film waste

The afterlife of fashion

Unravel is a short film by Meghna Gupta, and it shows where our discarded clothes end up when we put them out for recycling. Bales of clothes – some worn out, others barely worn – turn in in Western India, where they are processed. The film shows the recycling processes that we never think of, but more importantly it gives a voice to the people who work there. What do they make of this waste? What does it say about us?

If you want to explore the topic of textile recycling in more detail, the film is based on the social anthropology of Lucy Norris, and there are links to her publications here.


  1. Clothing produces more waste than we give it credit for. I wish there was more focus on the impact of “fast fashion” and unrecyclable materials.
    Neoprene (for wetsuits) is a big problem in the surfing world. It’s synthetic, wears out every season, and must be replaced. Luckily, they are trying to develop more eco friendly solutions in recent years.

  2. Wow that is so interesting, and also sad that the Western countries, in particular America, is so wasteful.

  3. Did the gal ever get to visit America? How great would a Unravel 2 be for her to visit America and see those clothes worn, just to be discarded and the lavish life of an average American.

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