (Only available in Dutch)

6. Het duurzame gezin - A Sustainable family

Ellen Dictus and Nikolas Sterck, founders of A Sustainable Family, want to motivate as many people as possible to experience sustainability. Would you like to reduce your ecological footprint as a family, but you don’t know where to start? This book offers you inspiration and answers to all kinds of practical questions. Food, housework, cosmetics, clothes, travel, interior design, home construction... A Sustainable Family gives youl tips, without compromising on comfort or pleasure. (Only available in Dutch).

Discover more inspiring books here

11 books about sustainable fashion