Finding inspiration and motivation is a key factor when changing your lifestyle to an eco-friendly version. There are plenty of books, podcasts and places where you can gain knowledge and understand a certain sustainable topic better. In previous years, some of the sources you will find below have helped me to understand the issues regarding sustainable clothing, research them, and critically reflect on them. In this article, I share my book and podcast recommendations, as well as YouTube channels and Instagram accounts to follow, and places to visit!
The documentary called The True Cost is a great start. Andrew Morgan travels around the world and discovers the prices paid to make clothing. He visited cotton farmers in India, garment workers in Bangladesh and fashion designers in London. His crew interviewed, researched and investigated the social and environmental impact of fast fashion clothing.
This Is a Good Guide by Marieke Eyskoot
This is a good guide covers topics in sustainable fashion, home, beauty, and more with practical tips and (cheap) solutions. If you are at the beginning of your low impact journey, this is the perfect read to understand the basics and find the best spots!
You can purchase this book at Studio Jux, a sustainable fashion store in Rotterdam.
The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo
Letting go can be hard. Zero-waste lifestyle overlaps with minimalism. In her book , The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organising, Marie Kondo talks about letting go of unnecessary items, garments, products and furniture that do not bring us joy anymore. What she deems most important is to first find what brings us joy before decluttering.
Netflix turned Kondo’s books (yes, there are multiple!) into a series last year. If you do not feel like reading, check it out.
Wear No Evil by Great Eagan
If you want to understand the impact of materials, the production chain and the hidden facts of fast fashion, Wear No Evil by Great Eagan is a great choice. Great Eagan talks about materials that are used in clothing and about the social and environmental impact of our purchases.She also gives tips on how to spot a sustainable and unsustainable brand.
Let My People Go Surfing by Yvond Chouinard
Yvond Chouinard is the founder and CEO of Patagonia, one of the most sustainable fashion brands worldwide. In his book, he dives into the start of the sustainable fashion movement. Let my people go surfing tells the story of a climber that did not want to damage the rocks while climbing, so he decided to create long-lasting products for himself and other sport fanatics. Little did he know that this idea would grow into one of the biggest and most sustainable brands of today. This book covers it all from the beginnings to the new initiative called 1% For The Planet. A truly inspiring example about how corporate brands can make a positive impact on both social and environmental levels.
The Green Girls Club(Dutch)
In this podcast, Marieke van den Berg explores different sustainable dilemmas about sustainability and eco-friendly living. In the first episode, she explores how consumers can have a positive impact while shopping for food, fashion or other products. Together with Talita Kalloe from Soulstores, they share tips on how to shop ethically and sustainably.
Damn, Honey (Dutch)
Marie Lotte Hagen and Nydia van Voorthuizen talk about feminism, sexuality and other related topics. In the 22nd episode they sit down with Emy Demkes from De Correspondent for a conversation about fast & fair fashion, the impact it has on people and the planet. A truly inspiring episode that I have listened to multiple times!
Venetia La Manna, an active advocate for sustainable fashion, talks about different experts about fast-fashion, environmental impact and sustainable solutions for our closet. In her podcast, she invites experts on the topic, such as fashion designers and activists, to share their view and have a positive conversation.
Ella Mills is the co-founder of Deliciously Ella, a vegan snack company, and writer of multiple vegan cook books. She is also the host of her own podcast series where she invites experts on different topics around sustainability. In the episode ‘Livia Firth on Sustainable Fashion’, she sits down for a conversation with sustainable fashion designer, Livia Firth who explains how she brings ethical fashion to the red carpet and what kind of challenges she faces while designing a sustainable collection.
People to follow
Venetia has an Instagram community of more than 100K followers where she shares her views and tips on second hand and sustainable fashion, accessories and cosmetics. She is a climate activist and the wife of the zero-waste vegan chef Max La Manna.
Immy runs the YouTube channel and Instagram account called Sustainably Vegan where she promotes low-impact, vegan and ethical lifestyle. Her honest opinion about sustainable fashion and products is refreshing, and so is her book club called Immy’s Book Club.
Shelbi, better known as Shelbizleee from her YouTube channel that has more than 200K subscribers, shares zero waste tips and sustainable fashion. Her ‘anti-haul’ series about wasteful trends and products is worth watching if you want to have a good laugh about unnecessary items.
Jess is a petite sustainable fashion blogger. Her style is minimalistic, French-inspired, and inspiring. Find her on Instagram where she shares styling tips and outfits (almost) daily.
Kristen is an activist for sustainable and second hand fashion. She shares her views on the topic via her YouTube channel and Instagram account. Kirsten also shares styling tips, second hand shopping tricks and other sustainable solutions around clothing.
Emy Demkes (Dutch)
Emy Demkes writes for the Correspondent about the environmental and social impact of fast fashion. In her newsletter, she covers contemporary topics such as brands not paying employees during the lockdown, new innovations and sustainable dilemmas.
Chiara Spuit (Dutch)
Chiara is the face behind the instagram account called @indiaaninjekast where she shares her tips on styling or how to clean up your closet. She often shares tips about what to look out for when buying second hand or what kind of materials she advises for her clients.
Apps & websites
Good On You is an online platform and application where a team of researchers, bloggers and designers rate brands according to their environmental impact, labor conditions and animal welfare. It is a very useful application where you search for a brand and they give you a resting between ‘great’ being the highest score and ‘to avoid’ being the lowest one.
In the app, you can also adjust your own ratings and save brands or articles you want to revisit. It is a free and practical application that can be used for research, inspiration or on the spot while shopping for new garments.
Project Cece (Dutch)
Project Cece is a sustainable fashion collective and webshop. It is the biggest sustainable webshop of Europe at the moment, and they keep growing! The website displays different points, such as locally made, ethical working conditions or natural materials. Filtering through these factors makes sustainable shopping easier than ever!
Wool and the Gang is all about knitting. They want to encourage makers, craftsmen and hobbyists to positively change the production chain of clothing. On their website, instead of selling a sweater or a bag, they offer the pattern and knitting resources you need to make them yourself. By knitting, the customer experiences the labor process of a knitted sweater or bag and learns a new skill. Wool and the gang also offer free patterns, YouTube tutorials and a variety of yarns to create creative and innovative pieces at home.
Museums / Hubs
De Wasserij (Rotterdam)
De Wasserij is a Rotterdam-based fashion hub for makers, innovators, and fashion enthusiasts. It is located in the former laundry facility of the Bergweg Hospital where different kinds of projects and ideas are developed around sustainable and ethical fashion. In De Wasserij, among other designers and innovators, Awareness Kollektief, Atelier Markx, and Ilfa Siebenhaar are located.
The community organizes multiple events, such as screen printing, organised in De Wasserij to experience. Check out their website for more.
Fashion For Good (Amsterdam)
Fashion For Good is a museum and hub around the topic of sustainable fashion. The museum has an ongoing exhibition of different sustainable fashion designers or innovators. y A professional team of designers, engineers and researchers coaches the hub’s platform dedicated to sustainable fashion innovation.
Textiel Museum (Tilburg)
The Textiel Museum in Tilburg shows a variety of textiles, their history, and modern use. In the museum, the production of wool is displayed on physical installations. The history of linen in The Netherlands is portrayed by photography and more than 100-years-old techniques. You might look at textiles with a different perspective after your visit!
1% for the planet initiative: https://www.onepercentfortheplanet.org