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Summer must-read books on sustainable and ethical fashion

By Stephanie Wilson

This summer, fill your time off, or your beach bag, with our list of must-read books on sustainability in fashion:

1. Overdressed: The Shockingly High Cost of Cheap Fashion by Elizabeth Kline

If you're looking for an explanation of just why fast fashion is so harmful for the planet, workers, and the fashion industry, you've got to pick up this book. It is information heavy, but does offer some rays of hope and solutions towards the end. It's a great book for the sustainable fashion newbie, and wonderful when followed up with some of the shopping guides below.

overdressed book

2. Fixing Fashion: Rethinking the Way we Make, Market and Buy Our Clothes by Micheal Lavergne

Authored by a fashion industry insider, this book offers a history lesson in the far-reaching elements that coalesced to create the model of fast fashion, and why it is so harmful. This is a great follow-up to Overdressed, especially if you want a deeper dive into the dark side of fashion, are a sustainable fashion industry member, or are hoping to start your own brand or shop.

fixing fashion

3. Wear No Evil: How to Change the World with Your Wardrobe by Greta Eagan

Written by a blogger, Wear No Evil is the perfect book if you're new to the world of sustainable fashion and are working to overcome a shopping addiction (we can relate). It breaks down some important info about the current state of the fashion industry first, before taking you through an ethical wardrobe assessment and offering resources for everything from fashion to skin care and makeup.

wear no evil

4. MagnifEco: Your Head-to-Toe Guide to Ethical Fashion and Non-Toxic Beauty by Kate Black

This book also offers shopping guides, but breaks down all the info you'll need to shop ethically in casual, approachable language. And it also lists resources according to how we shop rather than how we use products. For instance, there's a section devoted to special occasions. It also includes an important chapter on an overlooked topic: how to make your clothes last longer by taking care of them.

magnifeco book

5. Slow Fashion: Aesthetics Meets Ethics by Saffia Miney

A unique entry on this list, Slow Fashion documents the people who make up the slow fashion movement. Brick and mortar concept stores, as well as designers, labels and campaigns are explored through full colour photographs, making this book a visually stunning addition to your growing sustainable fashion library.

slow fashion book

6. No Logo: Taking Aim at the Brand Bullies by Naomi Klein

Toronto's own Naomi Klein authored this classic work that's practically required reading for anyone interested in ethical fashion. Originally published in 1999, the book focuses on the ills that have come about from branding and indirectly, globalization. Because branding is more important to international conglomerates than the quality of the products themselves, manufacturing has been moved to any place in the world that has lax labour laws. It's a great reminder to put the emphasis on quality over quantity or status-symbol branding.

no logo naomi klein

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