Best Sustainable Living Books To Buy

2019 was the year that sustainability went from being a bit trendy, to being a hot topic, literally. There was no shortage of amazing books to help us all swot up too. Here is a run down of the best sustainable living books to buy.

Is a year properly over without a book releases recap? We don’t think so. We can easily say that there has been no year like 2019 when it comes to the debate for sustainable fashion. Considering the year started with a record high with 250,000 participants for Veganuary, a number like never before of people ditching meat for the campaign. In London, Fashion Wee was more conscious than ever. It was a season with roundtables about making more ethical consumption the norm (it would have been considered an absurdity just a couple of years ago). Investments in green funds with environment and social governance (ESG) criteria exploded by 34% compared to three years ago. Significantly children were seen peacefully manifesting against climate change and for a better future. It was the year of Greta Thunberg. Even though there’s a lot still to do, we can say that we had plenty of chances to educate ourselves. To celebrate, we have picked our favourite releases of 2019, books that inspired us and motivated us to become more conscious, healthier and more importantly, happier. 

The Conscious Closet: The Revolutionary Guide to Looking Good While Doing Good by Elizabeth L. Cline

We had to start with this one: written by journalist, fashionista, and clothing resale expert Elizabeth Cline. This year she provided us with the ultimate guide to building a greener and more sustainable closet. After releasing the best seller and milestone on the topic in 2012: Overdressed: The Shockingly High Cost of Cheap Fashion, in which she investigated the true nature of the cheap fashion, tracing the rise of budget clothing chains and the death of middle-market and independent retail­ers. Cline was the first to reveal fast fashion’s hidden toll on garment workers, the environment, and even our own satisfaction with our clothes. In the wake of Overdressed, readers and consumers wondered how they should change their approach to fashion: How should they dress with their values? How, where, and how often should they shop? And finally, how to build a closet you will fall in love with?

It’s both a style guide and a manifesto to transform one of the most polluting industries on Earth into a force for good. You’ll start by discovering your fashion personality type: whether you are a minimalist, a style seeker or a traditionalist. The book provides helpful ways to shift your consumption habits to fit your lifestyle and fashion enthusiasm. With precious interviews with experts on the topic, it will guide on how to afford the conscious closet of your dreams!

The Conscious Closet, £12.99, Waterstones


This is a perfect, updated investigation into the damage caused by the colossal clothing industry and the grassroots, high-tech, international movement fighting to reform it. Starting with the everyday – and apparently harmless – question: What should I wear? It traces the origins of our need for novelty and trends. The clothing industry churns out 80 billion garments a year and employs every sixth person on Earth to feed this tendency. In the last three decades, with the simultaneous rise of fast fashion, globalization, and the tech revolution, those tendencies have multiplied exponentially, and we have literally lost control. According to Thomas, what we need to do is to completely rethink the entire system. The bestselling journalist travelled the world to discover  visionary designers and companies who are propelling the industry toward that more positive future. They’re doing this by reclaiming traditional craft and launching cutting-edge sustainable technologies to produce better fashion. Examples include 3-D printed clothes, clean denim processing, smart manufacturing, hyper localism, fabric recycling, and lab-grown materials. From small-town makers and Silicon Valley whizzes to such household names like Stella McCartney, Levi’s, and Rent the Runway. Thomas highlights the companies that are – literally – redesigning a better future.

Fashionopolis, £12.69, Blackwells

Inconspicuous Consumption, The Environmental Impact You Don’t Know You Have, by Tatiana Schlossberg

Praised by the likes of the New York Times and Vogue, this book will show you how much of a profound impact your actions have on a micro and a macro scale. If on one side it gives you proof of how depressing the state of our economy is, it also gives you an energizing boost of motivation in witnessing how beneficial the impact of your actions can be. Tatiana Schlossberg is a former New York Times science writer, and she pinpoints simple yet extremely impactful everyday choices. Written with in-depth scientific investigation and a lot of humor (we really need it when we’re basically talking about the end of the world), it describes how climate change is all around us, sometimes without us even realizing it. It’s also a book that illustrates the power we have as voters and consumers to make sure that the fight against climate change is part of the policies that involve us.

By examining environmental impacts in four areas; the internet and technology, food, fashion, and fuel – Schlossberg helps readers better understand how streaming a movie on Netflix in New York burns coal in Virginia. Or that eating a hamburger in California might contribute to pollution in the Gulf of Mexico. That buying an inexpensive cashmere sweater in Chicago expands the Mongolian desert. And that destroying forests in North Carolina is necessary to generate electricity in England.

Inconspicuous Consumption, £9.79, WH Smith

The Way We Eat Now: Strategies for Eating in a World of Change, Bee Wilson

We’ve never been so confused about food. Best Seller and award-winning food writer Bee Wilson explores everything in the rapidly changing way of how we eat: from meal replacements such as Huel, the disappearing lunch hour, the rise of veganism, the lack of time to cook proper meals and the rapid increase in food delivery services. At the same time, she gives us wise and up-to-date advice on how to have a sustainable and delicious, healthy diet. Providing helpful strategies on how to find our own personal routine using the many options available. Allowing us to have a balanced, happier relationship with the food we eat, it also deciphers where those new tendencies come from. From the way we snack to the way we, unfortunately, binge. The confusion around superfoods, the weirdly recurrent debate around avocado on toast and all of the new food myths we can’t get our heads around.

The Way We Eat Now, £9.35, Book Depository

The Yogic Kitchen, By Jody Vassallo

This wonderful recent release traces the ancient origins of the approach to food as a medicine and the Ayurvedic path to health. For anyone who is a bit sceptical about changes in general, this diet has been tried and tested over thousands of years. The sister philosophy to Yoga, Ayurveda teaches you to eat according to your constitution (or dosha) to heal, restore and bring balance to your system. Rather than a strict diet, this is an actual discipline that understands that everyone is different: where comfort for one person might be a hot and spicy noodle broth, for another it might mean a steaming bowl of earthy stew.

In The Yogic Kitchen, Ayurvedic health coach, skilled cook and passionate yoga teacher Jody Vassallo offers you around 100 recipes designed specifically for your dosha, and it helps you understand how to work out what foods your body needs to thrive, while restoring harmony in your body and your mind.

The Yogic Kitche, £10.01, A Good Read


Disclaimer: Prices correct at time of publishing.