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Open Preview See a Problem? Details if other :. Thanks for telling us about the problem. Return to Book Page. An expose of the fashion industry written by the Observer's 'Ethical Living' columnist, portraying current practice as inhumane and environmentally devastating. Siegle believes that, in spite of current problems, it is possible to be an 'ethical fashionista', and she sets out her ideas on how such a situation could be achieved.
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Sort order. Jan 06, Dierregi rated it it was amazing Shelves: psychology-sociology. Clothes were custom-made to fit the bodies of rich patrons, who could pay for top quality fabric and workmanship. Fashionable patters filtered down slowly, so that the lower class could copy them and produce their own clothes with lesser materials.
Dressmaking was slow and expensive, both for the rich and the poor. For this reason quality was important. Clothes and accessories were made to cherish and to last. When mass-production arrived, it was welcomed as democratic. Besides, it created jobs. Unfortunately, in the course of a few decades, the economic miracle turned into a monster. Nowadays, fast fashion is a fire-spitting dragon destroying the world behind it. This book illustrates very clearly the environmental and ethical crimes committed in the name of profit.
Fashion and elegance do not even enter into the picture. Never before there was such a huge offer of clothes and so many badly dressed women. Females who have no idea whatsoever of what suit their bodies but are just slavishly buying into the never ending heap of crummy clothes that fill the high street.
The author got interested in fast fashion because she writes a column about green living and like most of us, considered only the environmental footprint left by food consumption. She candidly confessed of not even knowing of which fiber most clothes were made of, nor knowing how to take care of them which I found weird, but unfortunately true for too many people. Each chapter deals with ordinary items we all own cotton garments, shoes, leather jackets, etc… and describes in details their destructive and exploitative nature.
For instance, cotton is a crop that grows mostly in Africa. It is bought for a pittance and then moved to Bangladesh where it is processed into clothes by women and children, also paid a pittance and working under constant threat and pressure. Then the finished product is shipped back to Europe or to the US to hit the high street. If you ever wondered how it is possible for high street shops to boast about weekly arrivals, it is because in developing countries a horde of semi-slaves is forced to produce whatever is considered the micro-trend of the moment the right cut or color.
It is not uncommon for these people to work 12 hours shifts assembling low-quality, cheap clothes that will barely last a season. Cotton, wool and leather are all chemically treated to produce accessories and clothes. Clothing industry includes also tanning, which is a notoriously polluting process.
Chemical dies are extremely bad for the environment. To complete this destructive and monstrous process, since fast fashion dictates that items should have a fast rotation - also because most of them would not last longer than a season - there is also the problem of dealing with discarded items.
This implies an additional trip of used clothes back to Africa and more pollution, as said clothes are eventually used as poisonous land fillers.
They are ill fitting, low value garments, of declining quality. As I found out: I used to buy my shirts in a Spanish high street store. I still have a couple of shirts I bought ten years ago, but those bought more recently tore within a couple of months of usage. The only saving grace and cheering episode of this gloomy story is the last chapter, where the author gives lots of useful advice on how to break the destructive cycle of buying into fast fashion.
Follow her advice. I surely did. View all 6 comments. Jun 29, Amy rated it it was amazing. Ahh, I finally got hold of this book. It's hard to find; neither my library nor Amazon carries it. I ordered it through Powell's shipped from the UK. I wouldn't be surprised if this book's publication was actively suppressed in the U.
And many garment industry moguls Ahh, I finally got hold of this book. Siegle is a great writer and offers compelling stories to make her point. It was raining heavily, and as the young woman proceeded down Oxford Street one of them broke around the handles and folded cotton flopped onto the pavement. Naturally the journalist expected the girl to bend down and collect the brand new clothes, but no.
She just walked on. Fashion was apparently so expendable it had turned into litter. Jul 10, Marie Z. Johansen rated it it was amazing Shelves: library-book , fashion , ethical-fashion , clothing. When I read "Overdressed" by Elizabeth Cline I was motivated to start make my own shirts again and I looked for more books about the true cost of what has, aptly, been called the "fast fashion" industry. I have never been an "on trend" shopper or clothing wearer.
My tastes have always been a bit more prosaic and conservative and I have always preferred clothes that will be used for years rather than months. Learning about how and why the cost of clothes have plummeted has been areal eye-opener to When I read "Overdressed" by Elizabeth Cline I was motivated to start make my own shirts again and I looked for more books about the true cost of what has, aptly, been called the "fast fashion" industry.
Learning about how and why the cost of clothes have plummeted has been areal eye-opener to me and there are societal costs that I really have never thought about before reading this book. Lucy Siegel goes into some very interesting details about the various areas of fashion beyond cloth She covers the ethical questions of workers rights, and how devastation is wrought by the use of chemicals and dyes and the resultant pollution to earth and water.
I was especially interested to learn about why and how the cost of cashmere clothing has become a rock bottom bargain rather than the luxury fiber that I grew up with. The amount of pristine land that is becoming desert wasteland is stupefying and frightening.
There was SO much to,learn from this book These two books have forever changed my concept of the clothing I wear and I cannot help but think that anyone who reads it will also feel a dose of "comeuppance". There truly is a high cost for low cost fashion. Surely we can all at least give some consideration to the way that we spend our clothing dollars. Fascinating, well researched, well written and slightly frightening; this is a book well worth the time to read. I got this through Inter-Library loan but will now be look for a copy to own and mark to my hearts content.
Next reading is this genre is the book "Cheap" Oct 18, Rachel rated it really liked it Shelves: on-kindle , non-fiction , self-help , nature-environment , culture , read-in , clothes-fashion. We know the horror story behind our clothes, and yet we shrug - perhaps guiltily, but still - and carry on, myself very much included. The practices of modern fashion are obscene, as is our endorsement of them, as is the fact that this is all the accepted norm. It truly boggles the mind when you take a long, hard look at the ins and outs of the whole horror show through a book such as this one.
Throughout reading, with and away from the book, I was thinking, looking things up, reconsidering, strategising. It spurs you to action. We each individually need to accept our place in, and current endorsement of, the system as is - regardless of how we simultaneously sleepwalked and were forcibly cajoled there - and work out a personal plan of change. This is how we begin to effect change as a whole, and we have to, because fast fashion has a body count like a world war and is determined to add to that the planet itself.
I love clothes, my friends, but not at this cost.
To Die For Is Fashion Wearing Out The World? – BOOK REVIEW + Interview With Author
The ethics of fashion are hung out to dry. Lucy Siegle is a British journalist and television presenter who focuses on environmental issues and ethical consumerism. In her first book, Green Living in the Urban Jungle , Siegle encouraged readers to adopt a greener lifestyle. The testimonies on the back cover initially lured me into a false sense of anticipation, with Vogue. Siegle also confronts luxury labels, particularly those promoting animal-based products. Instead of presenting clear-cut solutions to creating the perfect ecological and ethical wardrobe, she offers questions and guidelines to set readers on their own pathway to becoming a thoughtful fashion consumer. Further editing would have helped the dense and at times repetitive text, and saved Siegle from some stylistic mannerisms that become irritating over pages.
To Die For: Is Fashion Wearing Out the World?
We're aware that the nimble needlework of children has been found in high street shops, that seas have died satisfy our cotton addiction and that sweatshops are far from being a thing of the past. But according to Lucy Siegle's new book, this is just the thin end of an unsightly wedge. As well as being this paper's ethical living columnist, Siegle is a reformed fashionista. Her wardrobe, dubbed "fashionably overweight" by one expert, offers a bulging index of high street fashion fads from the past two decades. There are conversations with Cambodian garment workers, visits to factories in Bangladesh and west Africa and tales of forced teen labour in the cotton fields of Uzbekistan. Human misery seems endemic at every point in the production line, from the alarming suicide rates among Indian farmers to young seamstresses forced to take contraceptive pills. Social injustice is just one of the skeletons lurking in fashion's closet.