An investigation into the damage wrought by the massive clothing industry – and the grassroots high-tech global movement fighting to reform it.
What should I wear? It’s one of the few questions we ask ourselves every day. More than ever, we are told it should be something new. In this era of fast fashion, the clothing industry produces 80 billion new garments every year and employs every sixth person on Earth. Historically, the garment trade has exploited labour, the environment, and intellectual property – and that fashion nightmare has compounded exponentially in the last two decades. We are in dire need of an entirely new human-scale model. To find that future, bestselling fashion journalist Dana Thomas has traveled the globe to discover the visionary designers and companies who are reclaiming traditional means of production and launching cutting-edge sustainable technologies to produce better fashion.
Fashionopolis is first a story of capitalist excess. Thomas surveys the damage wrought by a globalized profit-hungry supply chain: sweatshop labour, ecological degradation, overconsumption, waste, and creative exhaustion. But Thomas also sees renewal in a host of developments, from 3D clothes production to clean denim processing, from smart manufacturing to hyperlocalism, from the creation of truly circular fabrics to lab-grown leather. Technology and purpose are remaking how we buy and produce clothes. From Stella McCartney and Levi’s to Moda Operandi and Rent the Runway, Thomas highlights the companies big and small that are leading this new movement in fashion.
We all have been casual about our clothes, and it is time to get dressed with intention. Fashionopolis is the first comprehensive look at how to start.