December Reading Recommendation
December Reading Recommendation: Slow Fashion by Safia Minney.
The spine of the book is cracked and worn, the pages barely clinging together, held only by faded glue. I'm happy that the book has passed through so many hands, so many different people. I wonder what drew people to this particular book. While the cover is beautiful in its simplistic design, it doesn't jump out at you on the shelf. Yet, here I am, holding this worn down book, knowing that despite all of its wear, people continue to pick it up off the shelf and read it, learning about how we can change the world through our clothing.
Slow Fashion has been on my reading list for a long time, so when a copy of the book finally reached me, I knew I wanted to dedicate time to it. I don't want to rush it, reading it over my dinner, or before quickly rushing to work. I want to sit and take my time. I spend a couple of early mornings at my favourite coffee shops with the book, pouring over the pages. I quickly realize that I can't highlight quotations or write in the margins of this borrowed copy. While the book is mine for the moment, it will continue its journey to the next reader after me. Luckily I packed my notebook, a simple black book that I've owned since high school.
Writing out notes in a notebook is a completely different experience than writing directly in the margins. It makes you slow down even more. I begin writing out quotations, and things that stand out to me. It takes me three times as long to write out these poignant sentences than it does for me to highlight them. I love how a book about slow fashion actually makes me slow down.
The book itself is a complilation of different essays, Q&A's, and thoughtfully written pieces by various authors, activists, designers, and entrepreneurs who all care about ethical fashion in some way. As I sit reading, I can't help but feel connected to so many people. Often, being involved in the ethical fashion activism can be isolating, especially if you don't live in a large city, or have a way to connect with people in real life on a regular basis. I am alone in a coffee shop, reading Slow Fashion in a corner, but I don't feel alone. Slow Fashion is filled with so many voices that resonate with me on such a deep level that I feel connected to these people all around the world.
This book isn't designed to be complicated. It uses accessible language and doesn't lose its educational quality. I appreciate the different voices heard throughout, and I enjoy the questions that are posed to people featured throughout the book. It is books like this that allow me to see different perspectives on a topic I think I know a lot about. I fill two pages in my notebook, my handwriting getting messier and messier and I work my way through the chapters.
This book reminds me about the importance of collaboration and partnership. As Orsola de Castro states in the book, "collaboration is the first principle of anything to do with sustainability." How can we expect to make a change in the world if we don't come together to pool our knowledge and experience, and mobilize as a group to create change?
Many books and articles leave me feeling hopeless about the world. They are often filled with statistics about the degradation of the planet, and the mistreatment of people. Slow Fashion doesn't. It definitely doesn't skirt around issues, but the overwhelming take away from this book is that there is a massive shift happening in the industry. We are all apart of making these changes happen. Our daily actions are making a difference. This is something to be hopeful for.