• Emma Cartmel

10 fashion & sustainability books to dive into this Spring/Summer

Reading is not only a way to improve your vocab, knowledge, and writing skills, but a great form of stress relief. Plus it keeps you away from those darn screens!


I am a bit of a book worm, and there is nothing I love more than lounging in the sun with a good read. So with the weather beginning to warm, and our summer wardrobes on our mind, I thought what better time than now to share some of my favourite books on ethical and sustainable fashion that I have read over the past fews years.


Here are ten of my favourites.

1. Wardrobe Crisis: How We Went From Sunday Best to Fast Fashion - Clare Press

This book was my introduction to Clare Press, and I have been a huge fan ever since.


The book covers a lot of ground, exploring almost every aspect of the industry, starting with the history of fashion, before travelling across the globe and telling the stories of designers, sustainable fashion advocates, and farmers.


Clare Press has a way of making, at times, difficult subject matter entertaining yet informative.


This is a must read, that will change your relationship with your wardrobe forever.

2. To Die For: Is Fashion Wearing Out the World? - Lucy Siegle

This book was certainly an eyeopener, as it uncovers the inhumane and environmentally harmful practices behind the clothes we buy and wear.


It is definitely not all doom and gloom though. Despite the industries issues, Lucy Siegle still manages to offer some optimism, suggesting that it is possible to break the cycle, we just need to become aware of how and where our clothing is manufactured. This book is therefore a must read.


A garment label will mean so much more to you after you finish this book (and so it should!).


3. The Future of Fashion: Understanding Sustainability in the Fashion Industry - Tyler Little

My husband surprised me with this book one day, and I found it to be a great high level look at the fashion industry.

This book is a super easy read, covering a lot in it's 200 pages, from individuals and groups making a difference within the industry, to the psychology of fashion, and the overall state of the industry. Therefore, I would particularly recommend this book to those just beginning to uncover the world of sustainable fashion.



4. The Conscious Closet: The Revolutionary Guide to Looking Good While Doing Good - Elizabeth Cline

Elizabeth Cline is an expert on all things ethical and sustainable fashion.


This book will teach you how to dress in accordance with your values, where and how to shop, what fabrics to look out for, how to launder in a way that cares for your clothes, how to mend, and so much more!


This book will revolutionise your relationship with your wardrobe, making it one you love.


5. Footwork: What Your Shoes Are Doing to the World - Tansy E. Hoskins

We should be picky when it comes to what goes on our feet (little Clueless reference there), considering that shoe production, consumption and disposal has a huge impact socially and environmentally.


This book was certainly an eyeopener, coming across some things that are pretty hard to unlearn. You will never look at a pair of shoes in the same way!


I knew that the clothing industry had a lot of work to do, but sadly it seems the footwear industry may have further to go.


We need to change our relationship with our shoes, and I believe this book will go a long way in bridging the knowledge gap around what we put on our feet.


6. Stitched Up: The Anti Capitalist Book of Fashion - Tansy E. Hoskins

An eye-opening and engaging read that I wish I had of read sooner.


It is a really well researched look into how capitalism fuels production, marketing and consumption, ending with a call for a revolution.




7. How to Break Up With Fast Fashion: A Guilt-Free Guide to Changing the Way You Shop - For Good - Lauren Bravo

This book is intelligent, inspiring, digestible, personable, funny,… Should I keep going?! I knocked this one over in 48 hours.


This book provides really honest and achievable tips for breaking those bad fast fashion habits, without leaving you feeling bad or guilty.


An important, must read, particularly for those who may be just starting to uncover the not so great side of fashion.


8. A Harvest of Thorns - Corban Addison

Wow! This book came as a recommendation to me and it did not disappoint. One of the best books I have ever read - I struggled to put this down.


Beginning with a garment factory fire, before following an all too familiar story of exploitation within the fashion industry. This book will leave you disturbed, saddened, and moved.


I don't tend to read fiction - but that may have just changed.


9. Fashionopolis: The Price of Fast Fashion and the Future of Clothes - Dana Thomas

You will learn a lot from this book. Sadly, not all of it good. This book will definitely scare, while inspiring you.


Dana Thomas provides a well researched, really comprehensive look at both the damaging effect of fast fashion, and the people and processes leading the charge for change.


10. Cradle to Cradle: Remaking the Way We Make Things - Michael Braungart & William McDonough

I was very slow to get on the bandwagon of this one. All of the podcast mentions and recommendations weren't wrong. This one did not disappoint.


This really is a thought-provoking read, as 'cradle to cradle' focuses on the idea that waste need not exist at all.


Please GET IN TOUCH or leave me a comment, and let me know about some of the great reads you have come across. I am always on the hunt for that next book!

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