I am a true book lover! I read them, own them, collect them, even frame them. I have to admit that I prefer to read business books and biographies rather than novels. My shelves and tables are organized with collections that include everything from Rumi’s poetry to Gray’s Anatomy, Anais Nin to Ken Wilbur, art books from Picasso to Peter Max, photography, music, cooking, and of course, 1001 Books to read …
As a creative retailer and visual merchandising junkie, I have collected every version of Martin M. Pegler’s, Store Windows that Sell ~ a pictorial report on store windows which offers inspiring ways to showcase your fashion selections. I own both editions of Fashion Now by Terri Jones, which features over 160 designer listings from A-Z, including photos of recent work, detailed biographies, and fascinating ‘Q & A’ interviews in the format for which i-D is famous. A must-read is the revolutionary Cradle to Cradle, Remaking the way we make things, “a manifesto for a radically different
Philosophy and practice of manufacture and environmentalism.
“Reduce, reuse, recycle” urge environmentalists; in other words, do more with less in order to minimize damage. As William McDonough and Michael Braungart argue in their provocative, visionary book, however, this approach perpetuates a one-way, “cradle to grave” manufacturing model that dates to the Industrial Revolution and casts off as much as 90 percent of the materials it uses as waste, much of it toxic. Why not challenge the notion that human industry must inevitably damage the natural world, they ask.” Amazon.
A book is an information resource. A few years ago I started collecting books dedicated to the subject of Eco Fashion and design. For those who seek more knowledge and wish to explore Eco fashion more fully, add these to your summer reading list. Here are my top 12 Books to help you dig beneath the surface of fashion and design.
1. Eco Chic: The Fashion Paradox by Sandy Black
“Eco-Chic: The Fashion Paradox is a fascinating and pertinent examination of the relationship between fashion and environmental awareness — combating the universal reputation of Eco-fashion as wholesome, un-dyed, shapeless and itchy. A new wave of sustainable shopping, affordable clothing, and ecological thinking has allowed Eco-designers to create high-end, design-led collections rather than merely environmentally sympathetic garments. Eco-Chic: The Fashion Paradox aims to address the preconceived idea of Eco-fashion as a compromise in style and quality, placing it where it belongs, at the forefront of design.” Black Dog Publishing.
2. Eco-Fashion, by Sass Brown.
” One of the strongest trends in fashion is the expression of ecological, social, and community consciousness. There is now a wide range of companies offering well designed merchandise, bridging the gap between traditional craft and high fashion by partnering with indigenous communities and support cooperatives. This book shows how they are making a difference by demonstrating the range of products available around the globe and telling the stories behind them, and is a must-have for anyone interested in fashion or issues of sustainability today.” Lawrence King Publishing.
3. Design for a Living World
“Design for a living world asks us to think about the products we use ~ where they come from, how they are made, and the impacts they have on our planet. The Nature Conservancy invited ten designers to create new objects from sustainable materials sourced from around the world. Wood, plants, wool, and other organic materials were transformed into intriguing objects, revealing extraordinary stories about regeneration and the human connection to the earth’s lands and waters. Together, designers and consumers can reshape our materials economy and help advance a global conversation by choosing sustainable materials that support, rather than deplete, endangered places.” Smithsonian Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum, The Nature Conservancy.
4 & 5. Kate Fletcher, an expert in sustainable fashion and textiles since the early 1990s, and is the author of 2 informative books that are well worth reading.
Sustainable Fashion & Textiles Design Journeys, and Fashion & Sustainability, Design for Change, By Kate Fletcher.
4. “Sustainable Fashion & Textiles, Design Journeys
Brings together for the first time information about lifecycle sustainability impacts of fashion and textiles, practical alternatives, design concepts and social innovation. It challenges existing ideas about the scope and potential of sustainability issues in fashion and textiles, and sets out a more pluralistic; engaging and forward-looking picture, drawing on ideas of systems thinking, human needs, local products, slow fashion and participatory design, as well as knowledge of materials.” Earthscan Publishing.
5. Fashion & Sustainability, Design for Change, by Kate Fletcher and Lynda Grose
“Lynda Grose and Kate Fletcher pose a critical question: Are there principles and metrics we can agree upon that are key to a world that is not only sustained, but actually restored? Second, with these shared principles, can we create a framework for change that guides business activities in the fashion industry, a framework that is practical, scientific, and economic?” forward by Paul Hawkins.
“The first section, transforming fashion products, sets out ways in which the impact of garments can be reduced and their resourcefulness increased across a garment’s lifecycle, including innovation in materials, manufacture, distribution, use, and re-use. The second part presents ideas that are transforming fashion systems at root, including emerging business models that find commercial opportunity in reduced material throughput. The third section is dedicated to transforming fashion design practice and explores new opportunities for designers, which extend beyond the traditional role of creator to include working as a communicator, or facilitator to bring about systems change.” Lawrence King Publishing.
6. Style, Naturally, the savvy shopping guide to sustainable fashion and beauty, by Summer Rayne Oakes
“Style meets substance in this lavishly illustrated survey of the world’s best sustainable fashion and beauty.” Chronicle Books.
7. Social Responsibility in the Global Apparel Industry, by Marsha A. Dickson, Suzanne Loker, Molly Eckman
Social Responsibility in the Global Apparel Industry combines an introduction to the social and environmental issues in apparel manufacturing with an analysis of how corporate strategy and decisions made throughout the global supply chain can improve social responsibility.
“Globalization has dramatically changed the way business is conducted in the apparel manufacturing industry. In many cases, changes have come with little regard to social responsibility in the design, production, and sourcing of products. Social Responsibility in the Global Apparel Industry combines an introduction to the social and environmental issues in apparel manufacturing with an analysis of how corporate strategy and decisions made throughout the global supply chain can improve social responsibility Readers learn how leading apparel and footwear brands and retailers attempt solve complex problems, including child labor, harassment and abuse, discrimination, excessive hours of work; low wages; poor factory health and safety; and negative impacts on the environment. Drawing on their industry and research experience, the authors provide the tools to change the apparel industry from the inside out by preparing the next generation and current
Industry professionals with the awareness, knowledge, and passion to make it more socially responsible.” Amazon.
8. Your Home, Your Sanctuary, by Clodagh
Your Home, Your Sanctuary; “This inspirational design book presents a multitude of ways to create a sanctuary in every room of the home. Known for her minimalist interiors that are infused with natural elements, Clodagh provides many solutions for tackling the complex demands of today’s living by addressing the senses with grace and beauty. She shows how to shape indoor and outdoor spaces that will free the mind and make a fulfilling tranquil environment. Whether it is a sensual bedroom, soothing spa bathroom, or a lively common room that can also be transformed into a quiet lounge, she provides ways to cleanse and balance spaces. A useful feature is her “Top Nine” visual checklist of essential design elements. With its beautiful photography, Your Home, Your Sanctuary is the ideal source for achieving a harmonious yet practical home.” Amazon.
9. In Vogue: The Illustrated History of the World’s Most Famous Fashion Magazine
“In Vogue is a fascinating look at the history of the world’s most influential magazine. The complete compendium is illustrated with hundreds of covers and archival interiors of past Vogue editions, featuring the work of some of the twentieth century’s most respected artists, cover illustrators, and photographers—from Edward Steichen, Toni Frissell, and Erwin Blumenfeld to Irving Penn, Richard Avedon, David Bailey, Helmut Newton, Annie Leibovitz, Mario Testino, Steven Klein, Bruce Webber, and Herb Ritts. In 1909, an entrepreneurial New Yorker named Condé Nast took charge of a struggling society journal and transformed it into the most glamorous fashion magazine of the twentieth century. In Vogue traces the history, development and influence of this media colossus—from it’s beginning as a social gazette in the late nineteenth century, to the exploration of modern fashion photography and new visuals in the mid-twentieth century, to its status as the top style magazine today. The book explains the makings of the magazine—from runways, to editorial meetings, to the pages of Vogue.The thoroughly researched story incorporates first-person accounts, interviews with editors and photographers, and excerpts from stories written in the magazine by many world-renowned writers, including Truman Capote, Aldous Huxley, Richard Burton, Federico Fellini, and Marcello Mastroianni. Unparalleled in its scope and exceptionally illustrated, In Vogue is sure to be among the most important publications on the subjects of culture, art, fashion, photography, and media.” Amazon
10. Naked Fashion, The New Sustainable Fashion Revolution, by Safia Minney. Forward by Lucy Siegle and Livia Firth
“Naked Fashion invites you to join the movement of consumers, entrepreneurs and creative professionals who are using their purchasing power, talents and expertise to change the face of fashion. Anyone with an active interest in fashion and where our clothes come from or looking for a career in fashion and the media will find inspiration and advice on how to make a difference. Designers and creatives from all over the world, including photographers, models, illustrators, actors and journalists, talk about what they are doing differently to make fashion more sustainable.” New Internationalist.
11. Sustainable Fashion, Why Now? A conversation about issues, practices, and possibilities, by Janet Hethorn and Connie Ulasaewicz
“Through a collection of essays, Sustainable Fashion: Why Now? examines the issues of sustainability that designers, product developers, and consumers confront as they go about creating, wearing, and recycling clothing and fashion. It also considers what sustainability means alongside fashion — two seemingly contradictory concepts because fashion is all about change, and sustainability is all about preservation. Through a lively range of perspectives, the contributors discuss new ideas on how to produce fashion wit a sense of ethics, organic or renewable resources, and socially responsible manufacturing techniques. This book is divided into three sections: “Connecting with People on Sustainable Practices,” “Production and Economic Processes in the Global Economy,” and “The Environment, the Planet, and the Materials used in Fashion Making”. This structure provides an interconnected and circular way to explore the creation and practice of sustainable fashion through people, processes, and the environment.” Fairchild Books.
12. The Blue Sweater, bridging the gap between rich and poor in an interconnected world, by Jacqueline Novogratz
“Jacqueline Novogratz left a career in international banking to spend her life on a quest to understand global poverty and find powerful new ways of tackling it. It all started back home in Virginia, with the blue sweater, a gift that quickly became her prized possession~ until the day she outgrew it and gave it away to Goodwill. Eleven years later in Africa, she spotted a young boy wearing that very sweater, with her name still on the tag inside. That the sweater had made its trek all the way to Rwanda was ample evidence, she thought, of how we are all connected, how our actions- and inaction-touch people every day across the globe, people we may never know or meet. From her first stumbling efforts as a young idealist venturing forth in Africa to the creation of the trailblazing organization she runs today, Novogratz tells gripping stories with unforgettable characters~ women dancing in a Nairobi slum, unwed mothers starting a bakery, courageous survivors of the Rwandan genocide, entrepreneurs building services for the poor against impossible odds. She shows, in ways both hilarious and heartbreaking, how traditional charity often fails, but how new form of philanthropic investing called “patient capital” can help make people self-sufficient and can change millions of lives. More than just an autobiography or a how-to guide to addressing poverty, The Blue Sweater is a call to action that challenges us to grant dignity to the poor and to rethink our engagement with the world.” From Front and Back Flap.