Jump to ratings and reviews
Rate this book

Wear No Evil: How to Change the World with Your Wardrobe

Rate this book
Have you ever wondered, "How can I inherently do good while looking good?" Wear No Evil has the answer, and is the timely handbook for navigating both fashion and ethics. It is the style guide with sustainability built in that we've all been waiting for. As a consumer, you regain your power with every purchase to support the causes and conditions you already advocate in other areas of your life (such as local or organic food), while upholding your sense of self through the stylish pieces you use to create your wardrobe.

Featuring the Integrity Index (a simplified way of identifying the ethics behind any piece of fashion) and an easy to use rating system, you'll learn to shop anywhere while building your personal style and supporting your values- all without sacrifice. Fashion is the last frontier in the shift towards conscious living. Wear No Evil provides a roadmap founded in research and experience, coupled with real life style and everyday inspiration.

Part 1 presents the hard-hitting facts on why the fashion industry and our shopping habits need a reboot.
Part 2 moves you into a closet-cleansing exercise to assess your current wardrobe for eco-friendliness and how to shop green.
Part 3 showcases eco-fashion makeovers and a directory of natural beauty recommendations for face, body, hair, nails, and makeup.

Style and sustainability are not mutually exclusive. They can live in harmony. It's time to restart the conversation around fashion -- how it is produced, consumed, and discarded -- to fit with the world we live in today. Pretty simple, right? It will be, once you've read this book.

Wear No Evil gives new meaning -- and the best answers -- to an age-old "What should I wear today?"

208 pages, Paperback

First published March 11, 2014

Loading interface...
Loading interface...

About the author

Greta Eagan

1 book1 follower

Ratings & Reviews

What do you think?
Rate this book

Friends & Following

Create a free account to discover what your friends think of this book!

Community Reviews

5 stars
30 (12%)
4 stars
56 (24%)
3 stars
99 (42%)
2 stars
38 (16%)
1 star
8 (3%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 36 reviews
Profile Image for Sophia.
343 reviews7 followers
June 23, 2014

While I strongly agree with Greta Eagan's argument that we need to be more mindful about the clothing we purchase, Wear No Evil disappointed me. It covered too many topics and didn't explore the nuances of each topic. I'd treat this more as a guide book with lists of eco-friendly brands (useful in its own right!) than a book providing cogent arguments to the wavering or unconvinced about greening your wardrobe.

Profile Image for Alex Reborn.
171 reviews36 followers
March 20, 2014
I can't say it wasn't interesting, because it certainly brings forward a subject we should be all more concerned about. However, living outside the US changes some facts stated in the book. For example, I recognised only a handful of the brands of clothing and cosmetic products; also, it seems to me a bit difficult to find out information on the clothes in a store (such as the dyes or the process of making the product), because usually the sales persons don't actually know themselves. However, if the lack of such details is actually telling us something about the piece of clothing, the bad news is that is mostly all we've got.
Nonetheless, in the future I might be more careful about the matter of evil clothing, but I don't think I'll ever be an eco-guru.
Profile Image for Taun.
267 reviews
March 11, 2020
The premise of this book is exactly what I was looking for; a peek behind the curtains of the textile industry and its cause & effect on our fellow mankind, wallets and environment.

The author reveals the cost of cheap clothes, addressing sweat shops, slave labor, the effects of dyes, waste, and more. Outlining the outrageous problem that is fast fashion, the author also includes sources and a solid plan (called the Integrity Index) to beat the system while still dressing our best in a moral, economic way.

While I do not agree 100% with every brand recommended, or shopping method given, I do agree that this is a book our society needs. I’ll be adding this to my home economics shelf.
Profile Image for Katrina Sark.
Author 8 books36 followers
September 29, 2019
Chapter 1 – To Wear or Not to Wear?
p.13 – Every day we make two decisions that have an enormous impact on the world around us: what to eat and what to wear.
p.14 – Before the 1900s most people had a handful of garments in their closets that were constantly being repaired and passed down. Even in the twenties the average middle-class American woman had nine outfits (total, each year) that she would lovingly care for and weak week after week.
It wasn’t until the 1950s and 1960s that income and advertising took off, changing the fashion industry forever.
p.15 – After WWII, men and women were actively in the workplace, earning dual incomes for a single-family household.
According to Elizabeth Cline, author of Overdressed: The Shockingly High Cost of Cheap Fashion, the 1960s was when clothing turned away from necessity and the idea of “keeping up with the latest fashions” came into play.
In the late sixties and early seventies, counterculture abolished any outer display of wealth, and conspicuous consumption faded into the background. It wasn’t until around the 1980s, when working women with disposable income came into vogue, that the opulent show of luxury re-emerged. Greater mobility along the socio-economic ladder opened the marketplace to a greater audience who could participate in luxury at various levels. This proved a pointed shift for the luxury fashion sector, soon to be followed by mainstream mass-market retailers.
Corporate tycoons gobbled up the luxury fashion houses that had been established and run by the founding families, turning them into dominating international brands listed on the world’s stock exchanges. They sold a capitalist agenda disguised as “the democratization” of fashion, which would make luxury accessible to all. Even if they believed their own hype, the very ethos of artisan-crafted clothing and accessories, which warrant a luxury price tag, often went out the window when luxury companies went public.
Meanwhile, during the 1990s and early 2000s, mass fashion retailers like Spain’s Zara and Sweden’s H&M were developing the business model of fast fashion.
p.16 – In 2012 Global Trends 2030 reported the annual global water requirements will hit 6,900 billion cubic meters by 2030, which is 40 percent above current sustainable water supply levels. We’re living a lifestyle we can’t actually afford.

Modern “Eco” Fashion Timeline (p.23-28)

1970s – Eco-fashion first appears as part of the modern environmental movement. It is associated with the hippie culture’s emphasis on self-sufficiency, chemical-free-dyes, and natural textiles. Eco-fashion generally consists of second-hand clothing and handcrafted designs.
1974 – The British charity Oxfam begins selling handicrafts sourced directly from small producers abroad and launches a recycling center for clothing donations.
1979 – Traidcraft is established, seeking to end poverty through trade.
1980 – PETA is founded, leading anti-fur and anti-leather campaigns in the United States.
1983 – Katherine Hamnett launches the world’s first slogan T-Shirt – reinforcing the connection between clothing choices and socio-political messages.
1988 – Martin Margiela launches the first collection featuring repurposed materials and soon spearheads the deconstructivist movement for his use of recycled materials.
1990 – (March) Vogue addressed eco-fashion for the first time in the article “Natural Selection.”
1990 – (June) Members of the Fashion Group, including Katherine Hammett, discuss the impact of fashion production with the UN.
1994 – Esprit launches a range od ecological clothing focusing on sustainable materials and ethical production.
1995 – Giorgio Armani introduces hemp textiles into his Emporio Armani collection.
Late 1990s – Various reports expose sweatshop labour in fashion supply chains, spurring consumer pressure on fashion brands and retailers to implement factory compliance and monitoring programs.
1998 – The Ethical Trading Initiative is established to improve labour practices of global supply chains.
2000 – No Logo by Naomi Klein is published, drawing further media and consumer attention to the realities of international corporate business practices in the fashion industry. Consumer demand for corporate social responsibility related to sustainability and ethical trading grows.
2001 – Stella McCartney launches her brand, using only animal-friendly materials.
2002 – Trash Couture established, based in Denmark, using recycled couture fabrics and vintage lace.
2004 – Gucci volunteers for supply-chain assessment in demonstration of corporate social responsibility.
2004 – The first Ethical Fashion Show is held in Paris, showcasing sustainable artisanal design.
2004 – The first Fairtrade minimum prices for cotton are issued by Fairtrade International.
2005 – U2’s Bono and his wife Ali Hewson create the socially linked fashion brand Edun, which is featured in Vogue. Linda Loudemilk launches her luxury sustainable fashion label and trademarks the term eco-luxury.
2006 – The British Fashion Council launches Esthetical at London Fashion Week.
2007 – Anya Hindmarch’s “I’m Not a Plastic Bag” shopping totes sell out within an hour in London.
2007 – (October) Portland Fashion Week premieres the first all-green fashion week in the world.
2009 – Livia Firth (Colin Firth’s wife) spearheads the Green Carpet Challenge, bringing A-list celebrities and brands together to celebrate sustainability and style at some of the most prestigious red-carpet award ceremonies.
2009 – (June) Vogue’s first eco-fashion issue.
2009 – (October) Women’s Wear Daily reports that consumers are “ready to go eco.”
2010 – New York Fashion Week initiates a carbon-neutral policy.
2010 – London Fashion Week stages its first official sustainable fashion show.
2012 – Copenhagen hosts the world’s largest conference on sustainability and fashion.
2012 – (February) Meryl Streep wears Lanvin’s first ever eco-friendly gown to the Oscars.
2012 – (September) The Green Fashion Shows are included in the Mercedes Benz Fashion Week at Lincoln Center for the first time and feature a handful of eco-designers in a styled presentation.
2012 – (October) Levi’s launches Waste2012 – (November) Greenpeace International publishes Toxic Threads, which investigates the use of toxic chemical in the production of leading brands’ clothing. In the following months many of these brands commit to detoxing their supply chain.
2013 – (February) H&M launches in-store textile recycling program for consumers.
Profile Image for Nabine.
21 reviews1 follower
June 10, 2014
I had high hopes for this book, and while it started out interesting and has its heart in the right place, it quickly petered out for me. Most of her advice about what to wear and/or pack for certain occasions felt too specific and seemed like it would get dated quickly. Besides, I don't really need or want help in those areas. This is definitely an instance where it would've been good to see the book in person at a store instead of reading about it on some blog and impulse-buying it. I could have perused through it and seen that it might not really be for me.
Profile Image for Laura.
3,700 reviews95 followers
December 31, 2014
Such a disappointing book.

The beginning, when the discussion is about where our clothing comes from and what chemicals and problems we should be aware of, is quite good. But then it devolves into wardrobe advice, brand recommendations, etc. and, well, that's a quick route to an DNF for me. Plus? Not enough on consignment shops, Goodwill/Salvation Army stores and the like.
January 28, 2017
Good information. Would probably have paid the book a lot more mind if I had a specific interest in fashion, but the biggest thing for me was just being aware that this is an issue. We talk about ethics in food all the time, but never in clothes. And it's time to start paying attention. Just knowing what goes in to that pair of jeans you're wearing. That makes a huge difference.
3 reviews
December 12, 2019
Wear No Evil is a great nonfiction book, written by Greta Eagan, that focuses on the environmental problems in the fashion industry and how readers can try to “wear no evil”. The book is written to help the average customer determine what they can do to become more eco-conscious in their clothing/ beauty choices. Eagan even provides examples of specific items of clothing (down to the price point) that are even somewhat eco-friendly.

The beginning of the book is when cold hard facts are present to almost shock the reader to think seriously of the impact of their small decisions about their clothing. Later, Eagan introduces 16 major factors to consider when trying to shop eco-consciously. These range from natural fibers to local brands and even items of clothing that help promote a social cause. The reader is then asked to choose the top five factors that they would like to focus on in their fashion purchases (mine were style, natural fibers, secondhand, recycled materials and zero waste). It’s almost impossible to find a piece of clothing that could encompass all of these points, so the reader is to keep these in mind when shopping for clothing mentioned in the book or in store.

Throughout the book many eco-conscious influencers, designers, CEO's, etc are mentioned and give fashion advice as well as their favorite ways to “wear no evil”. Eagan goes into depth of how to shop eco-consciously by moving from head to toe and thoroughly giving examples of items of clothing to buy and which of the 16 factors they embody. Examples of how to store clothes, sort/ organize your closet and pack for vacation are included. There’s even a section for men’s fashion!

Anyone who wants to make any difference to help the state of our planet by one purchase at a time could benefit from reading this book. Also, if you’re into fashion and just want to try and be more eco-conscious in the way you shop, this book is highly recommended. This is one nonfiction book that you won’t be able to put down and you’ll continuously use it as a guide for purchasing clothes.
Profile Image for nukie19.
538 reviews
March 19, 2019
The first hundred pages of this book are a fantastic look at how to reduce the environmental footprint of your clothing. Eagan does a great job of explaining specific issues (16 in total) and what to look for when trying to avoid those issues. Where she starts to get off track a bit for me was in talking about style - she clearly has a focus on a New York/big city centric idea of what fashion looks like, and most of it didn't feel applicable in my beachy California town. However, I do love that she matches up all her style suggestions with specific brands to look up and which of the integrity indices they meet. By the end, I started definitely skimming because her advice was both too specific to her ideas of style and also not specific enough to be able to just take an exact idea and shop for it. All in all, read the first half, skim the rest, and do better with your wardrode.
Profile Image for Tayla.
41 reviews5 followers
May 11, 2022
'Wear No Evil' by Greta Eagan

TLDR: I didn't love this one. I would recommend 'Clothing Poverty', which I have reviewed before instead.

'Wear no evil' is a book that promotes making sustainable fashion choices. This is something I can get behind and a topic I am pretty passionate about. However, this book just wasn't for me.

The author touches on various aspects of why this is important but on a relatively shallow level. She mentioned a LOT of topics but none of them at depth; it felt more like a longwinded magazine article than a book.

The main criticism I have is there was way too much focus on style. This stems from the author's core belief that the reader needs to prioritise building a wearable wardrobe filled with designs they will reach for time and time again. Although this is true, I believe the constant style tips, body shape tips etc. took up a lot of room and are somewhat vague because each reader will have their own taste regardless.

After reading this book cover to cover, I don't believe this was the intended reading style. It was very repetitive, which was a little frustrating when reading it section after section. I think this book is more for somebody who can flick through it, read a section here and there, and put it back on the shelf for another time.

This would be a good guide for somebody who wants to start with some basics of why they should move towards a more sustainable wardrobe. In addition, there were some great brand recommendations. (Although not living in the U.S. made this book even harder to relate to).

Finally, to forgive the author, this book was released in 2014, which I did not realise when I purchased it. Sustainability in fashion has changed substantially since Greta wrote this book, and it explains many of my criticisms.
Profile Image for Christy Reed.
Author 4 books
February 3, 2017
If you have been seeking a way to buy clothes that are kinder to the earth and to the people who make them, this is the book. A fashionista by birth and training, Eagan has provided numerous resources to help you be stylish while "greening up" your wardrobe, as well as detailed reasons why you should care. Although many of the companies she recommends are rather pricey, and her description of what you should have in your wardrobe is probably overkill for all of us but the most dedicated style lovers, she gives good tips on how to shop, and also provides some companies which are not super expensive and a lengthy list of resources. Sadly, she's decided not to keep up her fashion blog, which made me really sad, but the book is a wonderful guide.
Profile Image for Laura Carre.
41 reviews
March 6, 2019
Great general reference! Greta covers all the basics around ethical fashion, following globa criteria that anyone can apply. I like that she uses principles and gives many suggestions for every ethical style each of us may have: there is no such thing as "one size fits all" when it comes to concious decisions. The diamond diagram helps a lot and truly gives flexibility without allowing us to "cheat".
It is true that more often than not the exsmples she gives are not applicable to most readers but it's only normal!!! She praises "local" as one of her ethical principles so...guys what did you expect??? At least we will have options when in California. I will certainly keep this book as a frequent reference.
Profile Image for Jessica.
1,294 reviews
December 2, 2019
Very entertaining and informative! I appreciated the brief overview of ethical fashion, and the practical ideas for how to execute in your own life. This author says that you’re never going to be able to have a whole wardrobe of completely stylish, organic, vegan, locally made, secondhand, natural fabrics, socially aware clothes, but if you shoot for at least two of those objectives you can still make a difference! She gives some very specific examples of how to put together outfits that I found to be fun but not necessarily going to be helpful after current trends pass. She also doesn’t seem to be aware of the issues of size inclusivity that can be a challenge for many people. But I still really enjoyed reading this!
49 reviews
July 21, 2017
Useful in thinking about all the ways the textile industry could be more sustainable and trying to work on a more mindful purchasing strategy. Discussion of brands was mostly limited to boutique brands, which is okay, but not for the everyday consumer.

Would have liked some discussion of the up and coming sustainability policies of some of the larger stores. A bit of talk about H&M, but it was limited.

Overall a good book, but written at a bit of a higher level than affordable fashion.

Good intro if you don't already think about this stuff and alternative options.
4 reviews
July 13, 2021
The first four chapters had interesting information about what makes clothing sustainable and how to determine if you should buy a garment. However, most of the book was outdated style advice that read like a cosmopolitan fashion article. She suggested buying a ton of different "must-have" pieces to build a wardrobe. It really just encouraged buying more clothes that you don't need. Even if you are buying from a sustainable brand it's much more sustainable to just limit how much you buy in the first place. The sustainable fashion movement has come a long way since this book was released.
Profile Image for HelenHW.
5 reviews
March 14, 2023
Mostly interested in the sustainable brand vignettes - like eco friendly fabric ratings as well as affordability. Already aware of Patagonia and Columbia brands.

Slow fashion , not fast fashion like HM forever21 etc , was interesting, featuring “timeless” classics (eg, outsider fashion.com, sustainable and ethical, was one link that caught my attention). Also didn’t know that cotton fabrics can leach out toxic and carcinogenic chemicals , before and after manufacturing…

All in all , really expensive to go green both as fashion company and or consumer.
Profile Image for Rachella.
62 reviews1 follower
June 17, 2018
honestly... I skipped a lot of the individual sections. I really enjoyed reading the integrity index and the diamond theory changed how I look at sustainable shopping (ie: that it is available on any budget as long as your values are met). However, after that it fell flat, too many style suggestions (as others have said). It was nice to have a list for each category but if that is not your personall value, it takes up space that could have been used for other kinds of info.
Profile Image for Katrina Clohessy.
365 reviews1 follower
January 29, 2019
I agree with what other reviewers have said: the information presented in the beginning of the book about the environmental impact of different kinds of fabrics is very helpful, as is the system Eagan devised for shopping with ethics and the environment in mind. However, after this helpful information, the book becomes something of a style guide and list of (quite expensive) companies that fit the bill, which I wasn't personally expecting or looking for in this kind of book.
Profile Image for Jessica.
57 reviews18 followers
January 20, 2023
I feel like this book started really strong with tips on defining and assessing the eco-consciousness of clothing, then devolved into a fluffy style guide - including a suggested packing list for your next ski trip!

I was surprised when I saw it was published in 2014 - a lot of the outfit suggested are dated in 2023 when I’m reading it, but they would have come across as dated even back then. And the language - who was still using the term “metrosexual” in 2014?
Profile Image for Anna Reynolds.
3 reviews
January 30, 2019
Great intro on how to shop eco-friendly and provides resources for where to start (brand names/approximate costs). Found sections about "what to pack for X trip" or "what to wear to X event" unnecessary.
Profile Image for CharityJ.
851 reviews10 followers
February 13, 2020
A good source for discovering eco-conscious brands, most of which were new to me, also most out of my price range. Covers a lot of ground for what to consider when wanting to shop and dress in a way that's environmentally ethical.
Profile Image for Majo.
121 reviews2 followers
March 19, 2019
It is more a guide of where to buy clothes, I mean, it is a helpful guide but not the great.
Profile Image for Lo Holder.
54 reviews
October 15, 2021
this book is probably not for my athletic-wearing self but i appreciated the eco brands, and which materials were environmentally friendly and not
17 reviews
January 10, 2022
Very practical approach to how to think about your buying habits without becoming overwhelmed.
Profile Image for Joey Sudmeier.
176 reviews
January 24, 2015
This book is almost a collection of two-three books and, therefore, seems to have multiple audiences depending on what section you're in.

I'm in the fashion industry so there was very valuable information for me including tons of book references for me to dive into the topic even further. The first two chapters appealed to my professional side and I would probably assume they were very boring to a casual reader. The women's fashion section was somewhat interesting (as women make up 70% of my customers) but seemed to be much more of an appeal to casual readers and left me a little bored.

The men's section was somewhat interesting but pretty standard and unmoving facts/instructions.

I didn't even read the makeup section since I have no professional interest and certainly no personal interest :-).

Anyway, the book has some poor reviews but I think you have to view it as I said earlier, a collection of two-three books. By doing that, you can shift who you are as a reader depending on which section you're in.
Profile Image for A..
Author 1 book4 followers
April 20, 2015
The book was okay, but not great. She had too much emphasis on being fashionable to make it a book that would actually be useful for lots of people. My "style" is almost exclusively secondhand, for example, and so I tend to be more concerned about choosing clothes that look good on me rather than ones that are currently in, so I found the book not helpful at all. Eagan lists in detail what she thinks should be included in a wardrobe, and honestly, there are a lot of items that are optional, depending on the person and their occupation. Her guidelines for colour and style choices based on physical colouring and body type are very limited and there are much better resources out there for that.

If you're looking for names of designers and retailers to buy from, this might be a good resource right now, but it will become dated very quickly. It'd be probably better to consult with ethical fashion bloggers on your continent who keep updated lists of who to buy from, as well as doing your own research.
Profile Image for Gina.
631 reviews8 followers
October 6, 2015
This book feels like the meeting of a school report and blog posts. There is good information here, but I needed to take notes. I skimmed the first few chapters, as the content was covered in a documentary I recently watched.

I like the author's approach to eco-shopping -- style needs to be one of the motivating factors. Here's the rub for me. Too often, eco-style isn't in line with my personal style. I like a vintage look, but shopping secondhand isn't necessarily the best option, given that a fair amount of what I find is made of the nasty materials (nylon, polyester, etc.).

At any rate, the author lists over a dozen motivators for eco-conscious shopping, and she encourages the readr to select 4-5 that resonate -- including style.

This is a good primer, with brand listings, etc. Much of this information is readily available with an internet search. However, I always appreciate a book that does some of the work for me.
Profile Image for Kat872.
58 reviews
June 13, 2016
The first part of the book was really interesting and I learned a bit about what is important to me. I would have liked to see far more detail focused on this part of the story.

Once I got to the style section, however, I pretty much skimmed. Most of the tips were for a lifestyle far fancier than mine and the company recommendations were either out of my price range or don't make clothing in my size. Plus-size ladies like to be green too! (This message also goes out to companies who make hiking/outdoor wear... fluffy girls can hike too!!) I guess I will stick to my second hand, natural fibres selections and call it good!
10 reviews
June 2, 2020
This is a good resource with a balance of inspiration and information. It could use a new edition though. Since it was published in 2014, many of the companies and websites mentioned are no longer in existence.
Displaying 1 - 30 of 36 reviews

Can't find what you're looking for?

Get help and learn more about the design.