You may often hear of ethical fashion and sustainable fashion and wonder what’s the difference or feel they seem interchangeable. Well for your clarification, ethical fashion focuses more on the people component of our supply chain whereas sustainable fashion focuses on reducing our environmental impact. Between water waste, chemical usage, and the massive landfill consumption from unwanted clothing and unused textiles, we’ve got our work cut out for us. We have to start being intentional about our future as an industry, and here’s the 10 must-read books on sustainable fashion to get us there.
1 | Sustainable Fashion: Past, Present, & Future
Jennifer Farley-Gordon and Colleen Hill provide a great intro to sustainable fashion by looking into the past and present, as well as where we need to go in the future.
2 | Green is the New Black: How to Change the World with Style
Tamsin Blanchard teaches you how to be a more stylish and greener shopper.
3 | Sustainable Fashion: What’s Next? A conversation about issues, policies, and possibilities
In this deeper dive into sustainability, Janet Hethorn digs into the challenges that designers, product developers, and consumers confront when creating, wearing, and recycling clothing.
4 | The Sustainable Fashion Handbook
This book dives into both the environmental and social impact of the industry from a very diverse group of contributors. Learn from designers, technicians, academics, journalists, activists, artisans, eco-entrepreneurs, and representatives of global corporations.
5 | Fashion & Sustainability: Design for Change
Kate Fletcher breaks sustainability down into 3 digestible parts: transforming products across a garment’s lifecycle, from materials to manufacturing to distribution, and disposal or recycling. The second part dives into new business models that reduces our material output, and the final part takes a unique look into redefining the role of designer from product output focused to activist and facilitator.
6 | Scraps: Fashion, Textiles & Creative Reuse. Three Stories of Sustainable Design
As you know, fashion produces millions of tons of textile waste every year. Through yarn production, weaving, knitting, dyeing, finishing, garment construction, quality inspection and unsold goods, Brown and McQuaid provide three alternatives to the high human and environmental cost of textile waste.
7 | Sustainable Fashion & Textiles: Design Journeys
In Kate Fletcher’s first book (her second is #5 above) she dissects the key stages of the garment life cycle and offers alternative design approaches for altering the scale and nature of our consumption.
8 | Sustainable Materials, Processes, and Production
For those of you who skipped science class, Rob Thompson lays out for you 35 eco-friendly materials and processes to build a lower impact industry with your brand.
9 | A Practical Guide to Sustainable Fashion
The name says it all as Alison Gwilt practically lays out a step-by-step guide to designing in a more sustainble way.
10 | Eco Colour
And to really get your sustainable expertise on, India Flint takes you through the basics of eco-friendly dying for your collection.
So after you read all these books, or even just a few, you’ll be well-versed in textile selection, dyeing practices, and design and disposal options that can help your collection reduce it’s footprint and help close the loop in fashion. Brava.
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