Newsletter and Subscription Sign Up

The BNH Book Review: The Conscious Closet

Published Friday Feb 21, 2020

Author Terri Schlichenmeyer of The Bookworm Sez

“The Conscious Closet: The Revolutionary Guide to Looking Good While Doing Good” by Elizabeth L. Cline
$17/349 pages
We’ve all experienced it: the shirt that feels like a straitjacket, the jeans that make you pant just putting them on—your closet’s full of them. “The Conscious Closet” helps you get those unwanted items out of your house and out of your mind.

But first, you’ll have to get past a lot of how-to’s. Author Elizabeth L. Cline does double duty in this book, first with a tutorial on closet clearing, donating or renewing and buying classic pieces. It’s information you’ll find in any “dress-for-success” book, so it’s redundant for business folks.

The second half of this book is where the goodness lies: Cline explains the impact you make by shopping wisely in today’s world and why fast fashion and fads are bad for you, your wallet and the global economy.

Fashion is a $2.5-trillion worldwide industry that accounts for 3% of the earth’s economy and provides jobs for hundreds of millions of people around the world.

This translates to a lot of packed closets. In the U.S. each year, nearly 24 billion pounds of wearables are thrown away, she says, so don’t add to it; instead, donate and take a tax deduction though Cline points out 80% of your donation will go to “rag traders” whose castoffs are shipped overseas in a global trade worth almost $4 billion annually.

If this seems wasteful, you’re right. So instead, says Cline, give your unwanted fashion a new life by selling or swapping it. Know whether it was made sustainably. Learn how to thrift shop; invest in quality clothing that will last years and learn the art of repair to keep things from wearing out.

All Stories