One of the best ways to come to terms with the environmental challenges society and the planet face, is to gain a better understanding of the forces at play.
In our opinion, getting lost in a good book is still the best way to do this, all in the comfort of a sustainable outfit and eco-friendly accessories, of course!
Below we have curated a selection of four must-read books. Some are eye opening works of nonfiction. Others are enlightening novels that help you see the world from fascinatingly different perspectives.
Why not dress in your favourite eco-friendly clothes, and head to your local bookstore (not Amazon!), to set yourself up with a stellar eco TBR (To Be Read) pile!
1. How to Blow Up a Pipeline by Andreas Malm
We begin with this provocatively titled piece of nonfiction that hails from Sweden, a country whose wealth largely stems from its rich reserves of fossil fuels, but which is now leading the way in decarbonisation.
Despite his native country’s best efforts, Malm argues that neither Sweden nor the rest of the developed world are doing enough to curb our dependence on fossil fuels. The answer: direct action.
Many environmental protest groups have recently gained traction in the world’s media, receiving a mixed reception both from establishment figures and the general public.
Malm helps his readers understand exactly why it is that such groups have turned to more radical means of opening our eyes to the genuine threats that fossil fuel consumption poses to life on Earth.
It’s the sort of book that will have you wondering: am I really doing enough to leave the planet in a fit state for future generations? In the end, buying sustainable clothes won’t be enough on its own to halt climate breakdown. Malm gives not-so-subtle hints about what it might take.
2. The Overstory by Richard Power
The Overstory is a complete change of pace from Malm’s manifesto. For a start, it’s fiction, and fiction of the highest quality at that, having won multiple literary awards since its publication in 2018.
Power’s novel focuses on the lives of multiple characters, ranging from a computer game developer to a botanist. The one thing that connects all these personalities is that they are made aware of a deep bond they have to nature, helped along by humble trees they encounter during their life stories.
This is a particularly apt novel for the TWOTHIRDS slow fashion community to read, because many of our sustainable clothes are crafted from wood-based eco-friendly fabrics like TENCEL™ Lyocell and LENZING™ ECOVERO™.
In a stroke of genius, the book’s American author draws parallels to the fungal networks that exist beneath our feet – which connect different strands of the ecosystem – and proposes that humans have similar mystical ties to nature, if only we would slow down and embrace them.
It’s a beautiful book, even if its outlook on our future prospects as a species is somewhat bleak. It’s also quite a long book, but one we raced through regardless. Wrap up warm, in a cosy eco-friendly knit or set of sustainable loungewear, and prepare to be entertained.
3. Loved Clothes Last by Orsola de Castro
Revolutionary acts in the slow fashion space don’t all have to be as drastic as blowing up oil pipelines or glueing yourself to a highway. They can also be as simple as repurposing a beloved sustainable sweater that has been passed down through your family, or repairing a pair of sustainable sneakers that hold particular sentimental value.
That’s exactly the sort of mindset promoted by Orsola de Castro, in this sustainable fashion handbook, which is full of neat ways to repurpose, upcycle and reuse clothing, in ways that keep you looking on trend.
Ultimately this is a book that gives sustainable fashion followers all the tools and know-how they need to build deeper relationships with their eco-friendly wardrobe, allowing them to prolong the life of each piece of sustainable clothing.
4. The End We Start From by Megan Hunter
We finish our literary quartet with a slim novela that was penned by poet Megan Hunter in 2018. While we do love our ocean, we are keen for it not to reach the apocalyptic sea levels seen in The End We Start From.
A London family are forced to flee their home as the waters continue to rise, their situation made all the more perilous by the mother having just given birth.
This is a poetic eulogy to motherly love, set against the backdrop of environmental breakdown. Think of it as a feminine reimagining of The Road by Cormac McCarthy, just with a lot more sea water.It’s time to grab one of our ceramic mugs, don your eco loungewear, and get ready to binge read!