5 must-read sustainable and ethical fashion books

Without question, the fashion industry is one of the leading culprits of greenhouse gas emissions (producing 10% of humanity’s carbon emissions, as reported by the BBC) generating tons of waste and allowing worker exploitation on a global level. 

As we start the new year, it’s time to take the planning of 2021 around fashion sustainability into action. According to Vogue Business, the biggest theme of 2022 is going to be “the interconnection between carbon emissions, equity and supply chain”. 

If, like us, you can feel a little overwhelmed and conflicted in how to shop more sustainably, here are five books to guide you through. 

1. Consumed ~ by Aja Barber 

Consumed is a reminder that it’s not too late to create an equitable and sustainable fashion industry, but we need to act fast. Consumed is not here to pretend the status quo is working for any of us. It’s here to jolt us into action. And this rhetoric and “say it like it is” approach has made her literature and Instagram account a must-follow for anyone interested in sustainable fashion and consumerism. If you’re not already following her, check her out @ajabarber.

2. The Conscious Closet. The Revolutionary Guide to Looking Good While Doing Good ~ by Elizabeth Cline 

Cline's book provides an extensive guide toward building a more thought-out and sustainable wardrobe. Broken down into six segments, starting with the number one culprit: fast fashion. The objective behind this chapter is to realise that donating unwanted clothing to charity is simply not the answer and “out of sight” doesn’t mean it’s out of landfills. Cline teaches us that we need to assess the use-value behind each item of clothing before making any decisions. This book is for anyone who is curious about the fashion landscape, especially how it relates to environmental issues.⁣

3. How to Break Up with Fast Fashion ~ Lauren Bravo

Like Cline’s book, Bravo makes us realise how we've been conditioned to value quantity over quality, yet fast fashion is the ULTIMATE toxic relationship.

Written by journalist Lauren Bravo, How to Break Up with Fast Fashion will challenge your mindset and help you fall back in love with your wardrobe and embrace more sustainable ways of shopping. Filled with real talk, Lauren provides a refreshing dose of optimism and confidence that we can all achieve a saner and slower relationship with fashion. 

4. Circular fashion ~ by Peggy Blum

Circular fashion is a supply chain model based on the principles of circular economy and sustainable development. These five components are 1. Create; 2. Make; 3. Market; 4. Use; and 5. Renew. 

The book explores the opportunities and challenges that present themselves for the textile and apparel sector when a circular model is embraced with best practice case studies from leading brands such as Patagonia, Veja, Stella McCartney and Christopher Raeburn.  

Although this is more of a business book, Circular fashion is a must-read for brands, creatives and anyone who is passionate about sustainability and fashion.

5. Loved Clothes Last: How the Joy of Rewearing and Repairing Your Clothes Can Be a Revolutionary Act ~ by Orsola de Castro

This book is the ultimate go-to if you need help repositioning quality vs quantity when it comes to what and how much you buy. Filled with practical tips and insights, Orsola will help you mend, rewear and breathe new life into your wardrobe by teaching you to scrutinise your shopping habits and make sustainable purchases. The takeaway might feel like it's been said to death but its sentiment is real. We must buy better, care more and reduce our carbon footprint by simply making our clothes last longer.

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published