Top 5 Books on Sustainable Fashion

August 28, 2015

I love alternative and unique fashion, I want to look stylish, but I also want to feel good about it. What makes me feel good? Knowing that whatever I choose to wear doesn’t affect anybody or anything else in a negative way. That’s why I chose to go the conscious way: conscious fashion is the only thing that allows me to dress like I want to dress and be true to my values at the same time.

Today I want to suggest you a bunch of books on sustainable fashion to help you get the hang of the issue. But first let me tell you something real quick: unfortunately, in 2016, there are still many sustainable online shops and brands that sell leather. Sustainable often means naturally tanned leather for them, but there’s so much more behind it. If you want to know more about why leather is not sustainable please read this post. I want to make it clear that when I talk about sustainable fashion I’m in no way departing from my cruelty-free pledge. I will buy sustainable clothes and act sustainably, but I won’t buy anything that involves death or cruelty.

What is sustainable fashion? I could tell you in a few lines, but your best bet is to choose one or more books from the following list of books on sustainable fashion and read away. They will help you understanding why your smallest habits and choices make a big difference to this planet and what you can do to make sure that the difference you’re making is positive. Sustainable fashion can mean buying second-hand and vintage. It can mean buying organic materials like organic cotton or bamboo. It can mean recycling, upcycling and diy your own clothes. It can mean periodically revamping your wardrobe instead of perpetuating the buy-new-stuff>throw-old-stuff-away cycle. It can mean buying fewer clothes altogether.

Top 5 Sustainable Fashion Books

Top 5 Books on Sustainble Fashion: Wear No Evil

Wear No Evil: How to Change the World with Your Wardrobe: I really loved this book. It gives a lot of useful info (backed with official sources) about what’s behind clothes mass production. A big chunk of the book is about building your own sustainable wardrobe. I think it’s the perfect start to live sustainably.

Top 5 Books on Sustainble Fashion: Magnifeco

Magnifeco: Your Head-to-Toe Guide to Ethical Fashion and Non-toxic Beauty: You can pre-order Kate’s book on Amazon. It will be released in October 2015. If you love Magnifeco blog, I’m sure you will love the book as well. I can’t wait to have it in my hands!

Top 5 Books on Sustainble Fashion: Over Dressed

Overdressed: The Shockingly High Cost of Cheap Fashion: I’m reading the book right now and I think it’s very informational so far. It’s focused on the American market but if you’re reading this article you’re probably involved in the fast fashion phenomenon, so get the book and get to know what the real issues are.

Top 5 Books on Sustainble Fashion: The Sustainable Fashion Handbook

The Sustainable Fashion Handbook: Probably the most famous book about sustainable fashion. Sandy Black gathered in one place some big names in fashion, designers, eco-activists, journalists, technicians. They all give their perspective on the impact that the fashion industry has on the planet and on our society.

Top 5 Books on Sustainble Fashion: To Die For

To Die for: Is Fashion Wearing Out the World?: Lucy Siegle is the Observer’s “Ethical Living” columnist. This book is for you if you are an analytical person: you will indeed know where your clothes come from, why and how.

Have you read any of these books? Would you recommend other sustainable fashion books? Let us know in a comment below and of course, share this post with your friends if you think it could interest them! 

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About the Author


Hey, it's Elisa, the woman who founded in 2010, when it was called styleBizarre. I gave this blog to another awesome woman and she's now running the whole thing: Cynthia. If you want to follow me on my website or social media please click on the icons that are probably showing somewhere around this text box :D

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Laura @ Grassroots Nomad

Thanks for the great tips! I am particularly interested in ethical fashion following my work and research on human trafficking and its involvement in the clothing industry. I can’t wait to read these books and learn more!
As a full-time traveller, I hardly have any clothes at all, but I do try to buy second hand where possible. Hopefully, I get some more tips after reading these books 🙂

Robyn Hynes

Hi there! I sell pre owned clothing online and I love seeing other girls who are passionate about sustainable fashion. My business is called Resale Queens. I’d love to do a blog collaboration someday if you’re interested! I look forward to speaking with you 🙂

Erin Kibbett

Reading Overdressed was a game changer for me. It really renewed my zest for sewing. I can’t afford to buy much organic clothing, but I can buy fabric and make it (and this is also income for me). It also made me feel extra comfortable with the idea of just buying most of our clothes at thrift shops–I’m not just low on funds, I’m helping save the Earth! I no longer see being able to go shop at a “regular store” something to aspire to financially.
I do have to wonder how hard it would be to find ethically produced leather, though? We butchered a goat this year on our homestead, and are saving the hide to tan it ourselves. There are probably other folks who do the same thing… Now I’m wondering if there might be a company who makes leather products from pastured animals? Obviously I’m not a vegan or vegetarian (though I was one for 15 years), and I’m sure there are other people like me who might want a better source of leather products besides the factory farms.

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