Sunday, March 10, 2024

Weekend Review: Sustainable Wardrobe

Sustainable Wardrobe / Sophie Benson
London: White Lion Books, c2023.
160 p.

This was a lovely find, a book about sustainable wardrobe building which approaches the subject in a variety of ways. The author, Sophie Benson, is a freelance journalist working in the area of sustainability in fashion, beauty, culture and so forth -- so this book is an interesting mix of mending & upcycling projects, blended with information about global fashion issues, waste colonialism, greenwashing, collective action and more. It really works! 

The focus is on informing readers on sustainable fashion topics, including interviews with people involved in the fashion world in some way, from factory workers to fashion psychologists. It covers a lot of basics that many sewists may know, like the production cycle of a t-shirt, but will also provide new angles on many similar things. I think someone who buys all their clothes but is interested in starting on a more sustainable path would find this one a great resource. There are minimal projects in it, and some of them are ideas for events like clothing swaps, so if what you want is a book just on mending/upcycling techniques, you could try one of the many other books out there focused more on the practical matters of mending. 

This was inspiring, though, and well worth reading. The book is laid out nicely, with lots of photos, and feels well organized and accessible. I liked her writing style; it is clear and concise, bringing up many important topics in a tone that is not at all condescending. It feels like she is assuming the best intent in all of her readers. No judgement, and she opens the book talking about her own path toward sustainability and shares many of the mistakes and habits she started with. 

There is enough here to intrigue a reader new to the ideas of sustainability, from the basics of replacing a button to dyeing with natural dyes. And it feels inviting, and encouraging. I really enjoyed it! 

You can find more of Sophie Benson's journalism on these topics at her website, as well. 


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