OUTLAND JOURNAL

Dress with Sense

Author: Athina Cantle   Date Posted: 20 October 2017 

Redress, an environmental NGO working to reduce waste in the fashion industry, has written the ideal book on sustainable fashion for people who aren’t that into sustainable fashion.


Just like the first 15 minutes of any good 1990s high school movie, Dress with Sense addresses every clique in the quad that is our wardrobes; the hoarded, the stained, the spontaneous purchases, the reduced to clear, the sentimental, the one-button-short, the too small, the too large, and the itchy fabrics, just to name a few.

Rather than focusing on the negative impacts of fast fashion alone (the aftermath of which it likens to waking up from a hangover), Redress touches on every potential misjustice our clothing may experience in its lifecycle from production through to disposal.

Broken up into bite-size pieces of information and accompanied by quirky illustrations by Charlotte Trounce, Dress with Sense focuses on the emotive and playful value that clothing provides as an avenue of self-expression.

If, however, you are interested in dipping your toe into the ocean that is responsible clothing ownership, this is the read for you.

The authors don’t go into great depth regarding each piece of advice, but rather plant a seed in the reader's mind, putting the onus on them to research the nitty gritty details later. In view of this, this title is best read with book in one hand and Google-enabled device in the other.

Providing advice from a range of perspectives, Redress features words contributed by fashion journalists, models, stylists, and designers. A favourite is Ash Black, traveller and entrepreneur, who only machine washes her denim once a year. Confirmation that among other perks, dressing with sense means less time laundering: high-fives all 'round!

This range of perspectives is a refreshing reminder that sustainable fashion is not an underground rebellion, but a movement validated and supported by industry professionals.

While the book did provide me with a few interesting facts that were news to me, such as that it takes 200+ years for polyester to biodegrade, I wouldn’t recommend the book to black belt sustainable shoppers.

If, however, you are interested in dipping your toe into the ocean that is responsible clothing ownership, this is the read for you. Before you know it, you’ll treat your threads with the same respect that your nanna does fine china.

Redress has taken every excuse under the sun as to why fashion TLC is thrown into the too-hard basket, and rebutted them all in 224 pages. After which, you will have no ‘Yeah, buts’ left. Every lifestyle has been accounted for even down to the full-time globetrotter.

Written for conscious closet rookies, this book will act as a great stocking stuffer for that loved one who has it all (yet somehow has ‘nothing to wear’).

Need some advice on how to care for your Outland Denims? Read Syvannah’s top 8 tips here.