In Fashion Conscious: Change the World with a Change of Clothes, Sarah Klymkiw closes her “Letter from the Author” with this message to readers:
“It’s my hope that after reading this book you will continue to love clothes as much as I do, but with open eyes to the impact that our clothing choices have on people and our planet. I hope that you will feel empowered to demand answers to questions and take action. We have the power to collectively change the world with a change of clothes.”
Fashion Conscious raises readers’ awareness about the impact of “fast fashion” on the environment and on the garment workers making the items. It encourages shoppers to be aware of the “greenwashing” phenomenon in which companies claim to use environmentally and ethically sound practices but don’t actually deliver them. Until I read this book, I had no idea that producing just one white cotton t-shirt can use up to 2,700 litres of water depending on where and how the cotton is grown or that a single polyester item can take 200 years to decompose in a landfill.
In the UK, over a million tonnes of clothes are thrown away while 15 million tonnes of clothing make their way to landfills in the US. In light of these staggering statistics, readers are given actionable strategies for shopping more mindfully and for reducing the need for purchasing new items by mending, redesigning, organizing clothes swaps, and thrifting.
In addition to being incredibly informative, Fashion Conscious is a wonderfully illustrated information text that includes graphics such as decision trees, flow charts, timelines, step-by-step procedures, Q & A interviews, and useful resources.
Overall, the authors of Fashion Conscious remind us that we wear our values: “clothing choices matter because everyone’s individual actions collectively add up to make a big difference.”