Dress (with) sense: The Practical Guide to a Conscious Closet by Redress

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Dress (with) sense: The Practical Guide to a Conscious Closet by Redress

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Buy Dress (with) sense: The Practical Guide to a Conscious Closet by Redress at Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com

Category: Lifestyle
Rating: 4.5/5
Reviewer: Sue Magee
Reviewed by Sue Magee
Summary: Buy, wear, care for and dispose of your clothes consciously: it will be good for you, your finances and the planet.
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 224 Date: March 2017
Publisher: Thames and Hudson
ISBN: 978-0500292778

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Not too long ago I didn't have any problems with clothes. They were just about all black and I wore them until they dropped off my back - and then I used what I could of the material for other purposes. I had this lovely little clothes shop in Ilkley (it says 'Oxfam' over the door) when I needed to restock. Clothes were simple. Then I encountered the lovely Numba Pinkerton and suddenly I had colour in my life: not all of it could be had from Oxfam. Sometimes I might even be buying new clothes. I needed help and more advice, because it really isn't as simple as just walking into the nearest department store.

Sometimes the reviewing gods are kind and Dress (with) Sense: The Practical Guide to a Conscious Closet dropped onto my desk. That was what I was looking for: I needed to know how to buy with minimum environmental impact, whilst still getting a good deal, how to wear the clothes well, how to care for them and - ultimately - how to dispose of them. The book hasn't been authored by one person - or even a few people, but it's a compilation of advice from leading industry professionals, bloggers and activists and although this does mean that there's the occasional repetition, take note of what's being repeated. These are the important points.

We're encouraged, when buying clothes, to make more responsible choices and look at sources, but there's a basic point which comes up regularly: look for wearability. Even if it's a free trade, organic cotton tee shirt at a bargain price it's still a waste of money and resources if you're not going to wear it. So far as wearing clothes goes the emphasis is on being more creative and rescuing those treasures which have been hidden in the back of your wardrobe, thus releasing the resources which have been tied up in them for far too long. (In the spirit of this suggestion I went on a voyage of discovery and found a mohair jacket which was given to me and which I'd always thought was a little too noticeable for me - but which hit the spot perfectly when I tried it on!)

The section on care of clothes should be mandatory reading for everyone: some of it should be obvious but it's all worth reading. I particularly liked the section on repairing clothes: I'm old enough to darn for fun, but I was surprised by the extent to which I had to rethink my ideas about how often I wash clothes. I've also given up buying spray starches - I now make my own for a fraction of the cost. I did wonder why the section on disposing of clothes made me feel just a little tearful, but then many of my clothes are decades old and are old friends. I've recently passed on to a charity a pair of boots which were more than twenty years old. There are some excellent suggestions with the underlying message being that no clothes should go to landfill.

It was an easy but thought-provoking read and I'd like to thank the publishers for sending a copy to the Bookbag.

If you would like advice on what colours to wear and how to develop a capsule wardrobe you really should have a look at The No Black Project by Numba Pinkerton.

Buy Dress (with) sense: The Practical Guide to a Conscious Closet by Redress at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Dress (with) sense: The Practical Guide to a Conscious Closet by Redress at Amazon.co.uk


Buy Dress (with) sense: The Practical Guide to a Conscious Closet by Redress at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Dress (with) sense: The Practical Guide to a Conscious Closet by Redress at Amazon.com.

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