• Emma Cartmel

Great reads

Updated: Jan 28

I am a bit of a book worm.


I find that reading books not only improves my vocab, knowledge, and writing skills, but it is a great form of stress relief. It is also a great way to keep away from that darn computer screen!


Below is a list of some of the great books I have read over the past few years related to everything fashion, psychology, business and sustainability.


Please let me know by leaving me a comment, or sending me an email, the great reads you have come across. I am always on the hunt for that next book!


Clare Press

Wardrobe Crisis: How We Went From Sunday Best to Fast Fashion

This book started my "love affair" (not to sound creepy) with Clare Press, and really got me looking at my wardrobe differently.


The book explores the history of fashion, before travelling across the globe and telling the stories of designers, sustainable fashion advocates, and farmers - leaving no aspect of the industry untouched.


Clare has a way of making an, at times, difficult subject matter entertaining yet informative. A must read for anyone interested in ethical and sustainable fashion. One of my all time favourites.

Rise & Resist: How to Change the World

I actually attended the launch of this book in 2018, and was lucky enough to meet Clare. Huge fan girl moment!


This book couldn't have come at a better time, as it delves into the social and political movements sweeping the globe. From the horror that is Trump, the #metoo movement, the madness of consumerism, to climate change.


The book explores the more non-conventional ways we can enact change, meeting with change makers across the globe, from craftivists, knitters of ‘pussyhats’, to zero wasters.





Lucy Siegle

To Die For: Is Fashion Wearing Out the World?

This book uncovers the inhumane and environmentally harmful practices behind the clothes we buy and wear. But don't despair, it's not all doom and gloom. Despite the industries issues, Lucy Siegle gives us optimism, suggesting that it is possible to break the cycle, by becoming aware of how and where clothing is manufactured.


You wont look at a garment label in the same way again after reading this book!







Turning the Tide on Plastic: How Humanity (and You) Can Make Our Globe Clean Again

I have become a big fan of Lucy Siegle also. After reading To Die For, I couldn’t wait for her next book, and being new to the whole ‘living with less plastic’ lifestyle, this book couldn’t have come at a better time for me personally.


This book doesn't imply that all plastic is bad (some does have it's purpose). Instead what it does so perfectly is offer a highly practical account of how to reduce those “avoidable, unwanted, useless, nuisance plastic that is unnecessarily forced upon us”.


The book is littered with hard hitting, and sobering facts, and statistics. I suggest taking notes as they are great to throw into conversation every now and then.


I want to warn you though - this book will turn you into a recycling nerd.


The Psychology of Fashion - Carolyn Mair

This book has become my go-to for everything related to the Fashion + Psychology. My copy is, lets just say, ‘well-worn’, filled with handwritten notes, folded corners, and post-its.


This book covers everything from fashion's influence on mental health and wellbeing for those working within the industry and for consumers, including body image and beauty, and the concepts of self and identity.


It was actually Mair who sparked my interest in this area. The "Psychology of Fashion" was a foreign concept to me just a few years ago. Despite having degrees in both fashion and psychology, I did not fully understand how the two disciplines interacted.


So when I found out she was releasing a book, you can understand my excitement, and her book does not disappoint. A perfect summation of the two way relationship that exists between fashion and human behaviour.

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 change your relationship with your wardrobe for the better, making it one you love.


Along the way you will learn 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...

Wild Dress: Clothing & the Natural World - Kate Fletcher

I finished this book in one sitting. It is so beautifully written.


This book will make you think about clothing in a way you probably never have, but should! The collection of autobiographical stories describes how what we wear is embedded in nature.


This book definitely deepened my awareness of clothing.

Clothing Poverty - Andrew Brooks

This book is essentially a guided tour of clothing manufacture and retail. In particular Brooks uncovers how fast fashion and clothing recycling are interconnected.


I won’t lie. I found this book a bit heavy going. There was a lot to take in. It’s not a quick read, but I do recommend persevering.

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

I know. I know. I was a little 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.

The Future of Fashion: Understanding Sustainability in the Fashion Industry - Tyler little

My other half surprised me with this one, and I have to say, he chose well!


This book covers a lot in its 200 pages, from individuals and groups making a difference within the industry, to the psychology of fashion, and the overall state of the industry.


This book is an easy read, and a must for anyone interested in sustainable fashion. I would particularly recommend it if you are just starting out on your sustainable fashion journey.

Tansey Hoskins

Footwork: What Your Shoes Are Doing to the World

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.

Stitched Up: The Anti Capitalist Book of Fashion

An eye-opening, and engaging read on the fashion industry that will make you look at your wardrobe differently. I wish I had of read this one sooner.


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












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 about yourself.


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

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.


A biggish book, that begins with a garment factory fire, before following an all too familiar story of exploitation within the fashion industry.


It will leave you disturbed, saddened, and moved.


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

Dana Thomas

Fashionopolis: The Price of Fast Fashion and the Future of Clothes

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


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.










Gods and Kings: The Rise and Fall of Alexander McQueen and John Galliano

Just like Dana Thomas' book Fashionopolis, this double biography is really well written and researched. There isn't a dull moment in this book, I struggled to put it down.


It seamlessly looks into the rise and fall of both McQueen and Galliano side by side, while highlighting their surprising similarities and differences.


It also examines the changing nature of fashion from the 80s to noughties, and the unsustainable pace of high fashion and the tragic price it often demands.




Deluxe: How Luxury Lost Its Luster

You have probably gathered by now that I am a bit of a fan of Dana Thomas.


This is her earlier book that I am currently reading so I'll get back to you!
















Reading wishlist

Overdressed: The Shockingly High Cost of Cheap Fashion - Elizabeth L. Cline 


Loved Clothes Last: How the Joy of Rewearing and Repairing Your Clothes Can Be a Revolutionary Act - Orsola de Castro (to be released 11 Feb, 2021)


No Logo - Naomi Klein


The Kindness Method: Changing Habits for Good - Shahroo Izadi


The Happiness Project: Or, Why I Spent a Year Trying to Sing in the Morning, Clean My Closets, Fight Right, Read Aristotle, and Generally Have More Fun - Gretchen Rubin

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