Fashion Conscious: Change the World with a Change of Clothes
In the UK alone, over a million tonnes of clothes are thrown away each year and around £140 million worth of clothes head to landfill. Learn how to love your clothes by reusing, swapping and mending what you already have and discover how to choose wisely when you do buy something new.
This practical, positive and empowering book will open eyes to the impact our clothing choices have on people and the planet and empower children to demand answers to questions and take action.
I love that the book started with this, because people who buy the most clothes do so to bolster their personal identity and style. Letting them know that they can make a personal or artistic statement with their clothes while reducing the impact of their consumption on the environment is crucial to nudging them to make important changes.
There is so much information in this brightly colored, well illustrated book. We get to see the life cycle of a t shirt, and find out how to reduce our dependence on new fashion items by wearing what we already have, purchase from second hand sources, and make over and mend items to lengthen their lives and keep them out of landfills. There is also a good deal of information about reducing the impact of new purchases by looking at the sources and materials in them. There are side bars with additional information, such as a look at the historical Trianlge Shirtwaist Factory fire, and interviews with designers of sustainable fashion.
The illustrations help move the book along, with flow charts, bulleted lists, and pictorial examples of mending and sewing techniques that are discussed. Because of my sewing background, I know all of the repair techniques, but they are well described. The next time I have a white t shirt that has gone too gray, I'm definitely going to use the book's instructions for shibori dying. If I use laundry bluing, it will make the perfect shirt to wear with my upcycled denim projects!
The Day Glo coral wouldn't have been my choice for the primary color in the illustrations, but that's just a personal preference. To me, the color of the 2020s is Pantone's First Timer Green, which would have been a little easier on the eyes. I'm willing to overlook that, however, since this book says that the current trend for distressed jeans is very bad not only for the environment but also for the people who make them. Such a hideous and wasteful trend!
I'm looking forward to sharing this one with my fashionable students; I clearly enjoy my clothes for work a little too much, but always tell students that I get my outfits from the thrift store. It not only sends a good envrionmental message, but lets students know that there's no shame in not spending big money on the newest fashions! I recently checked out Expressionista (2013) to a student and was glad to see that it had held up despite being eight years old.