Fashionopolis
An investigation into the damage wrought by the colossal clothing industry and the grassroots, high-tech, international movement fighting to reform itWhat should I wear? It's one of the fundamental questions we ask ourselves every day. More than ever, we are told it should be something new. Today, the clothing industry churns out 80 billion garments a year and employs every sixth person on Earth. Historically, the apparel trade has exploited labor, the environment, and intellectual property--and in the last three decades, with the simultaneous unfurling of fast fashion, globalization, and the tech revolution, those abuses have multiplied exponentially, primarily out of view. We are in dire need of an entirely new human-scale model. Bestselling journalist Dana Thomas has traveled the globe to discover the visionary designers and companies who are propelling the industry toward that more positive future by reclaiming traditional craft and launching cutting-edge sustainable technologies to produce better fashion.In Fashionopolis, Thomas sees renewal in a host of developments, including printing 3-D clothes, clean denim processing, smart manufacturing, hyperlocalism, fabric recycling--even lab-grown materials. From small-town makers and Silicon Valley whizzes to such household names as Stella McCartney, Levi's, and Rent the Runway, Thomas highlights the companies big and small that are leading the crusade.We all have been casual about our clothes. It's time to get dressed with intention. Fashionopolis is the first comprehensive look at how to start.

Fashionopolis Details

TitleFashionopolis
Author
ReleaseSep 3rd, 2019
PublisherPenguin Press
ISBN-139780735224018
Rating
GenreNonfiction, Couture, Fashion, Business, Environment, Sustainability, Social Issues

Fashionopolis Review

  • Jessica
    January 1, 1970
    This is a thoroughly well researched and well written book on the behind scenes of the fashion industry. Focusing on clothing production, the book is enlightening and frightening at the same time. To find out in detail what it takes to make a single pair of jeans and how damaging it is to the environment was shocking. After reading this book, it will be a long time before I buy another pair. It was interesting to learn about designers who are trying to create not only more sustainable fabrics, b This is a thoroughly well researched and well written book on the behind scenes of the fashion industry. Focusing on clothing production, the book is enlightening and frightening at the same time. To find out in detail what it takes to make a single pair of jeans and how damaging it is to the environment was shocking. After reading this book, it will be a long time before I buy another pair. It was interesting to learn about designers who are trying to create not only more sustainable fabrics, but also more eco-conscious reusing of material. Parts of it really reminded me of Silent Spring in the urgency of what wanting up the minute fashion does to the environment. A must read not only for eco-lovers, but also for fashionistas. It's eyeopening to find out where your clothes come from.
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  • Jill Meyer
    January 1, 1970
    The other night I went to my son and daughter-in-law's house for a casual Friday night dinner. They have two young daughters and some time before dinner was devoted to the girls trying on clothes and shoes their mother had ordered on line - giving their measurements and shoe sizes - and deciding what they were going to keep and what would go back. This modern day Wells Fargo Wagon delivery system is only one of the ways that clothes for all ages get made and distributed these days. In her book, The other night I went to my son and daughter-in-law's house for a casual Friday night dinner. They have two young daughters and some time before dinner was devoted to the girls trying on clothes and shoes their mother had ordered on line - giving their measurements and shoe sizes - and deciding what they were going to keep and what would go back. This modern day Wells Fargo Wagon delivery system is only one of the ways that clothes for all ages get made and distributed these days. In her book, "Fashionopolis: The Price of Fast Fashion and the Future of Clothes", author Dana Thomas takes the readers behind the scenes to look at clothes made for Zara and its competitors, which provide cheap fashion just made to wear-and-throw-away, to the "back to nature" clothes, hand made in communities in the US and Europe. Zara's clothes are made in real-life sweat shops based in Asia and Central America, and Thomas doesn't stint on giving the hoary details of those places.Thomas also looks at the history of fashion and how politics has often affected it. I hadn't realised how much NAFTA had helped wipe out much of the manufacturing base in the United States since the 1990's. Thomas shows how our decline was matched by the uptick in world-wide production went to areas where it was cheaper to produce. I didn't get the sense she was condemning NAFTA; rather that she was explaining the after-effects. Dana Thomas's book on the ins-and-outs of how today's fashions are produced and how the future of fashion will look is not for the reader casually interested in the subject. She covers fashion from the designs to the manufacturing to the distribution of clothing and accessories and the reader should be at least somewhat familiar with the names and the histories and techniques she refers to.
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  • John Spiller
    January 1, 1970
    "Fashionopolis" is a continuation of a subject covered in Thomas' earlier book "Deluxe," which examined the decline in quality of luxury brand products as they evolved from small to global scale. "Fashionopolis" explores the ways in which clothing has become increasingly disposable, and the human and environmental cost of the increasing global demand for "fast fashion". Having set out the effects of our fashion bulimia of binging and purging, Thomas then describes various innovations that can ma "Fashionopolis" is a continuation of a subject covered in Thomas' earlier book "Deluxe," which examined the decline in quality of luxury brand products as they evolved from small to global scale. "Fashionopolis" explores the ways in which clothing has become increasingly disposable, and the human and environmental cost of the increasing global demand for "fast fashion". Having set out the effects of our fashion bulimia of binging and purging, Thomas then describes various innovations that can make clothing production more environmentally friendly, humane to workers, while at the same time being financially remunerative. Fashionopolis' major flaw is that Thomas does not critically consider whether the "slow fashion" trends she describes will be accessible to any beyond sophisticated and wealthier punters. It's one thing to lionize the environmentally friendly means of producing selvedge jeans, but is a family of modest means going to spring for $200 jeans for their kids? Is someone working two jobs going to spend time looking on boutique online resale shops to buy gently used couture that would otherwise be unaffordable? This is a minor quibble with an otherwise thought-provoking book.
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  • Diana
    January 1, 1970
    The biggest reason people buy fast fashion is the one thing that's not really addressed in this book: Price. Someone who buys fast fashion can't afford the "reasonable" price of around $300 to rent an outfit. Or $800 for a "slow fashion" sweater. Or even $50 for a t-shirt. One other thing that bothered me was the complete lack of awareness of race and class history when discussing the history of, for example, the American cotton industry. How do you talk about cotton in the South without even me The biggest reason people buy fast fashion is the one thing that's not really addressed in this book: Price. Someone who buys fast fashion can't afford the "reasonable" price of around $300 to rent an outfit. Or $800 for a "slow fashion" sweater. Or even $50 for a t-shirt. One other thing that bothered me was the complete lack of awareness of race and class history when discussing the history of, for example, the American cotton industry. How do you talk about cotton in the South without even mentioning slavery, Jim Crow, etc.? I did like learning about environmental issues and new technologies in fashion, but again, if it doesn't address the price issue, it doesn't really address the consumer need.
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  • Kim
    January 1, 1970
    This is a must read for anyone interested in the business of fashion, as well as environmentalists. Lots information, can be a little dry at times, but it is eye-opening and also hopeful about the future. Dana Thomas does a good job of explaining everything that goes into our clothes, and it is not all negative as I expected, but states the facts with some background, present day and what the future holds and who is leading the way. Like anything worthwhile, it is a marathon not a sprint.
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  • Allyson
    January 1, 1970
    Listened to this (read by author on Audible) as I wanted to learn more about the environmental and societal impact of the apparel industry, as well as future innovations. This book definitely brought me up to speed in a great way on those areas. However, as some other reviewers have mentioned, this book really spent a lot of time focusing on innovations made by luxury brands such as Alabama Chanin and Stella McCartney, that are prohibitively expensive to the average consumer. One skirt that Alab Listened to this (read by author on Audible) as I wanted to learn more about the environmental and societal impact of the apparel industry, as well as future innovations. This book definitely brought me up to speed in a great way on those areas. However, as some other reviewers have mentioned, this book really spent a lot of time focusing on innovations made by luxury brands such as Alabama Chanin and Stella McCartney, that are prohibitively expensive to the average consumer. One skirt that Alabama Chanin sells is $9,000, which is stupid expensive. The author seemed to spend over an hour talking about the innovations and sustainable practices this company employs. I would argue that they are not strategies that make a massive difference if they produce $9,000 garments. Now the ideas that come from these practices are interesting to think about, but it is not worth lauding over and profiling them for the amount of time that the author did. The book is slightly tone-deaf throughout the book, highlighting sustainable practices employed by the luxury fashion industry, and slightly turning up her nose at the only slightly-affordable brand for consumers, The Reformation.This book does not contain much advice beyond shop at the luxury retailers she highlighted and if you can't afford to buy from the source, buy at the sale of the sale of the sale, or buy secondhand, or buy secondhand on sale. This is not practical advice. I think it slightly promote elitism that only wealthy consumers can have a choice in how they look, leaving the leftovers for everyone else. She also highlights renting clothing as a viable option and again does not particularly focus on Rent The Runway, a company attainable for the average consumer, but a French rental company that rents Stella McCartney and other couture designers.I would read this book if you have a specific interest in learning about the environmental impact of various manufacturing practices, where the industry is generally, and what types of innovation are happening. This is not a how-to book, nor a book for the average person looking for an interesting read. It's dense and fairly academic.
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  • Laura
    January 1, 1970
    Eye-opening, interesting, depressing, and a bit hopeful. I was hoping for a bit more for how the middle class consumer could encourage better clothing choices, but I have many companies I was introduced to, to do some more research on. But this book definitely made me now double think about my clothing purchases.
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  • Halley
    January 1, 1970
    Dis you know 82% of the clothes made this year will end up being destroyed or dumped in a landfill?!? What an eye-opener about where my clothes actually come from, and how they make it into my hands. I honestly don't think I'll ever see a mall the same again after this book, and I'm more dedicated than ever to Poshmark/consignment shopping to reduce the impact what I wear has on the environment.
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  • Janet Darlington
    January 1, 1970
    Other than skirts over $1000.00 US being touted as sustainable (which is the inequality that caused fast fashion to rise in the first place), this was a good, informative and up-to-date book. I enjoyed it and a lot of the information in it was new to me.
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  • Secret List of Books
    January 1, 1970
    Clearly written, well researched and really interesting. Heard about it first listening to an interview with the author on a fashion industry podcast.
  • Quratulain
    January 1, 1970
    Great read
  • Valerie
    January 1, 1970
    Everyone who wears clothes should read this.
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