Sunday, January 19, 2020

Weekend Review: Inconspicuous Consumption

Inconspicuous Consumption / Tatiana Schlossberg
NY: Grand Central, c2019.
277 p.

This book, found in my local library, was a very quick read. It is intended as a primer for people who want to know the unexpected ways our impact is spread across everything we do in our modern lives. Chapters investigate four main topics: technology, fashion, food, and fuel.

It's a short book so it really just skims over the main points of these areas -- but it is deep enough for those who are new to these topics. Schlossberg is good at drawing together the ways in which consumer actions have direct effects in all these areas, and does give a few suggestions on how to mitigate some of these. The main focus is on explanations and info on the situation, however.

Schlossberg is a journalist and as such writes in a direct and accessible way. She has a habit of making personal asides, though, I imagine to make this more 'relatable', but it really irritated me as a reader. The tone was off in comparison to the subject, and I'd rather have the author a little more distant from the essay -- the personal commentary felt self-deprecating in a cutesy way that came across as inauthentic to me.

Aside from that, I was obviously most interested in the Fashion chapter. She does expose many of the issues of fast fashion from making to disposing, textile choice to recycling potential, shipping, wages, and more. I feel that if you have any interest at all in this subject and have read anything else on the topic, you'll already know 95% of what is shared here. But if this is a first glimpse of how fashion plays a role in sustainable living as a whole, and a reader hasn't considered this before, this is a great intro. I think anyone new to this area might be inspired to investigate further after finishing this book.


  1. Thanks for posting these book reviews. I think they are very interesting. I have been trying to talk to friends about fast fashion here and there. I would say the majority of the people I know are completely unaware of the problems with it. I just tell them that clothing manufacturing is the second largest polluter in the world. We can all do our parts to consume a little less.

    1. I'm glad you enjoy them! If people you know are unaware of fashion's role but interested in these issues generally, this book is a great start.


Share your comments, ideas or suggestions here -- I am always interested in hearing from readers. It's nice to have a conversation!