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On Holidays November 2022

6 conscious books to give these holidays

With holiday break coming up, a thoughtfully chosen book can make the perfect gift. We asked the team what they’ve been reading this year to put together a list – our favorite books to make you think with insights about the fashion industry, sustainability, and conscious living. They cover everything from culture and trends to over consumption and embracing mindfulness whether it be online or in your day to day. Ideal whether you’re looking for loved ones or your own wish list.

Worn: A People’s History of Clothing by Sofi Thanhauser
One of our faves to come out this year. Worn is a deep dive on humanity’s relationship with clothing – how garments have transformed our lives, societies, and the planet. The story is told through five different fabrics, but covers so much more than cloth – delving into where our clothing comes from, a historical look at the industry, its problems, and developments in workers’ and women’s rights. Eventually coming full circle to how makers are rediscovering ethical methods for crafting what we wear. It’s a well spun story we’d recommend for anyone interested in clothing or in human nature.

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Status and Culture: How Our Desire for Social Rank Creates Taste, Identity, Art, Fashion, and Constant Change By W. David Marx
This book is perfect for anyone who’s ever wondered how culture happens. Like why things become popular, why our own preferences change over time, and how identity plays out in modern society – in the music we listen to, the slang we speak, even the dog breeds that are hot right now. Basically, it’s a book exploring the fundamental human desire for status. All from quite a broad perspective of history, sociology, psychology, economics, even neuroscience. It’s rich in detail but still a pleasure to read. Ideal for the curious or any culture heads in your inner circle.

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The World Is On Fire But We’re Still Buying Shoes By Alec Leach
As we wrote in an earlier article, this book is a must-read about the realities facing the fashion industry right now. Ex-Highsnobiety editor-in-chief Alex Leach explains how fashion keeps you hungry for more and the art of spotting greenwashing. With infographics, diagrams, and pull quotes, it makes what are some pretty complex problems easy to digest. As he explains it, a roadmap towards a better relationship with fashion. It’s only a pocket-sized paperback, so a great little gift for your conscious compadres.

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Fashionopolis: Why What We Wear Matters by Dana Thomas
This book is a current investigation into clothing industry giants and the high-tech grassroots movement trying to reform it. Dana Thomas discovers the visionary designers and companies around the world working towards a more sustainable future for fashion, whether it’s by reclaiming traditional craft and launching cutting-edge technologies. It’s a great read to get a handle on where the industry is at right now or learn the impact of different manufacturing practices and the latest developments. Dense but engaging, it makes for a quick, enjoyable read.

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Digital Minimalism: Choosing a Focused Life in a Noisy World by Cal Newport
This New York Times bestseller introduces a quieter approach to living in a world overwhelmed with ever-increasing noise online. Newport takes us through the art of decluttering our personal technology, while making the case for its urgent need. We love this book for the practical strategies and practices to help integrate the idea into your own life – with thoughtful ways to decide what tools to use and under what conditions. Or as he puts it, a guide to using tech to support your goals and values, rather than letting it use you. It’ll have you rethinking your relationship to social media and reconnecting with yourself (and the offline world). An incredibly relevant read for just about everyone.

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The Monocle Book of Gentle Living by Monocle
Another we’ve highlighted in the AM Times before and couldn’t leave off the list is Monocle Magazine’s guide to living a gentler life. It’s all about embracing the move away from the hustle towards slowing down and pursuing the things that make you happy. It was created as a handbook of sorts to help you reconnect with the world and the extraordinary places and people in it. It’s quite a beautiful design, which is why it has our vote for the best coffee table book to gift these holidays.

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