An investigation into the damage wrought by the colossal clothing industry – and the grassroots, high-tech, international movement fighting to reform it.
An investigation into the damage wrought by the colossal clothing industry – and the grassroots, high tech, international movement fighting to reform it. What 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 labour, 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 – and primarily out of view. We are in dire need of an entirely new human-scale model. Bestselling journalist Dana Thomas has travelled 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 household names such as Stella McCartney, Levi's and Selfridges, 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.
About the Author
Dana Thomas is the author of Gods and Kings and the New York Times bestseller, Deluxe. She began her career writing for the Style section of the Washington Post, and she has served as a cultural and fashion correspondent for Newsweek in Paris. She is a regular contributor to the New York Times Style section and has written for the New York Times Magazine, The New Yorker, the Wall Street Journal, the Financial Times, Vogue, Harper's Bazaar, T: The New York Times Style Magazine and Architectural Digest. In 2016, the French Minister of Culture named Thomas a Chevalier of the Order of Arts and Letters. She lives in Paris.
'Thomas convincingly lays out multiple arguments against fast fashion ... Thoroughly reported and persuasively written, Thomas's clarion call for more responsible practices in fashion will speak to both industry professionals and socially conscious consumers' Publishers Weekly.
'Thomas, a Paris-based fashion journalist, takes a story most of us think we know, but tells it better and in compelling, readable detail ... Thomas's focus on the big picture doesn't get in the way of her love of a quirky detail ... Thomas's long view is thought-provoking ... [Fashionopolis] also engagingly elucidates how we may change things' The Times.
'A pleasurable read on the innovators trying to make clothes with less cruelty and harm ... Engaging and thorough ... Thomas's emphasis on upstart innovators and entrepreneurs is part of what makes the book such a pleasure to read' Financial Times.
'Thomas offers a bracing, urgently important look at the ills fast fashion has wrought ... This eye-opening book is a must-read not only for fashion junkies but for everyone who buys and wears clothes, enlightening us as to the garment industry's dark past, its embattled present, and - if we make the thoughtful choices Thomas presents - its bright future' Caroline Weber, author of Proust's Duchess.
'An eye-opening account of the true cost of "fast fashion" ... Thomas circles the globe to profile innovators who are working to make the garment trade more sustainable and offers a vision of better, rather than, faster fashion ... I, for one, will never open my closet and look at my choices in quite the same way again' Julia Flynn Siler, author of The White Devil's Daughters.
'Thomas offers informed, fair-minded, passionate, and cautiously optimistic scrutiny of "fast fashion" ... A distressing yet intriguing story ... Engrossing ... Convincing, responsible, and motivational fashion industry reportage' Kirkus.
'Fast fashion and its long-term consequences are such crucial subjects that it's hard to believe that no one thought to write this book until now. And how lucky we are that it's Dana Thomas who finally did, bringing her encyclopedic knowledge and expertly trained eye to bear on the excesses of a system by which companies exploit people and the planet to produce clothes that we barely wear. Investigating the factory floor to runway in search of a better way forward, Thomas makes an unshakeable argument for a different way of getting dressed' Lauren Collins, When In French.
'A great resource for learning about the effects of fast fashion' Reader's Digest.
'Fashionopolis is blunt: We're all going to drown in a landfill piled high with cheap clothes if we don't stop shopping like maniacs. Thomas's thoughtful reporting explains how w' Robin Givhan, author of The Battle of Versailles.