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A Summer of Fashionable Reading

This I Wear | A Summer of Fashionable Reading
Vacation booked? Check. Bathing suit? Check. Beach reads? Well, these sort of work for whatever your plans are – whether it’s a poolside lounge chair or a park bench. I take summer reading pretty seriously, and just in case you do too, I thought I’d share my picks.

Below are a few I’ve read (and there’s more here) and a few I hope to read, all focused on various aspects of style and sustainability. I hope you’ll share your recommendations too.

What I’ve Read
DV by Diana Vreeland – The autobiography of an eccentric woman who made a big impact on the fashion industry, eventually running Vogue magazine. Best part: great one-liners from a woman who saw it all and knew everyone.

The Travels of a T-shirt in the Global Economy by Pietra Rivoli – This book traces a t-shirt from its origins on a cotton farm to all the possibilities of where it could end up. My favorite chapter is on the secondhand clothing trade in Africa. If you can’t travel this summer, at least you can hear the adventures your clothing has had and will have!

What I’m Reading
You Are What You Wear: What Your Clothes Reveal About You by Dr. Jennifer Baumgauter – A psychologist’s take on what your closet says about you. Totally at the top of my list, and I can’t tell if it’s because I’m being nosy about other people’s clothing hang-ups or because I’m looking to self-diagnose.

Color: A Natural History of the Palette by Victoria Finley – A little history lesson on where our colors come from, whether in our paintings or dyed in the fabrics we wear. This one seems to be the perfect mix of science, history and storytelling.

The Upcycle: Beyond Sustainability – Designing for Abundance by William McDonough and Michael Braungart – Calling all design thinking geeks, environmentalists, and people who think most things could be done better, this book by the authors of Crade to Cradle wonders, what if the things we made didn’t just avoid harming our world, but in fact, improved it? Cue mind explosion. I’m psyched and ready for the challenge.

And just in case the gents were feeling left out, my resident menswear guru recommends checking out F**k Yeah Menswear, which may be best read when you need a good laugh or when you catch yourself buying one too many brands your grandfather would’ve worn or another pair of pants with a menagerie of animals embroidered on them.

Happy reading!

Related No.6

This week, despite having multiple finished posts ready for your reading pleasure, I’m going to keep you in suspense just a little longer. Why? Because this week, I’m feeling a little bit more interested in being inspired than sharing. There’s something about the changing of the season that makes me feel more like listening than talking or writing. So here’s a few things that have been lighting me up lately, and I hope you’ll share what’s inspiring you in the comments.

1. Read Essential Ayurveda by Subhra Krishnan. I picked up this book at my yoga studio and it was the perfect introduction to Ayurveda. I’ll be talking more about why I loved it very soon, but why not get a head start on all of the lovely beauty and health tips about staying balanced year-round?
2. Adopt a plant. I just bought a little rosemary plant to add to my apartment’s greenery, and I have to say that buying a plant really brings out your inner optimist. Now just to find the perfect container for it…
3. Sign up for a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) share! April and May are prime time for securing a farm share and getting delicious, freshly picked produce every single freaking week from summer into winter. Have no idea what I’m talking about? Read this. Then look up what’s available in your community on LocalHarvest.org.
4. Email me your career questions. I’ve been getting quite a lot of requests for career advice from many of you interested in working in sustainable fashion or a CSR department full-time. I will be putting a post together on my experience, so please email me if you’d like to make sure your question is answered.

*A little extra: Attend the book discussion of Maria Eugenia Girón with Kate Black on April 7th at the Brooklyn Fashion + Design Accelerator. The event will celebrate the launch of Girón’s new book, Sustainable Luxury and Social Entrepreneurship: Stories from the Pioneers, based on her experience in the luxury world.

Want more? Follow me on Twitter for more favorite reads and stylish finds.

Goodbye Summer

This I Wear | Goodbye SummerPerhaps you know it’s Fall when your latest Vogue looks like they cut down an entire forest to print it, you’ve run out of vacation days, or just because you are finally ready to retire your jean shorts for the year.

Well, I know it’s Fall because my blog vacation has come to an end. It was such a lovely break for me, so thanks for hanging tight. As you can see above, my trip to Glacier National Park in Montana with Climate Ride was pretty epic. I’ve heard that they are going to host another hike next year, so if you’re interested in hiking, meeting other environmental enthusiasts, and fundraising for amazing environmental nonprofits, you can let them know by filling out this form! I imagine the next trip will fill up as soon as it is announced.

Coming back online has been slow, but I’m looking forward to getting back into the swing of things. I am also looking forward to trading my jean shorts and hiking gear for some cozy sweaters and coats. And since I’m in San Francisco for work this week and it is cold and grey, Fall does feel within reach!

While I was away, I kept up with my reading and I have to say that there were a lot of hardworking folks this summer, creating some amazing stuff. Here’s a few:

– I just purchased and downloaded Into Mind’s Personal Style & Perfect Wardrobe Guide. I cannot wait to work through this book as I’ve been loving Anuschka’s minimalist take on wardrobing via her Berlin-based blog for the last few months. Let me know if you’ve tried it yet or if you’ll be working through it with me!

– I still have a lot to learn about leather and this interview with the Horween Leather family on the Distance was really informative. A few really great tidbits on quality and how the leather industry works.

– If after reading the Horween article, you are craving more “heritage” brand stories, Alabama Chanin’s look into the history of the Scottish cooperative, Harris Tweed, is so good and perfect if you can’t get enough of textiles.

– Last week was an amazing week for books about women (and men) and the stories behind their clothes. Not one but TWO books – “Worn Stories” and “Women in Clothes” are now out. Read a review of both books here.

– On September 21, thousands of people will march in NYC to demand an international climate change treaty as the UN convenes to discuss the issue. I’ll be there and would love for you to join me! More info here.

Looking forward to catching up with all of you soon!

P.S. What’s on your Fall shopping list? I’ll be doing a few “if you need it” posts and would love to do a little shopping research for you. Tweet @thisiwear or email me with what you’re looking for.

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