Ethical Reading List – Top 5 Books

Whether you’re a long time follower of sustainable fashion, new to the scene or just a little curious and want to educate yourself to become a more thoughtful consumer, here are 5 books to help you along the way….

Slave To Fashion

Former People Tree founder Safia Minney’s book ‘Slave to Fashion’ is made up of interviews and micro-documentaries with the men, women and children caught in slavery, making the clothes sold on our high streets, in Europe and the developing world. Slave to Fashion brings in the facts, stories and actions we must take to eradicate modern slavery. At 160 pages, it’s a  brilliant book – beautiful images and graphics too – for sharing key facts and insights into the lives of the people who are making our clothes. Ultimately you finish the book feeling that you can actually make a difference and that your hands are not as tied as you initially thought. £13.99 – Amazon.

Eco Fashion

Written by my dear friend Sass Brown, ‘Eco Fashion’ was the first book I read after winning Red Carpet Green Dress. I had about a month to get my head around what sustainable fashion was and how I could be involved in this growing, thriving area. Honestly, I was clueless when I first picked up this book! Eco Fashion gently introduced me to the range of sustainable and ethical products available around the globe and explained the stories behind them, as well as showing how and where they make a difference to the environment and planet. £15.32 – Amazon.

Sass also co-wrote ‘ReFashioned: Cutting-Edge Clothing from Upcycled Materials’ which focuses on recycling and upcycling – which to some is the true, ultimate expression of the slow-fashion movement.

ReFashioned features 46 international designers who work with recycled materials and discarded garments, reinvigorating them with new life and value. For anyone interesting in looking at ‘waste’ differently, pick up this book! £18.59 – Amazon.

To Die for: Is Fashion Wearing Out the World?

This book by Lucy Siegle is a revealing expose on the fashion industry written by the Observer’s ‘Ethical Living’ columnist.

The 352 page paperback examines the inhumane and environmentally devastating story behind the clothes we so casually buy and wear. The first half of the book is full of terrifying statistics – pollution, disease, child slavery, destruction of natural habitats, you name it –  whereas the second half gives the reader some ideas for solutions, including buying less, choosing wisely and supporting organic, recycled and other green movements. £9.66 – Amazon.

Fashion Designer’s Resource Book

I dedicated a chapter to Eco Fashion in my book, The Fashion Designer’s Resource Book, and have included it in this list because I think it shares a beginners experience of learning about the sustainable fashion world. As I have shared before on this website, my introduction to sustainable fashion was swift and kind of head first, and whilst lacking the experience of the above authors, it’s a refreshing, simple take.
£14.29 – Bloomsbury Publishing