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The Conscious Closet: The Revolutionary Guide to Looking Good While Doing Good

4.10  ·  Rating details ·  486 ratings  ·  84 reviews
The Conscious Closet is not just a style guide. It is a call to action to transform one of the most polluting industries on earth--fashion--into a force for good. Readers will learn where our clothes are made and how they're made, before connecting to a global and impassioned community of stylish fashion revolutionaries. In The Conscious Closet, Elizabeth shows us how we ...more
Paperback, 368 pages
Published August 20th 2019 by Plume Books
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Apr 26, 2019 rated it really liked it
This book offers so many great suggestions for how to be a more conscious clothes shopper. It was very informative about the impact of the clothing industry, especially fast fashion, on the environment. I knew it was bad, I just didn't know how bad! I love the practical suggestions for tackling your own closet and making it more earth friendly.

Disclaimer: This ARC was provided by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
When I read Elizabeth Cline's first book, Overdressed, I wasn't terribly impressed with it. However, I have never, ever forgotten it, and over the years since I read it I have completely changed the way I buy clothes, all because of Overdressed. Overdressed also put me in a quest to find a better way to style myself, which led me down the rabbit hole of fashion blogs, books, TED talks, etc. It may always be a work in progress, but I like how aware I've become about fast fashion, and how ...more
Lesr Kew
Dec 05, 2019 rated it really liked it
Didn’t think I’d enjoy this book as much as i did but I learned so much. Loved it.
Oct 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: kindle, 2019
Oh boy, did this book open my eyes. I really wish I had read it before I did my big closet/attic cleanout a few months ago! I have been an overconsumer of clothes since I've been in the womb (sorry, mom) and I truly did not realize the impact of my careless buying habits. I've gotten more into buying secondhand recently, and after reading this book, I pretty much never want to buy a new article of clothing again. I still have a long way to go but this book definitely gave me tons of ideas for ...more
Laura Fusaro
Aug 27, 2019 rated it liked it
Good book, but I was kind of expecting more. Most of what it suggests was taught me by my mom and dad when I was a kid. I’ve always gone to the cobbler to fix my shoes, mostly donated my clothes when worn out, chosen good quality stuff (I hate polyester and nylon anyway), I mend what’s broken, I go to the tailor to repurpose a dress or take in a shirt, I love to buy second hand, I surely take care of my clothes. I don’t know, is it just common sense?
Yeah, I certainly found many facts to reflect
Dec 30, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: nonfiction, wishlist
"Building a conscious closet starts with a greater awareness and the next garment you purchase, not by feeling guilty about the ones you already have. What's more, the most sustainable clothes are the clothes you already own and want to keep wearing."

The Conscious Closet is a follow-up to Overdressed, her book about the damaging effects of fast fashion. I read Overdressed last year, and I was super excited to get my hands on this recent release. I would definitely recommend it if you are
Nov 16, 2019 rated it liked it
I read Elizabeth Cline's earlier book, Overdressed, and gave it less stars because I came away extremely frustrated and not enlightened.
I was pleased with this new book because she noted that like others, she was also frustrated about the question "WHAT CAN I WEAR"?
At that point I was about the give the book 4 stars.
This book IS better than her earlier book "Overdressed".
But it's still not very deep. The upsides: she writes about clothing care, what constitutes quality, ways to resell and
Tori Kubicki
Jan 11, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I wish this book had existed five years ago when I started researching a lot of the same topics covered in this book. It would have saved so much time to be able to gather all the needed information in one go. All the same, I found myself still picking up new information and resources for a more sustainable and ethical approach to consumerism. Highly recommend this to anyone just starting to think about where the items in their home come from or even for those who have already started working ...more
Mel Auffredou
Jan 10, 2020 rated it really liked it
The only reason I couldn't give this 5 stars is that I wish Cline had come down more critically on the actors of fast fashion (perhaps she did this in her first book?). Anyone advocating for conscious fashion should never mention H&M or Zara in even a neutral context. Those executives should be imprisoned. However I learned so much about concrete actions I can take to build a more functional, sustainable and ethical wardrobe and everyone should read this in order to truly understand the ...more
Sep 30, 2019 rated it it was ok
Did this book have an editor? The premise is worthy, and after reading several other books on the perils of fast fashion, I had hoped to get some kind of real advice. Instead, the author states the same facts and figures about global pollution, landfills, poorly paid garment workers...over and over. Yes, we get it, otherwise we wouldn’t have bought the book in the first place. When she finally comes close to offering something concrete, she refers the reader to another section or chapter while ...more
I’m not quite in this book’s target audience (like, I am not spending bajillions on the Latest Trends and I definitely cannot afford an apartment with washer/dryer in unit, lol) but I still got a lot out of this book. The Patagonia product placement aside.......I did really appreciate learning about visible mending, smarter shopping (buy PERFECT), and resale value. A mixed bag for sure, but I’m going to try to put what I can into practice!
Dec 29, 2019 rated it really liked it
I will be adjusting my buying, donating, and cleaning habits from this book. The tips in each chapter make changes easy.
Stephanie Mater
Oct 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I read this book to understand more about how to make sustainable choices with my wardrobe. I learned so much more about the fashion industry that will inform so many choices I make moving forward.
Dec 04, 2019 rated it liked it
The author discusses various aspects of trying to be sustainable about clothing and fashion. She covers antidotes to fast fashion, like buying clothes that will last, emphasizing quality over quantity, mending and repairing clothing, washing clothes to avoid wearing them out so quickly, shopping secondhand, recycling/donating used clothes, and even renting clothing for occasions. She mentions some brands and companies that are more sustainable. She also touches on many issues that are not easily ...more
Eleanor Greene
Sep 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A must read for beginners to sustainable/ethical fashion. Even as an intermediate level on this I learned a lot!
May 03, 2019 rated it really liked it
This book was so comprehensive, I can't believe how much the author decided to tackle. Obviously some of the tips are things most of us are probably familiar with, like not supporting fast fashion or buying fewer clothes, but the author did a good job mentioning eco-friendly brands I had never heard of. I feel like the author did a good job of mentioning that not buying fast fashion can be really expensive and tried explain that by shopping used or resale or repairing the clothes you already own ...more
Aug 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This book was excellent.

I wasn’t aware of just how much goes into the making of clothes, as well as all the resources required to make new clothes.

This book doesn’t come across as preachy. loved learning about how to choose quality clothing and the ways in which we can be more mindful about what we buy.
Dec 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing
(First, a confession: I did skim parts of this book--mostly the instructional, how-to chapters--usually because I already knew the material. Also, I plan to buy a copy, so I knew I could look up the information when needed.)

This is an excellent reference for those who want to:
1. Weed out their closets AND
2. Shop more ethically AND
3. Make their clothes last longer.

Many references do one of those things--they'll help you weed and organize (Kondo is popular and I do recommend her!), learn to shop,
Jan 04, 2020 rated it really liked it
The Conscious Closet is such a solid book about multiple aspects of clothing consciousness: the fashion industry, materials used and the environmental impact, people working in the garment industry, what to do with your own closet...I took notes.

Written in the 2nd person, it's a highly readable book that doesn't skimp on using data to back up claims.

I've been overwhelmed by the troubling aspects of the garment industry and what to do about my own wardrobe, and this book helped me identify a few
Aug 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Make Your Closet Better and More You

I love fashion. From the time I learned to sew, I’ve been fascinated by fabrics, color and design. This book is a treat for anyone who loves clothes and wants a more functional wardrobe at a reasonable price that says who you are.

Much as clothes are wonderful mood lifters, they can also be a drag on the environment if we don’t choose carefully and take care of what we have. This book goes into all aspects of the fashion industry. It discusses the political
Brittany Karns
Dec 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing
The best reduce-waste/ thoughtful consumerism/ environmental book I consumed this year. A more-than-expected genuinely enjoyable read, can't recommend enough! Originally started writing down quotes but it is eminently quotable. Whether you have already read extensively on fashion and textile waste or have never put a thought into it, there's great info in, there's great info in this book! I find myself more thoughtful about and in love with my clothes than ever!

Cline covers everything I could
Rikke Jensen
Dec 19, 2019 rated it really liked it
This book is a great guide for those wondering how to get started with conscious fashion. The book goes through how to clean your closet, buy consciously, and how to take care of the things you own. The chapters are evenly divided and it's very easy to find the exact section you need at any given, e.g. you want to freshen up your memory on sustainable fabrics, mending etc.

My only complaint would be two things: repetitions and advertisements.

The chapters become repetitive rather quickly. Most
Oct 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction, library
I've been trying to be more careful with my clothing purchases this year, and I found this to be an incredibly interesting book. It might start off with ways to better manage your wardrobe, and how to pare it down and then build it up in your personal style, but then it takes a deep dive into the production of fabrics, where textiles are made, and how much energy goes into our clothes. It also covers the ways in which we handle the staggering amount of clothing waste that humans make, which in ...more
May 25, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arc-s, net-galley
*I received this book from NetGalley in return for a honest review*

Although I have always frequented thrift stores, it wasn't until just over a year ago that I started to truly care about the items that were in my wardrobe; from where they came from, to how they fit with my style and this book was a great companion to this change.

Elizabeth goes into all aspects of the fashion industry from the fabric of our clothes, the overstuffing of our closets, and how to be more ethical in our purchases. I
Felicia Owens
Oct 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This should be required reading for everyone who wears clothes. This was such a solid manual on every aspect of sustainable fashion. Cline provides sound advice on how to shop more sustainably, including buying and selling used, as well as how to discern quality fabrics and hold companies accountable. Likewise, I appreciated her insight into the truly alarming labor issues surrounding fashion. Cline has been studying sustainable fashion for more than a decade and it shows - this woman knows what ...more
Jan 03, 2020 rated it it was ok
A reasonable guide to improving the sustainability of one’s clothes. This is an area that I find overwhelming - what’s the right balance of climate cost vs. pollution & water use, without even mentioning the social issues involved. I don’t purchase new clothes often, but I want to be better about it when I do.

Cline puts together a useful resource that hits on many of the facets to consider so there’s value there, but I don’t think I really came away with all that much new information from
I'm so glad that I read this book! It has changed how I think about fashion and my consumer habits. I think I was fairly intentional in my purchases to begin with, but this made me think about how my choices can make a positive impact or at least a neutral one on the environment, and raised my awareness about how fashion has a powerful social and economic impact--for ill OR for good. I love that the author has all kinds of lists of resources for further thought and action as well. I have seen a ...more
Dec 27, 2019 rated it liked it
I waffled between 3 and 4 stars here. Mostly, I think the order could have been revised to talk about the issues with the industry and THEN provide strategies to revise shopping habits and better care for our clothes. Another issue I had was the emphasis on consuming. Sure, buying mindfully and consciously, but still buying more and more. Perhaps that’s unavoidable, though, particularly from Cline’s perspective as one who presents herself as a fashion person.

Ultimately, though, this was a good
Nov 07, 2019 rated it really liked it
I found this book informative when it comes to discussing being fashion conscious. The campaign to be fashion conscious has been there for a time, but it was only recently that it has been thrusted through the media that I consume. I liked that her writing provided data without making it too scholarly for an average reader to consume. She provides resources for further research, and formats the book in chapters that flow seamlessly. If one is curious about the discussion of fast fashion, being ...more
Jan 03, 2020 rated it really liked it
Exactly what I was looking for: a guide to sustainable fashion that provides information about the growing movement against fast fashion AND useful tips on how to build a ethical and sustainable wardrobe. A must-read for anyone who wants their personal style to look good and feel good. My only complaint: there could have been a whole section dedicated to the lack of plus size inclusive options by sustainable clothing brands. It's gotten better in the last year or so, but it's still a struggle.
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