Tolly Dolly Posh Fashion
Ethical Directory for Fashion Brands
Browsing Tag

threadbare book review

My 2016 Ethical Fashion Education | Books, Documentaries & More

By December 18, 2016 Ethical

I wasn’t sure how to end off 2016 in terms of blog posts. I haven’t been able to get out anywhere at the moment due to a broken down car, so my shoot locations are limited (as well as my wardrobe, on another note), and most of the topics I want to focus on are ones that I would like to tie into my ethical directory re-launch in the New Year. If you know me, you know that time is something that I revolve around in terms of starting new things, so instead of publishing rather unfestive posts, I thought I would look back on the year in terms of what I’ve been learning. There will also be my annual round-up post coming up soon, but for now, let’s talk about the ethical sides of things in my ethical fashion education summary…


To Die For: Is Fashion Wearing Out the World? by Lucy Siegle 

I have to admit that I’m still working my way through the pages of this book but it deserved a mention nonetheless. Some of the topics covered are ones I haven’t necessarily thought about before, like one of the recent chapters about the auditing process in the fast fashion industry. It’s a lengthy book and covers some of the early 2000s and how the cycle and issues have changed over recent years. Reading this and the other books mentioned in this post is a sure-fire way to learn more factual information about your clothes and where they possibly come from.

BBC Panorama Undercover: The Refugees Who Make Our Clothes

This half-hour documentary by BBC Panorama is a short and simple insight into the issues going on in the industry, and why we should be opening our eyes to them when they affect us so clearly. Some of the quotes from mentioned brands like ASOS and Next genuinely upset me, because it shows how the brands themselves don’t even know what is going on to the full extent that they are. The filming takes place undercover in Turkey, focusing on factories and workshops using child labour and illegally employed Syrian refugees. If you shop with ASOS, Next, Marks and Spencers, Mango, ZARA and the like – please watch this.

Stitched Up: The Anti-Capitalist Book of Fashion by Tansy E Hoskins (Review)

A different perspective on the fashion industry, focusing on the capitalist cycle of how it works, as well as topics like racism and size. I found that although this was still a factually informative book and every chapter was extremely insightful, the way it was written and the illustrations alongside it, made it more down to earth and inviting. You can read my full review on Tansy’s book above. It’s been a pleasure to connect with her and support a book which I hope many of you go on to read!

▷ UDITA (Arise): A documentary about female garment workers from Bangladesh

Out of all of the documentaries I’ve watched about the darker side of fast fashion (well, actually – is there even a lighter side?), this truly shows that even the garment workers themselves want us to change our ways, even just by thinking about the way we shop. Being a conscious shopper does so much more than being oblivious to your actions. Every penny you spend with a brand using an exploitive system, is a vote towards their work. It’s over an hour long, but perhaps you can switch out a Netflix episode for something like this, instead?

Slow Fashion: Aesthetics Meets Ethics by Safia Minney (Review)

Safia’s book was the first I bought purely to learn more about ethical fashion. Now that I’ve read several others, I would have to say I would recommend this once you have learned more about the issues themselves, whether that’s about exploitation or inequality or child labour or any of the topics mentioned in this post and beyond. This is mainly because the second half of this book is almost a directory for brands paving the way, and as much as that is important, I think it’s what you need to read about afterwards. It’s still an educational book though, and it was really eye opening to see what other ethical advocates had to say.

Remake: Join the Ethical Fashion Movement

A recent discovery for me is the movement, Remake. I love finding sites that are dedicated to inspiring people to becoming more ethical, especially when it focuses on younger people. There’s a great video by the founder, Ayesha Barenblat, on their core aim and how millennials can choose to change the world they live in. It also touches on the topic of strength and female equality, which is something I mentioned in my post focusing on why I don’t think you can be a feminist if you support fast fashion. If you want to follow along with their journey and start integrating their great work in to your day-to-day, make sure you follow them on social media.

Threadbare: Clothes, Sex & Trafficking by Anne Elizabeth Moore (Review)

For those wanting a more visual way of learning about the fashion industry, you might like to take a look at the comic book I read this year called, Threadbare. Focusing on some of the more taboo areas of in the industry like sex and trafficking, it might not be for everyone, but it’s worth taking a look at nonetheless. It’s what inspired my post on feminism, and is what I hope inspires some of you to broaden your minds even further, about what isn’t always discussed.

What have you been learning about in 2016? Leave your ethical fashion education recommendations in the comments!


I hope you have a wonderful holiday this year. I’ll be back before the New Year, I promise!

  Lots of Love… Tolly Dolly Posh xx

You Might Also Like

You Can’t Call Yourself a Feminist If You’re Supporting Fast Fashion

By October 21, 2016 Ethical

It seems a little bit over the top to point this out right at the start of this post but I honestly believe it’s true; you can’t call yourself a feminist if you believe in fast fashion.

threadbare by anne elizabeth moore review - feminist fast fashion

This belief hit me whilst reading “Threadbare: Clothes, Sex & Trafficking” by Anne Elizabeth Moore. It’s an illustrated non-fiction comic all about the fashion industry and how it links in with sex work and trafficking. It sounds like a pretty heavy topic, but it was possibly one of the easiest ethical/anti-fast fashion reads I’ve finished so far, and for those of you who prefer something a little more attractive to the eyes, then I’d definitely recommend it (however I will point out – it does have fairly small text to read).

The statistic that struck me with this realisation was this – 1 in 7 women worldwide, work in the fashion industry. The tricky thing about feminism is how it is deemed to be only related to women and feminine issues, when as we should all know by now, it’s about equality, and the only way we can reach gender equality and an equal balance between men and women, is by working on the imbalance of which is mainly weighing down on, well, women.

So seeing as a seventh of the female population in the world are somewhat responsible for the fashion industry, it would seem a bit absurd to not think about how it affects those people, wouldn’t it?

threadbare by anne elizabeth moore review - feminist fast fashion

One of the main issues surrounding fast fashion and the industry as a whole is the problem surrounding working conditions. 80% of garment workers are women. According to the book “To Die For” by Lucy Siegle, if we break down the price of a £4 (ASDA) t-shirt, £1.18.5p goes to the supplier; £2.80 goes straight to ASDA as profit and the garment worker (most probably a woman) receives just 1.5p.

That’s 1.5p per what could possibly be 200 garments per day (roughly £4 a day), in a factory with poor safety regulations. In fact, 60% of factories in Bangladesh are structurally unsound according to a 2013 study, which makes the Rana Plaza disaster even more tragic, because it would be so easy for it to happen again.

Upon reading more about feminism and fast-fashion, I read fellow blogger Jen’s post about her thoughts, and her point about clothes plastered with feministic slogans and messages of empowerment really raised a great question; how can we be buying these clothes that promote female empowerment that cost as much as a coffee at Starbucks, when the people making them can barely afford to live and make these clothes for us?

How can we say we’re feminists when we’re supporting companies that don’t have any interest in the women (some of which are in their teens) that they employ and the situations that they are in?

threadbare by anne elizabeth moore review - feminist fast fashion

The answer is, we simply can’t. If feminism is about bringing equality to women, then we can’t call ourselves feminists if we’re still supporting a cycle and an industry that still promotes inequality. It doesn’t matter what a brand is doing on the surface. It doesn’t matter what natural beauty campaigns they’re running, or what slogans are on those t-shirts.

At the end of the day, if they didn’t have the garment workers in the first place, then they wouldn’t have their company – we wouldn’t have our clothes and our wardrobes full of outfits. We as women, as men, and as humans who need to prolong the earth we stand on – cannot call ourselves feminists if we live with the mindset that this is okay.

In line with that, one of my favourite parts of “Threadbare” and actually the page that featured that slap-in-the-face statistic, was this –

‘So if you want to support job opportunities for women in developing nations, don’t shop at the mall.’

threadbare by anne elizabeth moore review - feminist fast fashion

If you want to call yourself a feminist and support one of the biggest industries in the world, and a seventh of the female  population (cisgender/transgender – unfortunately there isn’t a clear statistic for that number, which would bring me onto a whole other topic of discrimination), then don’t support what is causing the most damage. Or like I’ve said many times before; be conscious. Hold retailers responsible.

So yes, I am a feminist, because I’m doing my part to avoid supporting companies who don’t value their workers and aren’t doing their part to create a fairer industry. Are you?

  Lots of Love… Tolly Dolly Posh xx

You Might Also Like