09 February 2008

200-word Review - 'Eco Chic' by Matilda Lee

200 words? I could review this book in six: Every Clothes Wearer Should Read This. But I’ve got the words, so I’ll use them.

‘Eco Chic’ explores ethical questions behind our growing demand for cheap, fashionable clothes. Now I know I’m already part-hippy but this book still challenged my way of viewing clothes. The early chapters deal with the pitfalls of modern couture from sweatshops to scary chemicals, and the latter chapters show the alternatives: designers using green or Fairtrade materials, high street stores engaging with the issues and alternatives to buying new clothes. It also has a huge directory of companies selling ethical clothing.

The early chapters had me riveted and appalled at the grim facts behind clothing manufacture but I admit I got bored with the lengthy discussions about ethical designers, and felt that the topics of refashioning and making your own clothes were hurried through at the end. But then I’m sure a fashionista would be more interested in design than a tomboy like me. However, this isn’t just for fashion fanatics –people who aren’t concerned about fashion and just look for a bargain should also read this book to see the true cost of their clothes.