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Wardrobe Crisis: How We Went From Sunday Best to Fast Fashion

4.09  ·  Rating details ·  284 ratings  ·  49 reviews
Who makes your clothes? This used to be an easy question to answer: it was the seamstress next door, or the tailor on the high street – or you made them yourself. Today we rarely know the origins of the clothes hanging in our closets. The local shoemaker, dressmaker and milliner are long gone, replaced by a globalised fashion industry worth $1.5 trillion a year.

In Wardrobe
Paperback, 336 pages
Published May 2016 by Nero
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Average rating 4.09  · 
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 ·  284 ratings  ·  49 reviews

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Roxane Horton
Mar 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Probably the best book on sustainable fashion in the market. Clare makes a potentially difficult subject accessible and funny. I couldn't put it down - and that's saying something for non fiction. Read it if you have an interest in sustainable and ethical fashion, read it if you are designer, read it if you buy clothes, read it if you wear clothes!
Jun 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing
An excellent exposition of our obsession with fast fashion, and all the dirty laundry that our habit comes with. I don't think I've ever been a major fashion victim, and I infinitely prefer quality pieces that last over a bargin any day. Zara and H & M are highly overrated to me (I'm a Gorman and Cue kind of girl). But still reading this book has made me question the impacts of some of my clothing. For example did you know that there are rivers in China that run blue because of all the jeans and ...more
Elena Antoniou
Mar 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This book is an imperative reading for anyone who wants to understand the history of where our thirst for fast fashion has come from, and the detrimental impact it is having on the planet and those who work behind the scenes in the fashion industry.
Clare is a well respected and fantastic writer.. I am never bored with her writing!
A must for fledgling designers and established brands that want to change the way they see their role in the fashion industry.
Loved it!
Jul 18, 2019 rated it it was ok
This was disappointing. Everything interesting in this book was already done, better, in Lucy Siegel’s “To Die For.” The long tangents on the history of French couture houses were strange distractions I honestly didn’t care about. I’m here to read about sustainability (or lack thereof) and fashion’s role in it, not a hagiography about Coco Chanel.

It seemed like way too much time was spent essentially saying things were better in the old days. Furthermore - if you’re trying to change how people
Mar 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing
One of the most entertaining and informative books on ethical and sustainable fashion I've read. Can highly recommend for anyone who wants to understand the history and future of fashion.
Dec 01, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction, 2019
This was a really good read, painted a good picture, and seemed well researched/interviewed/annotated.

I learned a lot of new things and had other ideas and bits of history I've read about previously added to.

Sep 01, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is a really interesting read for everyone. Whether you're interested in fashion, the environment or working conditions in developing nations - it has something to hold everyone's interest. It's pretty eye-opening to the detriment fast fashion has on the world and it's workers, but it's told in a quite factual way. The only problem I had with it was that sometimes the anecdotes meander a bit too much and don't seem to come together at the end of the chapter or quite get to the point, so ...more
Mar 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2018
Wardrobe crisis has become my self help book, my favourite conversation topic and the book I most recommend to friends. As a young woman in the 21st century I was all too well acquainted with fast fashion. Reading Clare's book has honestly changed the way I consume. I no longer walk into stores thinking about what a bargain something is if it is only $10 for a dress. I instead think about the social, political and environmental costs for it to be that cheap. While I admit the first part was a li ...more
Jan 01, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: misc-non-fiction
I really wanted to like this book, but it just didn't capture me. The author has a really humorous tone and an engaging writing style, but her organization was all over the place. I also feel like she didn't really reach her thesis, because I left the book not really getting a good sense of how we "went from Sunday best to Fast Fashion." There was certainly alot of information dispersed throughout, but the pieces never came together in a cohesive way. Interesting topic but didn't really hit the ...more
Ellen McMahon
Brilliant, insightful, thought-provoking and hopeful (despite the often bleak subject matter).
I found Press' writing to be thoroughly engaging and loved the way she approached the topic from a fresh angle: telling the history of fashion and the stories of the designers to give social and historical context to how we ended up here. Fast fashion is serious business.
This book left me feeling both informed and inspired.
Katiuska Clarke
Aug 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2017-books
One of the most important books I've read in a long time. Extremely well researched, entertaining and enlightening. Read this if you want to be transformed from fashion addict to sustainable fashion warrior prince/princess!
Sep 30, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2017
This book has really made me stop and think about where clothes I'm purchasing come from, and the chemical used in the process. I feel like I can't go back to blissful ignorance now that I know too much about the awful truth behind 'fast fashion'
Rebecca Parker
Mar 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Absolutely loved this book. So insightful and entertaining. 100% recommend.
Sayraphim Lothian
Jun 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Loved this book and how it presented the heartbreaking crisis we're currently in with fabric, clothing and textiles.
Natasha (jouljet)
Jan 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A manual, background primer and call to arms for those of us thinking more consciously about the clothes we wear, who made them, and the impact their volume is having on the world as a whole.

Covering a history of fashion manufacturer, to the globalisation ownership of most of the brands we know. From high end fashion, to spotlighting some ethical brands doing impressive things, both for their community and with an environmental mindfulness lens.

I will forever look at blue jeans, duck and goose d
Apr 25, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I expected a holier-than-thou book with a substantial dose of personal bias and opinion. Instead, this book tracks the path of (mostly Western) fashion from ancient to modern, including myriad anecdotes along the way.
I know almost nothing about couture, with only a passing awareness that Net-a-porter exists and appears popular. This book kept me interested in a topic that doesn’t naturally capture me, introducing me to the who’s who in fashion. Along the way, I became aware of the how and why of
Apr 20, 2019 rated it liked it
Worth reading if you’re at all interested in the history of clothing manufacturing and how we arrived at the current world wide practices. An unsustainable supply of dangerously processed textiles are used to create the mass produced, cheap clothing of today. Cheap to produce, cheap to purchase, lucrative for owners and investors, but enormously expensive for the environment and most of the workers at every step along the supply chain.
Hanah Williams
Jul 18, 2019 rated it did not like it
This book made me aware of the "fast fashion" issues in the world but had little direction. I was expecting a book with ideas on how to decrease my footprint on the constant turnover of the clothing industry, but it was more of a history book on fashion which some people may enjoy. The first part of the book was very intriguing and it gave me an appreciation and understanding of the fashion industry but I wouldn't necessarily count this as a sustainability book.
Aug 02, 2019 rated it liked it
Having listened to some of Clare's podcasts and thoroughly enjoying her later book, Rise and Resist, I felt this one didn't really tell me much that's new. I'm sure at the time of publishing a lot of the content shocked readers into rethinking how they consumer fashion - at least I hope it did.

Worth a read, but I recommend her online stuff over this.
Jayne Mahoney
Aug 04, 2020 rated it liked it
l don't think the book gives the explanation promised by the title. It's like a bunch of (quite interesting) feature articles shoved together without a clear narrative thread holding them together. Maybe not surprising since Clare is a journalist, not an academic.

I did enjoy it, but it didn't hit the mark.
S Isa
Nov 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A fantastic introduction to sustainability and the problems of fast-fashion and mass consumerism. Clare Press is incredibly knowledgeable and speaks to some change makers doing incredible things to solve this crisis.
Jan 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A witty & easy to read presentation of a serious subject, full of in depth knowledge about how fast fashion is negatively impacting the lives of the makers and increasing landfill that cannot be sustained for our planet. ...more
May 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A must-read for anyone who wants to shop less, shop smarter, and understand the environmental cost of fast fashion and cheap consumer goods. The topic is serious, but the author has a great way of writing that keeps you turning the pages.
Jul 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing
One of the few books you read that changes your perspective forever. A must read for anyone wanting to know more about where fashion comes from and how it affects the planet, as well as how to make better choices.
Jun 03, 2020 rated it really liked it
Highly recommend the book to anyone who is interested in sustainable/ethical fashion.

I really enjoyed reading through the evolution of both fast fashion and sustainability - whilst also being reminded of key historical events (fashion-related or not).
May 19, 2017 rated it really liked it
4.5 stars, this book was super informative and I liked that it was Australian/NZ specific. As someone who doesn't know much about fashion, some if the names and references went over my head.
Gill Hutchison
May 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing
My book of the year!
Aug 09, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book was great! I'm not really into fashion or sustainability but it was a fascinating read. Well-researched and I liked the tone. I learnt a lot about the environmental impacts of fast fashion.
Lisa Baudry
Jun 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Excellent book. A must read. Great references to other books, articles and thinkers.
Jul 13, 2018 rated it liked it
Clare Press is hilarious, which was probably my favorite aspect of the book. But she was also informative and made me think about the clothes I buy. Would recommend!
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