Hubby recently picked up a copy of Wear No Evil by Greta Eagan to sell for the book business. Unfortunately, the price wasn’t right for us to make money off of our copy. The book looked interesting, so I ended up reading it this week.
Here is the synopsis on Amazon: ‘Have you ever wondered, “How can I inherently do good while looking good?” Wear No Evil has the answer, and is the timely handbook for navigating both fashion and ethics. It is the style guide with sustainability built in that we’ve all been waiting for. As a consumer, you regain your power with every purchase to support the causes and conditions you already advocate in other areas of your life (such as local or organic food), while upholding your sense of self through the stylish pieces you use to create your wardrobe.
‘Featuring the Integrity Index (a simplified way of identifying the ethics behind any piece of fashion) and an easy to use rating system, you’ll learn to shop anywhere while building your personal style and supporting your values- all without sacrifice. Fashion is the last frontier in the shift towards conscious living. Wear No Evil provides a roadmap founded in research and experience, coupled with real life style and everyday inspiration.
‘Part 1 presents the hard-hitting facts on why the fashion industry and our shopping habits need a reboot.
‘Part 2 moves you into a closet-cleansing exercise to assess your current wardrobe for eco-friendliness and how to shop green.
‘Part 3 showcases eco-fashion makeovers and a directory of natural beauty recommendations for face, body, hair, nails, and makeup.
‘Style and sustainability are not mutually exclusive. They can live in harmony. It’s time to restart the conversation around fashion—how it is produced, consumed, and discarded—to fit with the world we live in today. Pretty simple, right? It will be, once you’ve read this book.
‘Wear No Evil gives new meaning—and the best answers—to an age-old question: “What should I wear today?”’
Eagan kept part 1 short because most people who pick up her book already know about the problems with the fast fashion industry. Her integrity index gives factors by which to judge whether a clothing purchase is ethical. These factors include: natural/low-impact dyes, natural fibers, organic, fair trade, recycled/upcycled, secondhand, local (country you’re in), social (linked to a cause), zero waste, convertible, vegan, low water footprint, transparent, cradle to cradle (ability to have a second life cycle as clothing), slow fashion, and style. Since finding a piece of clothing which matches all 16 factors would be nearly impossible, Eagan also came up with the diamond diagram.
The diamond diagram is shaped like a baseball diamond where style always takes the home plate position. Style always takes the first position because if a person doesn’t like the style of the garment, that person is not going to wear it very often. The rest of the diamond is filled in with what the shopper considers the most important factors. Eagan also encourages her readers to have a reserve factor. These 3-4 factors can be arranged in any order on the diamond. In order for a purchase to be considered ethical, it must meet the style factor and one other. My diamond diagram includes: style, natural fibers, secondhand, organic, and fair trade or local.
I really enjoyed this book because Eagan included eco-friendly brands in various price ranges. She put together sample outfits for various occasions (dates, job interviews, weddings, cocktail parties, etc.) and included the brands for these outfits. Eagan included brands for pretty much every category from pants to shirts to jewelry to makeup to skin care products. The book also includes a chapter for men, who usually get left out of books targeted for ethical fashion.
Eagan does focuses entirely on fashion. She does not have a capsule wardrobe, nor does she write about them in her book. Although, she does include a short section about doing an initial closet decluttering. This is one area where I find her system lacking. I think one of the best ways to be eco-friendly is to own fewer clothes. Some of the wardrobe basics Eagan suggests also don’t apply to my stay at home mom lifestyle.
While I purchase the majority of my clothes secondhand, some ethical brands I have purchased/want to purchase from include:
- Ten Thousand Villages: fair trade, usually natural or recycled materials, supports artisans in developing countries (purchased jewelry, coin purse would repurchase from this brand)
- Changnoi: fair trade from Thailand, uses handwoven materials from local tribes, hand sewn & embroidered products (purchased crossbody bag via Amazon would repurchase)
- Econscious: sustainable fabrics, certified organic cotton (purchased basic tee via Amazon want to order more)
- Fair Indigo: fair trade, some USA made products, some recycled products, some organic cotton products, some vegan products (purchased OkaB shoes via Amazon, want to purchase 100% cotton jeans and cardigan)
- thehungersite: fair trade, portion of purchase goes toward providing food in third world countries (purchased a top, jewelry would repurchase)