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5 Ethical Fashion Books for an Inspired Closet

Sica Schmitz

Posted on November 04 2016

5 Ethical Fashion Books for an Inspired Closet

Knowledge is power, and the power to change the fashion industry starts with knowing the problems - and solutions. Wherever you're at in your sustainability journey, there's always more you can learn to stay informed and active in the things you wear, and fortunately this isn't hard to do with the growing number of sustainable fashion books, blogs, and other resources available to make this complex topic more accessible. We've hand picked a few of our favorite ethical fashion books (all by female authors!) to get you started, ranging from hard hitting facts to inspiring ideas to step-by-step workbooks to (finally) get your closet in order. 

5 Ethical Fashion Books to Inspire Your Closet


MAGNIFECO: Your Head-to-Toe Guide to Ethical Fashion and Non-toxic Beauty

By Kate Black

Kate Black is the founder and editor-in-chief of (the digital source for eco-fashion and sustainable living) and EcoSession (a global event series connecting fashion insiders and everyday consumers to discuss change). She's also one of our heroes. In Magnifeco she presents a complete head-to-toe guide covering everything from hair and beauty products to shoes and clothing so you can feel better about everything you put on your body and be—magnifeco!

She offers in-depth - often startling - information in accessible, understandable chapters, covering non-toxic beauty and ethical fashion while dishing out a multitude of ways to make better buying decisions. 

In the wake of the Rana Plaza factory collapse in Bangladesh—the worst garment industry accident in recorded history— the industry is undergoing a shift, and if you are one of the many shoppers questioning their buying habits, this is a great place to start.

Ethical Fashion Books: Magnifeco by Kate Black

OVERDRESSED: The Shockingly High Cost of Cheap Fashion

By Elizabeth L. Cline

Cheap fashion has fundamentally changed the way most Americans dress. Retail stores now offer the newest trends at unprecedentedly low prices, and we have little reason to keep wearing and repairing the clothes we already own when styles change so fast and it’s cheaper to just buy more.

Elizabeth L. Cline spoke at our most recent Fair Trade Fashion Show and offers the same insight and inspiration in her book Overdressed, asking us to question what we doing are with all these cheap clothes - and more importantly: what are they doing to us, our society, our environment, and our economic well-being?

Overdressed: The Shockingly High Cost of Cheap Fashion Paperback by Elizabeth L Cline



By Sandy Black

Sandy Black offers a definitive guide to the complex issues surrounding modern clothing production, use, and disposal with her classic The Sustainable Fashion Handbook. But don't take our word for it: this beautiful book has assembled contributions from a diverse group with a range of perspectives: designers and technicians, academics and journalists, environmental and social action campaigners, craft specialists and artists, eco-entrepreneurs and representatives of global corporations. Each chapter presents essays by leading writers and thinkers; interviews and statements from designers such as Stella McCartney, Vivienne Westwood, and Hussein Chalayan; and case studies on everything from the life cycle of jeans to smart textiles and fair trade projects. It features 307 illustrations (295 are in color) and an abundance of information to make you think - and rethink - your relationship with fashion.

This sourcebook on all aspects of sustainable fashion encompasses not only the environmental issues presented by a wasteful and fast-moving fashion cycle but also the social impact of the global fashion industry, which employs up to forty million people worldwide in manufacturing and agriculture.

The Sustainable Fashion Handbook by Sandy Black


WEAR NO EVIL: How to Change The World With Your Wardrobe

By Greta Eagan

Fashion is the last frontier in the shift towards conscious living, and Greta Eagan's Wear No Evil provides a roadmap founded in research and experience, coupled with real life style and everyday inspiration.

Have you ever wondered, "How can I inherently do good while looking good?" Wear No Evil has the answer for navigating both fashion and ethics. As a consumer, you regain your power with every purchase to support the causes and conditions you already advocate in other areas of your life (such as local or organic food), while upholding your sense of self through the stylish pieces you use to create your wardrobe.

Featuring the Integrity Index (a simplified way of identifying the ethics behind any piece of fashion) and an easy to use rating system, you’ll learn to shop anywhere while building your personal style and supporting your values- all without sacrifice. Complete with the hard-hitting facts on why the fashion industry and our shopping habits need to change, it also includes an easy closet-cleansing exercise to green your current wardrobe along with a directory of natural beauty recommendations for face, body, hair, nails, and makeup.

Wear No Evil by Greta Eagan


By Summer Edwards

Fashion is the second most polluting industry worldwide, second only to the oil industry. Yikes. But the good news is that we have options. We can transform the industry from the bottom up, if we start with our own wardrobes.

A sustainable transformation requires us to untangle ourselves from a cultural of consumerism and excess, and the cult of cheap. Sustainable fashion requires a bigger change than simply switching to organic cotton. We also need to be able to spot the ‘greenwash’ that more and more brands are using to try to keep the growing eco-consious consumer base .

6 Steps to a Sustainable Wardrobe is your guide to making a sustainable transformation, without giving up your love of style. Rather than focus on the sustainability problems in fashion, it provides you with the simple actionable steps you need to confidently commit to a sustainable wardrobe so you can make a positive impact on the environment through your everyday wardrobe choices.

Complete with a comprehensive 60 page guide that takes you through the 6 steps required to create and maintain stylish sustainable wardrobe that suits your taste and budget, it also includes a 20 page printable workbook and summary notes to support you as you work through each step at your own pace.

6 Steps to a Sustainable Wardrobe by Summer Edwards

 What are your favorite books on ethical fashion? We'd love to know!

1 comment

  • Ali Clifford : June 02, 2017

    Oh these are all excellent thank you – always looking for stuff like this to read. Have you seen Safia Minney’s book “slave to fashion”??

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