Whering Book Club: 6 Books About Sustainability and Fashion We're Reading
✨PSA: we’re entering our book club era.✨
Ever wanted to know more so you can pull out some facts and figures next time you’re faced with a Shein addict or friend that thinks shopping sustainably is ‘too hard’? Arm yourself with everything you need to know with these quick and accessible reads on slow fashion, climate change and everything in between.
- The World Is On Fire But We're Still Buying Shoes by Alec Leach
- Consumed: The Need for Collective Change: Colonialism, Climate, Consumerism by Aja Barber
- It’s Not That Radical: Climate Action to Transform Our World by Mikaela Loach
- The Intersectional Environmentalist: How to Dismantle Systems of Oppression to Protect People + Planet by Leah Thomas
- The Song of the Shirt: The High Price of Cheap Garments, from Blackburn to Bangladesh by Jeremy Seabrook
We know fashion is bad for the planet, so why are we still shopping? This is the central question explored in Alex Leach’s book The World Is On Fire But We’re Still Buying Shoes. He writes this book as an exploration of why we love to shop so much, how fashion keeps us hungry, and how it covers up its true impact on the planet. Between consumerism, greenwashing and social hype lies a very personal manifesto about a slower and more intentional approach to fashion.
The book is split into two parts: learning and unlearning. In learning, Aja discusses endemic injustices in consumer industries and the (uncomfortable) history of the textile industry. As well as how these oppressive systems have seamlessly bled into the fashion industry; how we spend our money and whose pockets it goes into… and whose it doesn’t.
In unlearning she challenges the reason we feel the need to consume the way we do. The book confronts your sense of ‘lack’, feeling like you’re never quite enough, and why we choose to fill that void with consumption vs. compassion. By challenging these beliefs, we’re pushed to take back ownership of these parts of ourselves and our power when it comes to consumption.
“For too long, representations of climate action in the mainstream media have been white-washed, green-washed and diluted to be made compatible with capitalism.”
In our world, profit is valued above all else. Loach believes that tackling the climate crisis requires taking a look at the roots of poverty, capitalist exploitation and legal injustice. In her book It’s Not That Radical, Mikaela Loach gives her perspective on what real climate action could look like– one that could drastically change the world as we know it for the benefit of everybody.
Where environmentalism, racism and privilege meet; acknowledging that we cannot save the planet without raising the silenced voices of its people. Leah Thomas is the activist who originally coined the term “intersectional environmentalism”– in her book she calls readers to take action, and provides them with a guide to instigating change and empowerment to all (for the good of the planet).
The Intersectional Environmentalist makes it extremely clear how Black, Indigenous and people of colour are impacted unequally by environmental injustices, as well as also how fighting for the planet goes hand in hand with the fight for civil rights– one cannot exist without the other.
Today, Bangladesh does not clothe the 'global west'– it feeds a never-ending hunger for cheap trendy clothing from brands such as Primark, Benetton, The Gap, etc. Author Jeremy Seabrook dwells on the disproportionate sacrifice asked of the people who manufacture things we treat as extremely disposable. The book is a wonderful but heartbreaking exploration of the true cost of the clothes we wear.