Book Review: Sustainable Fashion (2nd edition)
I want you all to be aware that the second edition of Sustainable Fashion What’s Next? is now available. I received an advance copy of this book last summer when I was assisting the publisher, Fairchild Books, with the learning tools associated with the book. And ever since reading it I have been looking forward to writing a review of the book as part of my blog. Bottom line -- I urge everyone to read it – whether you are an educator, student, fashionista, or fashion industry professional – you’ll be rewarded with engaging insights about all aspects of sustainable fashion.
From the Foreward written by William McDonough to the last section on best practices in the fashion industry, this edited book provides a comprehensive overview of many of the current issues, challenges, practices, and possibilities around designing, producing, and retailing fashion merchandise the supports sustainable environments, communities, and companies. The chapters are written by some of the most renowned scholars in the field today including Connie Ulasewicz at San Francisco State University, Marsha Dickson at the University of Delaware, Jana Hawley at the University of Arizona, Susan Kaiser at the University of California-Davis, and Hélène Day Fraser at Emily Carr University of Art and Design. For those who are familiar with research in this area, yes, I am name-dropping a bit; but only to make the point that the book has a great set of contributors.
In my opinion, an indicator of the quality of a scholarly book is that a reader continues to think about insights long after reading the book. What insights do I continue to think about since reading the book? For one, I loved the chapter written by fashion historian, Linda Welters, on the history of sustainability in fashion. I’ve always believed we can learn from the past and our relationship with abundance in materials and fashion is no different. Another is the chapter on zero waste fashion design written by designer and scholar, Timo Rissanen, in which he challenges fashion designers to rethink pattern design to eliminate any material waste. Rethinking pattern design – wow – that would dramatically change how pattern making is taught and how patterns are created. And lastly, one of the most thorough chapters is on environmentally responsible fibers and fabrics written by Gail Baugh. This chapter is a must read for anyone who has asked the question “what fibers and fabrics are the most environmentally responsible?”
I will most likely write about each of these and other topics explored in this book in future blogs. But for now, enjoy reading this wonderful book and being inspired!
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