by Sara Voigt (@meaningfulmadness)
Admittedly it has taken me awhile to read this book. I actually started it over the summer (summer 2020--a tough time for us all) and I read the first few chapters and really liked it, but then my entire reading life fell by the wayside (which has been chronicled (lamented?) on the pod. So, at the start of 2021, I made a promise to myself to try to learn more this year in what I am reading and, in turn, try to be a better citizen of the world and to just try to make improvements in my life at large. One of the books I decided to start with is Elizabeth L. Cline's The Conscious Closet: The Revolutionary Guide to Looking Good While Doing Good. Since I already knew I like Cline's writing style from reading those few chapters in the summer, I felt like this would be a good place to start my quest for learning more this year.
I have always been interested in fashion. In my younger years, I was always willing to sacrifice comfort for fashion, and I loved to pick out and wear things that made a statement. As I have gotten older, some of that has taken a backseat to more practical, comfortable clothing, but the interest in fashion and the enjoyment I get from finding the perfect outfit has not. I first started hearing and learning about ethical fashion when I became part of a Dressember team (Dressember is an organization that raises funds to combat human trafficking and modern day slavery. Find out more about that here and listen to our episode with an advocate here.) Dressember chose The Conscious Closet as its Summer 2020 book club pick, and that is how I became aware of it.
The Conscious Closet covers a broad range of topics relating to ethical and sustainable fashion. Cline is an advocate for both, and she brings a personal touch to the facts throughout the course of the book. Cline offers staggering statistics regarding textiles and textile waste and the effects the waste has on the planet. In addition, she educates on fast fashion and how fast fashion has impacted the amount of textile waste that is generated annually. I learned so much by reading this book. Did you know that a majority of our discarded textiles are dumped in sub-Saharan Africa, even though a lot of it just ends up in landfills? I didn't, either. I learned so much about being more conscious of what I am buying and how I discard pieces of clothing I am no longer wearing. Cline even provides chapters devoted to mending and repairing clothing AND great ways to shop and procure great pieces on the second hand clothing market.
If you are interested in learning about both ethical and sustainable fashion, this is the book for you. It reads like a handbook with actionable steps you can take right now to make better choices for your closet. I am committing to several of the principles I read about in this book as I move through 2021. If you decide to read this one and make some goals about your conscious closet, let me know! I would love to hear about it!
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