If you would like to learn more about the impacts of the fashion and textiles industry, below are a list of books* and movies that we suggest. This list is continuously updated, but if you have a suggestion please email email@example.com!
Looking for some tips on 'greening your closet' but not sure where to start? Download our free 10 Ways to Green Your Closet PDF here:
Blue is the New Black by Susie Breuer
- Though not focused specifically on sustainable fashion and textiles, this book is a fantastic resource if you are wanting to take the next step forward and go into production. Susie lays out financial and time considerations in an accessible and actionable manner. (She is also a strong supporter of sustainable fashion and independent design, having participated in past events.)
Eco Fashion and Refashioned, both by Sass Brown
Sass is Acting Associate Dean for the School of Art and Design at the Fashion Institute of Technology, New York. She is also a wealth of knowledge on sustainable fashion and incredible at finding beautiful, unusual fashion design around the world. (Which she often includes on her website Ecofashiontalk.com) Eco Fashion is an overview of many different aspects of sustainable fashion design - for example, natural dyes, no-waste pattern making, handcrafting, and upcycling. Refashioned is fully focused on upcycling and its many different iterations. Both books are visually stunning as well as informative.
- The "self-employed artist's guide to business success," this book is full of actionable goals, step-by-step details, and case studies focused on how to make an enjoyable living as a creative. Heather has worked with many different types of artists over the past few years and includes practical advice from those experiences as well as additional resources throughout the book. A comprehensive but not overwhelming guidebook to turning your art into a viable business.
Malled: My Unintentional Career in Retail by Caitlin Kelly
- Having worked mainstream retail in the past, Beth - Redress' President, was moved to tears and raucous laughter numerous times while reading this. This will hit home for anyone who has worked in that world and should be a required read for anyone who shops. All workers - including retail - deserve respect, and Caitlin does a fantastic job outlining both the unexpected joys of retail and the mind-numbing and defeating lows.
Overdressed : The Shockingly High Cost of Cheap Fashion by Elizabeth Cline
- Elizabeth spoke at our first ever Redress Eco-fashion and Textiles Conference and her book is a stellar example of why she was the perfect fit. It is written from her personal viewpoint in a journalistic manner - one day she realized how much 'stuff' she had and then wanted to learn more about how it was created. What she found out truly shocked her and encouraged her to alter her purchasing habits. In addition to being a fascinating story, there are multiple statistics and facts in this book about the industry.
To Die For: Is Fashion Wearing Out the World by Lucy Siegle
- Stemming from Lucy's (completely reasonable) anger at an increasingly exploitative fashion industry, she will make you feel how critical each and every individual's style choices are - how you can (and should) make an impact by buying better. Filled with data on the multiple facets of the industry, she not only discusses fabric and material choice repercussions but the multitude of issues with many recent trends, the complexity of supply chains, and how unrealistic employer expectations keep feeding the destruction.
Wear No Evil by Greta Eagan
- A newer book helping answer the age-old question 'What should I wear today?' Greta emphasizes that style and sustainability can go together and discusses not only fashion but natural body recommendations for face, body, hair, nails, and makeup.
Where Am I Wearing? by Kelsey Timmerman
- An entertaining and engaging read, Kelsey takes us on his journey of trying to visit the factories that made his outfit - from his shirt and jeans to his flip flops and underwear. While highlighting the unfair conditions workers face, he also illuminates how complex global supply chains are in large corporations. Weaving in his personal story and guilt of being a typical American, he also points out that the answer is not simply boycotting overseas production and that we need to examine the larger problems faced by poverty and a lack of options.
True Cost directed by Andrew Morgan
- A gripping documentary on the 'true cost' of our clothing, this movie is a huge wake-up call to many people who have not realized the extent of the damaging effects of the textiles industry. It will be hard to not think twice about fast fashion purchases after watching this.
Cotton Road directed by Laura Kissel
- Focused on the global supply chain, this movie may be of particular interest to Carolinians as many people will be surprised to learn about the connections between rural farms in South Carolina and factory cities in China. Helping prove that we may not be as disparate from that far-away world as we'd like to be, this movie will increase your understanding of the many different factors at play in the industry.
Iris directed by Albert Maysles
- Emphasizing how fashion is a form of self-expression and personal style, this movie follows Iris Apfel, the 93-year-old style maven who's had an outsized presence in the New York fashion scene for decades. Uplifting and charming, it highlights what many of us love about fashion and 'dressing up for the party', as Iris would say.
*We encourage you to shop small / shop local and purchase your books from independent retailers. Those in the Raleigh area - Quail Ridge Books is a great resource.