Sustainable Fashion

Sustainable Fashion

“Sustainable Fashion – Past, Present and Future” provides a unique and accessible overview of fashion ethics and sustainability issues of the past, present and future. This book is the first to situate today’s eco-fashion movement in its multifaceted historical context, investigating the relationship between fashion and the environment as far back as the early nineteenth century.
Employing an expanded definition of sustainablity that also considers ethical issues, Farley Gordon and Hill explore each stage of the fashion production cycle, from the cultivation of raw fibers to the shipment of the finished garment. Structured thematically, each of the six chapters is dedicated to the discussion of one major issue, from recycling and repurposing to labor practices and the treatment of animals.


This book is an extremely well researched, informativ overview of sustainable fashion history, basic knowledge and strategies and is absolutely recommendable.

author: Jennifer Farley Gordon / Colleen Hill
title: Sustainable Fashion – Past, Present and Future
publisher: bloomsbury academic
year: 2014
emphases: sustainable fashion, fashion history, sustainable fibers,
recycling/reuse, labor practice


„The advent of true ‚fast fashion‘ only occurred about 20 years ago, but it has nearly eradicated all memory of how our clothing was manufactured, sold and cared for prior to the 1990. While the fast fashion production cycle is often blamed for today’s overabundance of cheap, seeminlgy valueless clothing, however, faster and less expensive production of fabric and clothing was a vital part of the Industrial Revolution in the nineteenth centura. Man historians believe that the Industrial Revolution was, in fact, principally generated by the demand for more textiles.“

„Even the wealthy repurposed, saved fabrics, remodeled their clothes, and sold unwanted items in the secondhand market. Sustainability was a way of life.“

„As a 1924 handbook entitled ‚Principles of Clothing Selection‘ observed, ‚at present our standard of dress is based upon fashion. Quality and beauty are not important, because fashion changes so rapidly that garments are scared long before they are worn out.“

„An average, about 15 percent of the cloth used to make an adult-sized garment is wasted – and that scrap fabric is usually sent straight to landfills.“

„Hemp offers a multitude of ecological advantages. It grows extremely quickly, and requires only about one fifth of the water necessary to grow cotton. Hemp is naturally resistant to harmful insects and weeds, thus eliminating the need for pesticides. The hemp crop is also an ideal choice for land that is in transition to certified organic status. Hemp plants improve the structure of the soil in which they are grown, and can thrive on land that has been polluted with heavy metals. They are also carbon-negativ, removing five times more carbon dioxide from the atmosphere than trees.“

„Throughout the past two centuries, the industry has been criticized for disreagarding the health and safety of its workers, paying them inadequate wages, and employing children.“

„‚Women are not mean, but getting clothes cheaply has become a sort of game’, wrote journalist Marjorie Howard in 1933.“