Education is key. It is so much easier to make a change if you know what you are doing it for. Take me for example. I have always been busy with the environment and human rights. However I used to shop at fast fashion stores and look for bargains. How bad could it be? What difference did it make if I bought that pair of jeans in sale for €10? It was produced and at the store already. For me such a price didn’t make a difference. But for people who made it, it did. Because I bought fast fashion, I supported the system. And the amount of pollution isn’t different if the item is at sale or not.
In fact, I had no clue about the impact of my actions. It was literally too far away. Until I started to get to know and understand the issues. I didn’t see the light just overnight, I can tell you. But hereby I do an appèl for all to read up on the subject sustainable fashion. Know what happens out there. Know the impact of your actions. Understand what you mean to other people’s life. Reconsider your consuming behaviour. And make a change, because you believe in it.
Of course reading our blog helps (feedback is always welcome). We share the story of fashion, where it comes from and where it will go. But I can imagine you want to go deeper into the subject sometimes. That is at least what we do, before we write informational blogs posts. To help you a little, I selected some books I either read and love, or that are on my ‘to-read-list’.
#1 Dit Is Een Goede Gids by Marieke Eyskoot, 2017. (Soon in English)
This practical guide towards a sustainable lifestyle is so simple, that it is one of my favorites. With interviews with pioneers, little facts and stories, this book gives you an inside in the stories behind your purchases. With practical information, tips, and brand recommendations, Marieke makes a sustainable lifestyle easy and accessible. She asks you: ”Do good and feel good, who doesn’t want that?” I also recommend her previous book ‘The Talking Dress’, which is purely focused on fashion.
#2 Slave to Fashion by Safia Minney, 2017.
Every time I come across this book, it stares at me. It shows the two worlds that one garment connects, while being the complete opposite of each other. The glamour of the catwalk, but behind that you will find the sad eyes of a young boy that doesn’t know glamour…only misery. Safia Minney is a name to remember when talking about ethical and fair fashion. This book, as part of the campaign ‘Slave to fashion’ tells you stories about men, women and children caught up in modern slavery. It’s the brutal truth. Luckily, Safia provides us with actions that consumers can undertake to come to the solution. Also read her other books ‘Slow Fashion – aesthetics meets ethics’ and ‘Naked Fashion’.
#3 Overdressed by Elizabeth Cline, 2013.
This book reveals the true nature of cheap fashion. We have so much… What are we doing with all those clothes? What do they do with us? With our environment? Our society? With Elizabeth’s book, Cline creates transparency in the textile industry and with results! Cline has already turned previous fast fashion addicts into conscious shoppers.
#4 To die for: Is fashion wearing out the world? by Lucy Siegle, 2013.
Siegle takes you along on the journey of clothing, which will lead you all over the world. From cotton farmers here, passing child labour to animal farming there, all the way to where garments eventually end up after you are done wearing them. What do labels reveal about the story of the item? Can green really be the new black?
#5 The Sustainable Fashion Handbook by Sandy Black, 2012.
This comprehensive handbook provides perspectives from all angles of fashion. Meaning sustainable fashion is not only about the materials or transportation, it is also about culture, beauty, desire and innovation. Professor Sandy Black covers this all with interviews with prominent people, essays, images and case studies to bring it all to life. Black also provides scenarios about what can happen if we don’t make a change… And what if we do. This book has been called the Bible of the subject.