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To Die For: Is Fashion Wearing Out the World? Paperback – 12 May 2011


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Product details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Fourth Estate (12 May 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0007264097
  • ISBN-13: 978-0007264094
  • Product Dimensions: 13.5 x 2.8 x 21.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 91,833 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

About the Author

Lucy Siegle is the author of ‘Green Living in the Urban Jungle’ and contributing writer on ‘A Good Life’. From a strong journalistic background, she is a specialist in ecological and ethical lifestyle matters. As well as writing her weekly ‘Observer’ column, she is an environmental columnist for ‘Marie Claire’ and a regular contributor to ‘Grazia’, the ‘Guardian’, the ‘New Statesman’, ‘Elle’ and ‘New Consumer’ magazine, and a frequent commentator on television and radio, regularly appearing on BBC One’s ‘The One Show’.


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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

18 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Faith Tilleray on 11 Jun. 2011
Format: Paperback
This is one of those books which turns out to be a lifesaver. In my case, it was an antedote for the serious problem of no longer being able to enjoy shopping for clothes.

It's no fun spending hours finding that perfect item, only to find that it looks like a rag after three wears. And it's no fun buying something for £5 when it's obvious that it took hours to make and that the person who made it got paid pennies. Like most people out there who love clothes I tried not to think too much about the human cost of what's available on the high street, but hiding from the truth rarely makes us happy, and isn't that what fashion is supposed to be about?

This book has given me hope via the concept of The Curated Wardrobe. Siegle suggests that opening our wardrobes will be a lot more fulfilling if they contain a collection of important pieces, each considered carefully before being included and and each being worthy of being preserved and treasured. `Curating your clothes' she says, `is a bulwark against filling your closet with impulse bought fashion junk'. And if, like me, you don't have a lot of money to spend (and you're not convinced that so called designer pieces are actually any better in terms of quality or provenance), she offers lots of practical ideas for getting started on building your collection.

Yes, the first half of the book is a hard hitting expose of the nasty goings on behind the scenes of the fast fashion world - and yes it's shocking. Some of the awful truths in there will be lodged in my brain forever. But it's a brilliantly researched, totally convincing and unputdownable read. Siegle has a clear and compelling style and I can guarantee that after reading it you'll be buzzing with a new enthusiasm for developing a wardrobe which makes you feel good and doesn't cost the earth or the wellbeing of the people who produced it.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By SecondCherry on 30 Jun. 2011
Format: Paperback
Seriously, this book should be compulsory reading in schools. Anyone who has ever worn or bought clothes should read it (that'll be everyone, then...). Siegle's book is a coruscating exposé of exactly what fashion is doing to the planet and to other human beings, the vast majority of them women and children. Clothing production is one of the most polluting and exploitative industries on the planet and we are all culpable. The first half of the book is full of terrifying statistics on what clothing production costs in terms of pollution, disease, child slavery, destruction of habitat etc, and the second half gives the user (just when you'd given up hope) some ideas for solutions - buy less, buy more carefully, buy organic, recycle, sell on, etc. As a dedicated fashionista who thought she was pretty eco-aware, some of the information in this book came as a shock, and has totally made me rethink my buying habits. Buy it, read it and pass it on.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Lammtron on 4 July 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I have been interested in ethical living for a long time- however my success with trying to source an 'ethical' wardrobe has always been a bit of a hit-and-miss affair. I knew about sweatshops, etc. but this book opened my eyes even further and has strengthened my resolve. Surprisingly perhaps for such a book, it turned out to be a real page-turner- and dare I say even made me laugh on occasion. Reassuringly, and importantly the tone not preachy in the slightest. However the message is clear; we can go on no longer, enough is enough and we as consumers have the power to change things for the better. Stirring stuff.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Vrising on 4 July 2011
Format: Paperback
This is a very thorough and thought provoking book. I would highly recommend this for anyone even remotely interested in fashion. I've been a designer in the industry for years, and didn't realize the amount of exploitation going on in the manufacturing process. Fashion production should be ethical and socially responsible. Paying living wages for the makers in third world Countries without the use of harmful chemicals, further impacting the said workers lives.
It's completely changed my view of buying quick fix fashion items from Primarni et al. Please spread the word!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By collette on 26 Jun. 2011
Format: Paperback
I am an avid follower of Lucy Siegle's Observer column so was eager to read her new book and was not disappointed.

A book that is very difficult to put down, is well researched and as well as showing the many issues affecting fast fashion creates viable solutions to change how we view our clothing needs. This book should be on all schools and universities reading lists.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By RubyMoon on 17 July 2011
Format: Paperback
This is fairly comprehensive review of 'Fast Fashion' and how it is ruining the world and also our perceived and actual value of clothing. I would recommend it as it gives guidance on how we can realistically change our wicked ways!
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Once upon a time “fashion” was only for the upper class. Clothes were custom-made to fit the bodies of rich patrons who could pay for top quality fabric and workmanship. Fashionable patters filtered down slowly, so that the lower class could copy them and produce their own clothes with lesser materials. Dressmaking was slow and expensive, both for the rich and the poor. For this reason quality was important. Clothes and accessories were made to cherish and to last.

When mass-production arrived, it was welcomed as democratic. Besides, it created jobs. Unfortunately, in the course of a few decades, the economic miracle turned into a monster. Nowadays, fast fashion is a fire -spitting dragon destroying the world behind it.

This book illustrates very clearly the environmental and ethical crimes committed in the name of profit. Fashion and elegance do not even enter into the picture. Never before there was such a huge offer of clothes and so many badly dressed women. Females who have no idea whatsoever of what suit their bodies but are just slavishly buying into the never ending heap of crummy clothes that fill the high street.

The author got interested in fast fashion because she writes a column about green living and like most of us, considered only the environmental footprint left by food consumption. She candidly confessed of not even knowing of which fiber most clothes were made of, nor knowing how to take care of them (which I found weird, but unfortunately true for too many people).

Each chapter deals with ordinary items we all own (cotton garments, shoes, leather jackets, etc…) and describes in details their destructive and exploitative nature. For instance, cotton is a crop that grows mostly in Africa.
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