Ethical Fashion Books

Naked Fashion: The New Sustainable Fashion Revolution

Founder and CEO of fair trade and sustainable fashion label People Tree, Safia Minney, invites you to join the consumers, entrepreneurs, and creative professionals who are using their purchasing power, talents, and experience to make fashion more sustainable. Naked Fashion is a comprehensive guide in which contributors including Emma Watson and Vivienne Westwood discuss everything from styling and modeling to upcycling and how we can change the high street.

Slave to Fashion

 Safia Minney’s latest book profiles men, women, and children who are caught in slavery making the clothes for the fast fashion sold on our high streets. Additionally, Slave to Fashion highlights the best practice of brands and designers to prove that slave-free fashion is possible and that the industry can empower workers while still producing beautiful, competitive, and accessible fashion.

Eco-chic: The Fashion Paradox

Leading academic Sandy Black examines the fascinating relationship between fashion and the environment. Using various case studies, she confronts the supposed ethics vs. aesthetic trade-off, and shows that designers can place ecological thinking at the forefront and still create high-end, design-led collections, rather than merely environmentally sympathetic garments.

The Sustainable Fashion Handbook

Largely acknowledged as the definitive reference on all aspects of eco-fashion, the book is divided into five thematic chapters – Fashion cultures, Ethics and aesthetics, Fashion business, New frontiers, and a comprehensive list of organisations enacting change. Each is made up of an array of articles, essays, and statements by industry heavyweights including Stella McCartney, Ali Hewson, Vivienne Westwood, and Dries van Noten. An eco-fashion Bible if ever there was one.


Eco Chic: The Savvy Shoppers Guide to Ethical Fashion

Eco Chic investigates what the rise in popularity of ethical and sustainable fashion means in an industry that is notoriously fickle. It breaks down the ‘slow fashion’ phenomenon into easy-to-dissect chunks. By the end of it, you will have discovered how to discern which fabrics are harmful to the environment, which garments have been produced in a sweatshop, and how you can create your own eco-friendly fashions by recycling and savvy shopping.

Green Is the New Black: How to Change the World with Style

With smart and inspirational tips and tricks from Blanchard’s celebrity friends, Green is the New Black shows even the most diehard shopaholic how to wear one of fashion’s toughest colours with ease. From green carpet glamour and ethical bling, to slow travels and fabulous swap parties, Blanchard explains the principles of green fashion, why it is so important, and how to do it. It is an essential directory on every aspect of sustainable stylish living.


Wear No Evil: How to Change the World with Your Wardrobe

Greta Eagan looks at fashion as the last frontier in the shift towards conscious living. Founded in research and experience, and coupled with real life style advice an
d everyday inspiration, Wear No Evil provides the reader with a road map to navigate this frontier. Particularly helpful is the ‘integrity index’, an easy-to-use rating system that allows you to identify the ethics behind any fashion item.

Magnifeco: Your Head-to-Toe Guide to Ethical Fashion and Non-toxic Beauty

In a post-Rana Plaza world where environmentally and socially responsible retailers are on the rise, Kate Black weighs in on how consumers can make a positive difference too. MagnifEco introduces the brands and designers that are leading the movement, and offers a complete hair-to-shoe guide on everything sustainable living.

Sustainable Luxe: A Guide to Feel-Good Fashion

If something is so cheap that it seems too good to be true, it is! Sustainable Luxe offers three ways to directly avoid supporting the undesirable consequences of fast fashion: 1. Buy new clothing from environmentally and socially responsible retailers. 2. Buy vintage, consignment, and second-hand clothing. 3.Shop your own closet and take care of what you already own.

Fashion Manifesto: The Guide for the Style-Savvy

Equal parts memoir, manifesto, and how-to manual, this book chronicles Sofia Hedstrom’s clothes shopping detox, provides the reader with seven essential fashion rules for streamlining their closet, and explores over fifty ways to reinvent garments without having to shop.

The Eco Chick Guide to Life

As the title suggests, this book is quite literally a guide to all things sustainable living. With hundreds of ecologically smart, but still very stylish, ideas, Vartan explains how to eat, dress, shop, travel, and work green, without sacrificing a thing.

ReFashioned: Cutting-Edge Clothing from Upcycled Materials

Recycling and upcycling are rich and growing sources of innovative design in the fashion industry. In a world where the throw away mentality is the norm, they are the ultimate expressions of the slow fashion movement. ReFashioned showcases 46 international designers who breathe new life into recycled materials and discarded garments, to create beautiful clothing and accessories that also make a statement about the fashion industry’s wasteful and exploitative practices.

DIY Fashion: Customize and Personalize

DIY Fashion contains more than forty inexpensive, sustainable, and stylish beginners’ guides that teach you how to both make and repair various pieces of clothing, jewellery, and accessories. From customised hand-me-downs to elegant eveningwear, this book is packed with ideas that the reader can adapt to their own tastes.

Green Chic: Saving the Earth in Style by Christie Matheson (2008-03-01)

Green Chic equips the reader to make green lifestyle choices in fashion, personal care, food and wine, transport, and entertaining. Matheson acknowledges that it is impossible to cover all aspects of sustainable living and she thus sticks to what she is knowledgeable in, and passionate about – this itself translates into some good advice for those beginning the transition to a greener lifestyle.

Sustainable Fashion and Textiles: Design Journeys

Sustainable Fashion is arranged in two sections. The first four chapters represent key stages of the lifecycle: material cultivation/extraction, production, use, and disposal. The remaining four chapters explore design approaches for altering scale and nature of consumption; including service design localism, speed, and user involvement. Which each chapter is complete in and of itself, the real value comes from what they represent together – innovative thinking about textiles and garments based on sustainability values and an interconnected approach to design.

Fashion & Sustainability: Design for Change

Sustainability is arguably the defining theme of the 21st century, and, with its vast social and environmental issues, is something that the fashion industry is grossly at odds with. Organised in three parts, this book examines how sustainability has the potential to transform both the fashion system itself and the innovators who work within it.

Shaping Sustainable Fashion: Changing the Way We Make and Use Clothes

With increasing awareness about the environmental damage of the production, use, and eventual disposal of most clothing, many designers are keen to employ more sustainable strategies in their work. Divided into four sections – source, make, use, and last – this book uses case studies of best practice from various
international designers to show others how they can create fashion with less waste and greater durability.

Zero Waste Fashion Design (Required Reading Range)

Written by two industry pioneers, this book combines research and practice to offer flexible strategies, and easy-to-master zero-waste techniques that will help you develop your own cutting-edge sustainable fashion designs. Featured topics include: the criteria for zero waste fashion design; manufacturing zero waste garments; adapting existing designs for zero waste; zero waste designing with digital technologies.

Designers Visionaries and Other Stories: A Collection of Sustainable Design Essays

Leading thinkers in sustainable design come together to create a challenging, sometimes uncomfortable, and always provocative, book for creative practitioners, professionals, students, and academics alike. This collection of essays provides the reader with a rich resource of future visions, critical propositions, creative ideas, and design strategies for working towards a sustainable tomorrow, today.

Eco Colour: Botanical Dyes for Beautiful Textiles

This book draws on internationally renowned dyer, costumier, and artist, India Flint’s two decades of experience and experimentation in natural dyeing techniques to present an expert, highly accessible handbook of sustainable plant dye methods using renewable resources – most of which can be found in the average home garden.

To Die For: Is Fashion Wearing Out the World?

The global banking crisis has put the consumer at a crossroads: when money is tight, should we embrace cheap fast fashion to bolster our already engorged wardrobe, or should we reject this as the ultimate false economy and advocate a return to real fashion, sustained by the principles of individuality and style pedigree? Refocusing the debate squarely back on the importance of consumer rights, Siegle reveals the truth behind low-price, bulk fashion, and the importance of your purchasing decisions, advocating for a sustainable design era in which we are assured of value for money: ethically, morally, and in real terms.

Overdressed: The Shockingly High Cost of Cheap Fashion

Deemed the fashion industry’s version of Fast Food Nation, Overdressed sets out to uncover the true nature of the fast fashion juggernaut. What are we doing with all these cheap clothes? And more importantly, what are they doing to us, our society, our environment, and our economic well-being?

Stitched Up: The Anti-Capitalist Book of Fashion (Counterfire)

Stitched Up delves into the alluring world of fashion to reveal what is behind the clothes we wear. Moving between Karl Largerfeld and Karl Marx, it explores consumerism, class, and advertising to reveal the interests which benefit from exploitation. Hoskins dissects the industry’s vampiric relationship with our planet and with our bodies to uncover what makes it so damaging. She explores the use of clothing to resist. Can you shock an industry that loves to shock?

The Travels of a T-Shirt in the Global Economy: An Economist Examines the Markets, Power, and Politics of World Trade. New Preface and Epilogue with Updates on Economic Issues and Main Characters

Tracing a T-Shirt’s life from a Texas cotton field to a Chinese factory and back to a US storefront before arriving at a used clothing market in Africa, this book uncovers the political and economic forces at work in the global economy, and illuminates the many complex issues which business people and global citizens are touched by every day.

Where am I Wearing?: A Global Tour to the Countries, Factories, and People That Make Our Clothes

A quest to discover where his clothes came from and who made them takes author Kelsey Timmerman on a journey from Honduras to Bangladesh to Cambodia to China and back again. This book intimately describes the connection between impoverished garment workers’ standards of living and the all-American material lifestyle, ultimately bridging the gap between global producers and consumers.

Triangle: The Fire That Changed America

Triangle is a poignantly detailed account of the 1911 disaster that horrified America and changed the course of 20th century politics and labour relations. In a post-Rana Plaza world, this story and the themes it evokes are as relevant as ever.

The Responsible Company: What We’ve Learned from Patagonia’s First 40 Years

The authors draw on their forty years’ experience at Patagonia, and knowledge of current efforts by other companies, to articulate the elements of responsible business for our time. This book shows companies how to thread their way through economic sea change and slow the drift toward ecological bankruptcy. Its advice is simple but powerful: reduce your environmental footprint, make legitimate products that last, reclaim deep knowledge of your business and its supply chain, and earn the trust you’ll need by treating your workers, customers, and communities with respect.

Behind the Label: Inequality in the Los Angeles Apparel Industry

The decline of the American welfare state and its strong unions, and the rise in global and flexible production has incentivised apparel manufacturers to move production to wherever low-wage labour can be found, while maintaining arms-length contractual relations to protect them from responsibility. This has led to a massive rise in apparel imports to the United States and to a decline in employment. The puzzling exception is Los Angeles. Behind the Label examines the players in the LA apparel industry, evaluating the misdistribution of wealth and power.

Threadbare: Clothes, Sex, and Trafficking : A Comics Report from the Ladydrawers (Comix Journalism)

From the sweatshops of Cambodia to the traditional ateliers of Vienna, from the life of a globetrotting supermodel to the warehouses of large fashion retailers, Threadbare presents the connections between the international garments trade and human trafficking and the international sex trade. This beautifully illustrated comic series paints a concerning picture of human rights in a globalized world, and offers a practical guide to a growing problem few truly understand.

Futurefashion White Papers

This book is a collection of essays by a diverse group of contributors from all areas of the fashion industry. It not only proposes solutions to the industry’s environmental problems, but also addresses the financial outcomes of sustainable practices and offers individual business perspectives. It is an invaluable and groundbreaking resource that proves that style and sustainability can co-exist.

Fugitive Denim: A Moving Story of People and Pants in the Borderless World of Global Trade by Rachel Louise Snyder (2009-04-20)

The “Made in” labels in our clothes do precious little to convoy the constellation of treaties, countries, and people at work in the assembly of a simple pair of jeans. Snyder reports from the far reaches of this trillion-dollar industry, pondering questions of equity, sweatshops, and corporate social responsibility through narratives of the real people who make our clothes.

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

Who makes your clothes? The local shoemaker, dressmaker, and milliner are long gone, and this question is no longer an easy one to answer. Clare Press explores the history and ethics behind what we wear: examining the entire fashion ecosystem, from sweatshops to haute couture, unearthing the roots of today’s buy-and-discard culture.

Threads of Labour: Garment Industry Supply Chains from the Workers’ Perspective (Antipode Book Series)

Threads of Labour presents new empirical research by a network of garment workers’ support organisations and makes sense of global supply chains from the bottom up, ensuring that workers’ voices reach those who are already trying to reconfigure global capitalism in more humane directions.

Sustainable Fashion: Why Now?: A Conversation Exploring Issues, Practices, and Possibilities

Through a lively range of perspectives, the authors engage their readers in a dialogue on sustainable fashion that generates new ideas on how to produce fashion with a sense of ethics, organic or renewable resources, and socially responsible manufacturing techniques. The format of the book is an anthology, divided into three sections: “Connecting with Consumers on Issues Relating to Sustainable Practices”, “Production and Economic Processes in the Global Economy”, and “The Environment, the Planet, and the Materials Used in Fashion Making”.

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