4 SUSTAINABLE FASHION BOOKS

By Francine Heath

THE CONSCIOUS CLOSET: A REVOLUTIONARY GUIDE TO LOOKING GOOD WHILE DOING GOOD
BY ELIZABETH L. CLINE

An expert on consumer culture and sustainability, Elizabeth L. Cline is an author, journalist and public speaker based in New York.
She was responsible for the critically acclaimed 2012 expose Overdressed: The Shockingly High Cost of Cheap Fashion and later released this highly anticipated follow-up book The Conscious Closet: A Revolutionary Guide to Looking Good While Doing Good.
Far more than your average style guide, this paperback (which is printed using Sustainable Forestry certified paper and also available as an Audiobook) is “a call to action to transform one of the most polluting industries on earth — fashion — into a force for good.”
What I particularly love about it, is how Elizabeth recognises that we all take a different approach to fashion, plus different attitudes and needs when it comes to clothes. It’s split into six digestible parts, including “The Art of Less” and “The Art of More” and is packed with practical advice about everything from basic mending stitches to thrift techniques. Along the way, it’s peppered with short yet insightful Q&A interviews with the likes of Kathleen Talbot, VP of Sustainability at Reformation and Kate Sekules, Founder of VisibleMending.com. The illustrated cover by Kaitlin Kall is chic and colourful, too.


HOW TO BREAK UP WITH FAST FASHION: A GUILT-FREE GUIDE TO CHANGING THE WAY YOU SHOP – FOR GOOD
BY LAUREN BRAVO

Lauren Bravo’s writing is always a real treat to read thanks to the way her personality shines through in every article — even her Instagram bio makes me smile “London, clothes, custard.”
Lauren’s second book How To Break Up With Fast Fashion presents fast fashion as the ultimate toxic relationship and encourages you to fall back in love with the clothes that are already hanging up in your closet. A reminder that no outfit should cost the earth, this honest and relatable guide is packed with handy tips (personally, detoxing my inbox has been a real game-changer) and highlights some achievable ways to embrace slower dressing. If you’d like a little taster, here’s a link to an extract from Lauren’s book on Refinery 29. Her list of five fabrics that “don’t ruin the planet” includes Piñatex used to create the Liwan Forward collaboration, too.


FASHIONOPOLIS: THE PRICE OF FAST FASHION AND THE FUTURE OF CLOTHES
BY DANA THOMAS

Dana Thomas is an acclaimed journalist and New York Times bestselling author who began her career writing for the style section of The Washington Post. Released a few years after her groundbreaking book Gods and Kings: The Rise and Fall of Alexander McQueen and John Galliano, Fashionopolis: The Price of Fast Fashion and the Future of Clothes sees Dana deliver a comprehensive look at what designers and companies (both big and small) are doing to propel the broken fashion industry toward a better future. In order to do so, she travelled the world to speak to entrepreneurs and innovators, learning more about what these leaders of change are doing and the technology in development.It’s an engaging, eye-opening read that’s persuasively written.


WARDROBE CRISIS: HOW WE WENT FROM SUNDAY BEST TO FAST FASHION
BY CLARE PRESS

On my hour-long commute to work (which I never thought I’d find myself missing!) there’s nothing I love more than popping on my headphones and listening to the Wardrobe Crisis podcast. In the witty and persuasive book that sparked it, VOGUE’s first ever Sustainability Editor Clare Press — who also once ran a vintage store — explores the history and ethics behind what we wear and traces the origins of icons like Chanel and Dior. Thoroughly researched and beautifully written, this book is required reading for anyone who’s looking to feel good about their wardrobe again.

Francine Heath is a contributor to THEFORWARDLAB. London-based product editor and sustainable fashion journalist who advocates conscious consumerism and loves discovering those who are determined to drive change and create a better fashion future. She’s previously written articles for British Vogue, Eco-Age, Refinery 29, Mr Porter and i-D.