As you tap into the world of ethical fashion, you’ll find it’s like going back to school, but you only take classes that actually interested you. Why does organic cotton help people? How do I alter my shopping habits? What brands can I trust? Don’t let it overwhelm you! Remember that being a conscious consumer is a lifelong journey and the more you walk this path, the more you will learn organically. To get you started here are our 11 Must-Read books about ethical fashion. Let's get back to school.
1 | Wear No Evil: How to Change the World with your Wardrobe
Greta Eagan has written a GREAT book to get started. This style guide teaches you how to clean out your closet, and shop smarter, allowing your style to also advocate for causes you support.
2 | Overdressed: The Shockingly High Cost of Cheap Fashion
Elizabeth Cline takes an investigative look into the world of fast fashion and its effects on our society, our environment, and our economy.
3 | To Die For: Is Fashion Wearing Out the World?
By exposing the massive issues in the fashion industry that we have ignored for too long, Lucy Siegle weaves in a hopeful outlook at how feasible it is to be an “ethical fashionista” and begin rewriting the narrative of what fashion means to our modern society.
4 | The Travels of a T-Shirt in the Global Economy
Just how we discussed the astonishing number of people it takes to make the shirt you are wearing, Pietra Rivoli digs even deeper to follow the journey of a t-shirt from plant to product and how it affects each individual in our global economy.
5 | Threads of Labour: Garment Industry Supply Chains from the Worker’s Perspective
When you’re really ready to nerd out, Angela Hale and Jane Wills take you beyond merely highlighting issues in the fashion industry to actively fixing them. With in-depth research through garment worker’s organizations spanning the globe, they explore ways to actually bring change and bridge the gap between where we are and where we should be.
6 | Fugitive Denim: A Moving Story of People & Pants in the Borderless World of Global Trade
Connecting the dots of all the people involved in making your jeans, Rachel Louise Snyder paints of picture of the human, environmental, and political forces that make up the place fashion is in today.
7 | Slow Fashion: Aesthetics Meets Ethics
Safia Minney looks into fashion businesses that run off of the THR3EFOLD model of people, planet, profit. As the founder of People Tree, she has a first hand conviction and understanding of this model of business and it’s positive and needed effects on the global economy.
8 | Threadbare: Clothes, Sex, and Trafficking
Here's an easy & engaging illustrated read by Anne Elizabeth Moore on the tie between the garment trade and sex trade/human trafficking industries. Looking into gender, labor, and cultural production and how the politics of sex trade play an unintended role in manufacturing, it offers a look into the dark side of our global economy and a great place to focus our energy on solving.
9 | Clothing Poverty: The Hidden Cost of Fast Fashion & Second Hand Clothes
Ever wonder if it really matters if you buy too many clothes since you can just donate them after anyways? Andrew Brooks provides that answer as he digs into the second hand clothing industry and how it translates into perpetual poverty in developing & third world economies.
10 | Threads: Gender, Labor & Power in the Global Apparel Industry
Jane Collins takes a needed look into how third world factories operate and challenges our assumptions on what we’ve come to believe is a synonym for child labor and sweatshops. Learn not only how international trade affects local communities but also how workers can organize in this new environment to demand better treatment.
11 | Slave to Fashion
Here’s a bonus for you. This book is currently in funding through Kickstarter but promises to be a great one. The next book by Safia Minney will research and interview the people caught in slavery who make our clothes and profile the best practices brands & designers can take to combat this issue.
Now that you have your summer reading cut out for you, subscribe to our emails for weekly inspiration & tips on how to be a conscious consumer and follow us on Instagram to join in on the conversation!