Updated: Oct 5
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!
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.
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 - Clare Press
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. Clare explores some of the more non-conventional ways we can enact change, meeting with change makers across the globe, from craftivists, knitters of ‘pussyhats’, to zero wasters.
Clare’s aim is to “empower the reader to be able to make change in their lives” and she definitely accomplishes this with this book.
To Die For: Is Fashion Wearing Out the World? - Lucy Siegle
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!
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 doesnt 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.
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.
Selfie: How the West Became Self-Obsessed - Will Storr
This book tells the story of the person we all now best, ourselves. However, it comes at it from many different angles.
Storr takes the reader from Ancient Greece, through the Middle Ages, to the self-esteem evangelists of eighties, before delving into the rise of narcissism and the selfie generation, and right up to the era of hyper-individualistic neoliberalism in which we live now.
I found this one to come in ebbs in flows.
What I really loved about the book in particular, were the interviews, and Storr's personal tales.
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.
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.
Factfulness: Ten Reasons We're Wrong About the World - And Why Things Are Better Than You Think - Hans, Ola and Anna Rosling
One of the best books I have read! A must read.
The book devles into the ten instincts that distort our perspective, including gap, negativity, fear, size, and urgency.
This book will change the way you look at the world, giving you hope, as things are actually in a better state than you might have thought.
If for whatever reason you decide not to read this book however, at least take a look at Hans Rosling's Ted Talks.
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.
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...
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.
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.
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.
Stitched Up: The Anti Capitalist Book of Fashion - Tansey Hoskins
My current read. I'll get back to you!
Reading wishlist -
Overdressed - by Elizabeth Klein
Deluxe: How Luxury Lost Its Luster - by Dana Thomas
Slave to Fashion - by Safia Minney