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

4.05  ·  Rating details ·  1,147 ratings  ·  186 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 c ...more
Paperback, 368 pages
Published August 20th 2019 by Plume Books
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Rachel I haven’t read overdressed, but didn’t feel like I missed out on anything by reading this without reading that first.

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 ·  1,147 ratings  ·  186 reviews


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lisa
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 destruct ...more
Lorilin
Dec 07, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: own, home, wellness
I really had no idea how much fashion contributed to global warming and global waste. Good grief, we really are using our planet as our own personal trash can.

By far, the most important action I took while reading this book was cataloging the clothes I already have. And by "catalog" I mean that I made a spreadsheet and wrote down each main piece of clothing I own (the everyday stuff like t-shirts, tops, pants, jackets, workout wear, and shoes). Then I recorded the brand name, the material conten
...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.
Melissa
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 bu ...more
Emilee
Aug 04, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This is the book that I wished for when I read Overdressed. After going into enormous detail about the evils of fast fashion, and the fashion industry at large, the author kind of floundered to know what to instead. Only buy thrifted? Make all of your clothes by hand yourself? Keep what you have and never buy anything again?

In comparison, this book offers a comprehensive guide to supporting ethical and sustainable fashion. Each section was so thorough it easily could have been it's own volume,
...more
Linda
Jul 19, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
What it does best, is reveal the culture gap between USA and my (not wealthy, but also not really poor) country. Taking shoes to the cobbler is a regular occurrence and everyone and their dog knows how to sew a straight stitch and reattach a button. Well, at least it is so in my family. While I have seen a lot of the sentiments about clothing and their disposability on the rise in our culture as well, I feel we are not as far gone as Americans. And I sure hope we never will be.

The thing is, if y
...more
Beth
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
Claire
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
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
...more
Catherine
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!
Christine
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 recycl
...more
Tori Renee
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 to ...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 brands a ...more
AnnieHil
Aug 17, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shopping is just enough harder in Europe (What size am I? Is this store I’ve never heard of fast fashion? Is that store a good value? Pay these shipping costs or my rent? Are we dressing up for the end times or...?) that I’ve had to slow my roll and think about my retail habits.

The book is thoughtful not preachy. So if this is something you’re already thinking about, the book will only give you momentum. The textile chapter alone is worth the read, and I’ll return to this reference again and ag
...more
Ditchface
Dec 19, 2020 rated it it was amazing
A solidly motivating and accessible guide to being a better consumer and responsible carer of one’s hard-earned fashions!! I appreciated Cline making frequent reference to the need for collective larger scale action, not just by consumer choice, but by pressuring companies and legislators to mandate widespread protection for workers and the environment. It was great to learn about different fabrics, their care and crafts to fix up those clothes we actually don’t want to have to replace, but keep ...more
Aubrey
Jan 27, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2020
A fantastic and eye-opening look into the fashion industry and how to move towards a more conscious and ethical closet without sacrificing style or the fun of getting dressed. The book was a great balance of well presented facts/stats, tips and stories. I also liked that unlike many “how to” type books, the author provided a wealth of information and action items. No pages were wasted and the advice was diverse, from the small to large scale.
Laura Haske
Dec 29, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: lifestyle
As a 5 on the Enneagram, I'm always thinking about reducing waste and living a simpler life. This book was right up that lane. It's a thorough look at how we can be more intentional in the clothing we purchase, wear, wash, and repair. It casts a wide lens, looking at everything from the working conditions in factories to determining the environmental impact of certain types of fabric. But it also includes fashion and style guidance in putting together a fun and thoughtful wardrobe.

Overall, it's
...more
C. S.
DNF after the first couple of chapters. An important subject, but I found the writing style to be a tad bit dry and the content of limited use to someone not already a fashionista or interested in becoming a fashionista.

If fashion is your thing and you're curious about how you can offset the environmental impact of the industry, hive it a shot, it may work for you.
...more
Meagann
Mar 25, 2020 rated it liked it
Overall, solid guide to become more sustainable with fashion. I did learn some more things such as the particulars with the different fabrics that are used. Going in I had prior knowledge of fast fashion so some of the statistics didn't shock me. I think this is better for those who know little to none about the environmental impact the clothing industry has than those who know a great deal. ...more
Katelyn
May 11, 2020 rated it really liked it
I learned a lot and feel better equipped to evaluate fabric choices, ask questions of brands, and make the best choices I can for my closet, garment workers, and the environment. Strongly encourage anyone who is ready to move away from fast, cheap fashion to read this and learn.
CL
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 r ...more
Adriana Marí
Jul 31, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Amazing guide to move to slow fashion at least in the US and Europe. For latin america is still difficult to follow all the advices.
Caryn
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.
Rachel
Jan 15, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Easy to consume and very informative! My copy is covered in post-it’s marking pages I want to reference again and again.
Stephanie Feran
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.
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!
hana
Sep 15, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: japanese
this book was on my to-read list for a while, but got translated earlier this year and found it in the 'new books' section in the library.

I liked how informative this book was, with detailed guides for different fashion types, links to websites, hashtags, brands and people to keep updating knowledge even after this book gets published. Obviously targeted to American/European readers, I really wish there would be more books/sites on sustainable, ethical and environmental friendly in Japan and As
...more
Kate
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,
...more
Lisa
May 03, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This book already started changing the way I think about fashion as I read it, and I was already decently knowledgeable. I think a lot of it’s lessons will inspire me for years and decades to come.
Nancy
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 an
...more
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