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To Die For: Is Fashion Wearing Out the World? [Paperback]

Lucy Siegle
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
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Book Description

12 May 2011

An expose on the fashion industry written by the Observer's 'Ethical Living' columnist, examining the inhumane and environmentally devastating story behind the clothes we so casually buy and wear.

Coming at a time when the global financial crisis and contracting of consumer spending is ushering in a new epoch for the fashion industry, To Die For offers a very plausible vision of how green could really be the new black.

Taking particular issue with our current mania for both big-name labels and cheap fashion, To Die For sets an agenda for the urgent changes that can and need to be made by both the industry and the consumer. Far from outlining a future of drab, ethical clothing, Lucy Siegle believes that it is indeed possible to be an 'ethical fashionista', simply by being aware of how and where (and by whom) clothing is manufactured.

The global banking crisis has put the consumer at a crossroads: when money is tight should we embrace cheap fast fashion to prop up an already engorged wardrobe, or should we reject this as the ultimate false economy and advocate a return to real fashion, bolstered by the principles of individualism and style pedigree?

In this impassioned book, Siegle analyses the global epidemic of unsustainable fashion, taking stock of our economic health and moral accountabilities to expose the pitfalls of fast fashion. Refocusing the debate squarely back on the importance of basic consumer rights, Siegle reveals the truth behind cut price, bulk fashion and the importance of your purchasing decisions, advocating the case for a new sustainable design era where we are assured of value for money: ethically, morally and in real terms.


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To Die For: Is Fashion Wearing Out the World? + Fashion & Sustainability: Design for Change
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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: 21.3 x 13.5 x 2.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 55,273 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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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A life saving read 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
5.0 out of 5 stars You MUST read this book 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
5.0 out of 5 stars A real eye opener 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
5.0 out of 5 stars To Die For: Is Fashion Wearing Out the World? 4 July 2011
By Vrising
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
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Inciteful read 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
5.0 out of 5 stars To Die For: Is Fashion Wearing Out the World? 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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
By VixB
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I think this is a great piece of journalism. Most of these things any normal newsreader will have read before, but I Siegle really makes all the right connections and gives you the whole picture, which is not pretty. A must read for any fashionista with a conscience.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars This really opened my eyes. 12 Nov 2011
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Very readable, if somewhat disturbing. I'd have given it 5 stars if it wasn't for the fact that Lucy Siegle is somewhat dismissive about the use of animals in the fashion trade, caring more for the plight of workers involved in the business.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Great
A really useful book I bought to use for a uni project on sustainability in the fashion industry. It was great as it gave tons of refrences for further reading and was just... Read more
Published 3 days ago by Neffy
5.0 out of 5 stars Ethical crimes committed in the name of profit
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. Read more
Published 2 months ago by D. Giusti
5.0 out of 5 stars To die for
This book is a MUST READ! Coming from a fashion background I found it interesting and eye opening, and I feel very inspired to do some thing. Read more
Published 11 months ago by mildred77
4.0 out of 5 stars Sustainably driven fashion
I liked this read and certainly will make me think twice before I go out and buy that next item!
Published 14 months ago by harm kuilderd
4.0 out of 5 stars Eye Opening
Arrived on time, and is a very eye opening book, a must have for anyone interested in fashion industry. Read more
Published 14 months ago by penny
2.0 out of 5 stars Champagne socialist Lecture on Sweatshop Labour with 2 Good Chapters
I have to agree with a previous reviewer who gave the book 1 star. It is true that a lot of the "fast fashion" and over purchasing is a part of prolonged adolescent and there is... Read more
Published on 31 Dec 2011 by RL
1.0 out of 5 stars Not up to it
Why when I read anything by Lucy Siegle am I reminded of Howard Kirk, the tragic hero of Malcolm Bradbury's 1975 novel The History Man? Read more
Published on 15 Aug 2011 by Chris Adams
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