My interest in fashion industry issues started while studying textiles at university. I became aware of the enormous impact the industry has the environment- whether through pesticides used on cotton crops, water usage, chemicals used in dying processes, or the tons and tons of clothing that goes to landfill each year. The list is huge.
Then of course there is the human impact that fast fashion has. The collapse of Rana Plaza killed 1138 people, and injured 2500 more. Rana Plaza housed factories making clothes for big global brands, and the people working there were underpaid, and working in very unsafe conditions. This is not unusual in the fashion industry, as demand for cheap clothing means that somebody, somewhere, is being exploited.
Rather than writing a huge essay on it all, I thought I would share a few books and programmes that I have found really interesting, although of course there are SO many more out there!
“To Die For: Is Fashion Wearing Out the World?” By Lucy Seigle. I realise it’s a very gloomy title, but it covers pretty much everything!
The True Cost. A documentary film, looking at the true cost of cheap fashion.
Unreported World: The Worlds Dirtiest River. A channel 4 documentary looking at the effects of textile waste.
“Cradle to Cradle”, by William McDonough and Michael Braungart. This is not a fashion book, but talks about the principles of cradle to cradle design, with the aim of becoming waste free.
“Make Do and Mend”, forward by Jill Norman. This is a little book with reproductions of official second world war instruction leaflets. If you are interested in keeping your clothes longer, this has some very practical tips!
Refinity: a blog by Fioen Van Balgooi on eco-effective designing. It has all sorts of interesting information.