What to read if you’re worried about the climate crisis and your lifestyle

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Written by Orsola de CastroBronwyn Seier

This article was produced by CNN Style’s editorial team in partnership with Fashion Revolution, an international non-profit campaigning for a clean, safe, fair, transparent and accountable fashion industry.

Looking for the next step to reduce your environmental fashion footprint? The best way is to read and educate yourself further.

We’ve compiled a book list to help you understand your role as a conscientious consumer, the economic structures that have contributed to the climate crisis and the visionaries who are paving the way for a better future.

“The Slow Grind” | Georgina Johnson | 2020

Georgina Johnson’s forthcoming book on slow fashion is a manifesto for the ages. It’s a compilation of essays, think pieces and conversations, gathering some of the most formidable voices across the creative and fashion industries to address the crucial questions of creative, social and environmental sustainability.

“Earth Logic” | Kate Fletcher & Mathilda Tham | 2019

All of Kate Fletcher’s books on fashion and sustainability have been considered revolutionary. But this publication, which is free to read online, offers a values-led framework which reimagines the fashion system altogether.

“Fibershed” | Rebecca Burgess | 2019

“Fibershed: Growing a Movement of Farmers, Fashion Activists, and Makers for a New Textile Economy” proposes a “farm-to-closet” regenerative vision for textiles by which material production acts as a force for good. Imagine if through the creation of clothing we could sequester carbon, improve soil health and empower farmers. “Fibershed” does that in pockets around the world.

“Why Materials Matter” | Seetal Solanki | 2018

Materials are the building blocks for everything we own. Designers, tech aficionados and artists will appreciate this compendium of materials, both everyday and experimental, highlighted in ambitious futuristic projects that answer the question,”What if?”

“Slave to Fashion” | Safia Minney | 2017

Safia Minney, founder of the pioneering Fair Trade fashion brand People Tree, lays out the human cost of the fashion industry — one of the major contributors to exploitative cheap labor — and an alternative roadmap for responsible, human-centred fashion production.

“This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. the Climate” | Naomi Klein | 2014

Activist and filmmaker Naomi Klein’s dive into the climate crisis is a few years old, but its sense of urgency is up to date, and its challenge to reform capitalism is only growing in relevance.

“Wear, Repair, Repurpose” | Lily Fulop | 2020

The most sustainable garments are those we already own. This practical guide offers an instructional approach to a long list of wardrobe refreshes. Learn to darn socks, hem trousers, embroider over stains and crochet and braid rugs.

5 ways you can change your fashion habits to help the planet

“Rise & Resist: How to Change the World” | Clare Press | 2018

“Rise & Resist” is a motivational guide to modern activism, with a focus on sustainability and social justice. Highlighting communities from zero wasters to the knitters of the Pussyhat Project, it’s a broad look at what happens when activism as we know it gets a big injection of creativity.

Small Is Beautiful | E. F. Schumacher | 1973

This book does exactly what it tells you on the cover, undertaking “a study of economics as if people mattered.” Nearly 50 years old, it offers a still-needed vision for economies to restructure their balance sheets and account for precious natural resources and decent human labor.

Fashionopolis | Dana Thomas | 2019

Culture journalist Dana Thomas believes that everyone should know how their clothes are made. In “Fashionopolis: The Price of Fast Fashion and the Future of Clothes,” Thomas launches an inquiry into the industry’s rampant labor abuses as well as its detrimental impact on the environment. She advocates for a slower, more mindful approach within the industry.

“Action Required” | Fashion Revolution

Fashion Revolution’s fanzine issue 6, “Action Required: 10 Global Goals that will Change Fashion” is an investigation of the fashion industry’s relationship with ten of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals, including gender equality, decent work and economic growth, responsible consumption and production, and climate action.

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