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The Conscious Closet by Elizabeth Cline

My Rating of “The Conscious Closet” by Elizabeth Cline: 8 / 10

I recently reviewed a book on the fashion sustainability which focuses more on the supply side. This book is the opposite and focuses on the demand side. There is nobody better than Elizabeth Cline to write this as she has been coined the “Michael Palin” of fashion. Cline writes a book that is perfect for any reader wanting to learn about how to shop, maintain, repair and recycle/resell clothing.

The Conscious Closet begins with the main topic of today – “Fast Fashion.” I appreciated this approach as it is the main area that needs to be tackled in this industry. Consumers need to better understand the upstream impacts of buying cheap clothes and only wearing them a few times. Disposable fashion is scary as it is impacting on how clothes are made, who makes them and ultimately how they significantly impact the planet’s ecology.

Cline delves into various topics such as how to do better with less clothing, working more with resellers, renting and repairing. This is all within the theme of the reader being more conscious about their closet.

This is a fantastic book to read. Everybody needs to be learning more about how to better manage their closet, get more value out of what they bought and improve on their individual impact to the planet!

Three key takeaways from the book:

  1. Some fascinating and yet scary statistics:
    • Each year clothing production requires 24 trillion gallons of water. Enough to fill 37 million Olympic sized pools.
    • The fashion industry spews more global warming carbon dioxide annually than all international flights and maritime shipping combined!
    • Consumption of clothing is set to triple by 2050 as world incomes rise and the taste for fashion and disposable consumption spreads.
    • In 30 years, if nothing changes, fashion will command a quarter of the world’s carbon budget (i.e. the budget that tries to keep us under two degrees of warming)!
  2. Fast fashion is cheap and trendy, however it has taken the process of discovery out of the shopping process
  3. Britain throws away approximately $16B USD worth of clothing every year!

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