‘How to Break Up with Fast Fashion, A Guilt-Free Guide to Changing the Way You Shop For Good’ by Lauren Bravo
“Textile production produces an estimated 1.2 billion tonnes of CO2 emissions per year, which is more than international flights and maritime shipping combined”
Shocking, right? Startling, even? A bit gut wrenching? Too much to handle… turn a blind-eye and pretend like you haven’t seen it.
We all have – something Lauren Bravo admits to in her book ‘How to Break Up With Fast Fashion’. But it doesn’t have to be that way, and Bravo’s book is a great place to start dissecting your relationship with fashion, and making small steps to reduce our impact on the environment.
There is no denying that the climate crisis is real, and it is happening now. There is also no denying that it can all feel too big, too scary, and too abstract to really know how to make a difference. So, imagine if you could have an open, honest conversation with your girlfriends/guyfriends over coffee – free of judgement and dismissal. That’s exactly what it feels like when you read ‘How to Break Up With Fast Fashion’.
Bravo does a fantastic job at communicating her humanity to the reader; creating a safe space to understand how we got to this point. Bravo breaks the book down into three sections: Part One: The Fight, Part Two: The Split, and Part Three: The Rebound. So I’m going to follow suit in my review of her book …
Part One – “[t]he truth is fashion needs us more than we need fashion”
The first part of Bravo’s work is dedicated to helping the reader understand how we have gotten to where we are, and the associated social, economic, and political implications. Bravo doesn’t stray away from difficult topics, talking about fast fashion’s polluting tendencies, its creation (and reinforcement of) grave wealth inequality, and the detrimental impact it has on our mental health. She details how fast fashion has permeated all aspects of our lives, but also gives hope that it doesn’t have to be that way.
“Fashion’s environmental issues are inherently social issues too, because people are always affected – usually the youngest, poorest, or most vulnerable first”
As a small side point, at one point Bravo talks about the Rana Plaza tragedy. This is something that I had to study as part of an International Development Law module in my undergraduate degree. If you’ve not heard of it, I would highly recommend checking out ‘The True Cost’.
Part Two – “An outfit should always have at least 20 percent space for pasta”
So Part 1 gave you the context. Part 2 gives you the practical tools. All hope is not lost!
Bravo provides us with a whole host of wonderful tips to help us love the clothes we already have – to see them in a new light, but also to improve their life-span. She covers:
At each step of this journey, she remains blissfully human and approachable. In the introduction she said “I want this book to be a companion, not a critic” – this feeling really shines through throughout Part 2.
“Remember the golden rule for wardrobe maintenance: a disaster is just a craft project you haven’t met yet”
Part Three – “No man is an island and no garm should be either”
Finally, Part Three shows you the future. Bravo isn’t suddenly expecting you to give up clothes shopping for good, so here she is giving you the tools to start doing it in a sustainable, ethical way.
This section is full of really useful hints, tips, and lists, including:
- Solid tips to shop by
- The six commandments of vintage shopping
- And, the ‘What Next?’ directory
“We can only do the best we can do. But most of us can probably do better than we are”
‘How to Break Up with Fast Fashion’ will be available in the UK in January 2020 – just in time for your New Years Resolutions. I was very lucky to have been sent my copy my Headline Books, and can confidently claim that it has already helped me be more environmentally conscious about my wardrobe.
I would thoroughly recommend this to anyone and everyone who knows they need to make a change, but isn’t quite sure where to start. ‘How to Break up With Fast Fashion’ is a friend you can keep coming back to; it knows you’re not perfect, but you’re trying your best and that is what counts!
‘How to Break Up with Fast Fashion, A Guilt-Free Guide to Changing the Way You Shop For Good’ by Lauren Bravo in Facts
Author: Lauren Bravo
First Published Date: 2020
Publishing House: Headline Books
Pages: 292 (262 as bulk read)