Book Review: Eco Chic: a Guide to Ethical Fashion

Katharine Hamnett wrote the intro and she says it all: "This book is a must-read for all clothing manufacturers and retailers, as well as consumers, who wish to be informed so they can make responsible choices and shop with their conscience." And it's true; this is a serious and comprehensive guide to ethical fashion. Meticulously researched with up to date facts and quotes, it explains which fabrics are harmful to the environment; the design pioneers to watch; the labour behind the labels; and the story behind different fabrics.

The author is an editor of Ecologist magazine so there is both depth of information but also easy readability. Too often important books such as this become so academic that the poor well-meaning reader feels overwhelmed by the deluge of information. In this case the mixture of quotes and case studies and current information make it accessible but still informative. There is a good discussion of new materials such as hemp, ingeo, viscose and vegan leather. There is also a series of interviews with the CEO's of Marks & Spencer, Topshop and Monsoon. It ends with a list of reputable environmental companies, and their websites. An excellent addition to the eco library. :: Eco Chic

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