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Publisher's Summary

New York Times Book Review Paperback Row Selection

An investigation into the damage wrought by the colossal clothing industry and the grassroots, high-tech, international movement fighting to reform it....

What should I wear? It’s one of the fundamental questions we ask ourselves every day. More than ever, we are told it should be something new. Today, the clothing industry churns out 80 billion garments a year and employs every sixth person on Earth. Historically, the apparel trade has exploited labor, the environment, and intellectual property - and in the last three decades, with the simultaneous unfurling of fast fashion, globalization, and the tech revolution, those abuses have multiplied exponentially, primarily out of view. We are in dire need of an entirely new human-scale model. Best-selling journalist Dana Thomas has traveled the globe to discover the visionary designers and companies who are propelling the industry toward that more positive future by reclaiming traditional craft and launching cutting-edge sustainable technologies to produce better fashion. 

In Fashionopolis, Thomas sees renewal in a host of developments, including printing 3-D clothes, clean denim processing, smart manufacturing, hyperlocalism, fabric recycling - even lab-grown materials. From small-town makers and Silicon Valley whizzes to such household names as Stella McCartney, Levi’s, and Rent the Runway, Thomas highlights the companies big and small that are leading the crusade. 

We all have been casual about our clothes. It's time to get dressed with intention. Fashionopolis is the first comprehensive look at how to start.

©2019 Dana Thomas (P)2019 Penguin Audio

What the critics say

“Journalist Thomas offers a wide-ranging exposé of the fashion industry...[and] shows us sustainable alternatives for the future. Fascinating reading for anyone who wears clothing.” (Library Journal)

"An educated update on the current state of fashion, how it got there, and a prognostication on its precarious future...Thomas offers informed, fair-minded, passionate, and cautiously optimistic scrutiny of "fast fashion".... Convincing, responsible, and motivational fashion industry reportage." (Kirkus Reviews)

"In this informative volume, fashion journalist Thomas convincingly lays out multiple arguments against fast fashion.... Thoroughly reported and persuasively written, [Thomas's] clarion call for more responsible practices in fashion will speak to both industry professionals and socially conscious consumers." (Publishers Weekly)

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What listeners say about Fashionopolis

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  • B Jean
  • 2019-10-20

Interesting but limited in scope

The author does a great job of exploring issues in the fashion industry- but unfortunately most of the solutions offered are really only helpful for those shopping in the high end/luxury market. Limits the over all appeal of the book, though I did appreciate learning some more about the fashion industry in general.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 2021-01-09

Judgmental and infused with propaganda

Wanted to learn the facts about history of the fashion and make up my own opinion of the industry, but instead got a completely biased account that is borderline propaganda of political activism. The author appears to have very limited understanding of how economy works, and as a result is very judgmental of natural course of economic development.

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  • Natalie Dillard
  • 2020-11-22

Inspiring and informative

Loved this book, defense buying the physical copy to highlight and take notes! I recommend this to anyone in the fashion business or anyone in general.

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  • edynaye
  • 2020-06-15

A must-read on sustainability for fashion!

Fabulous, well-rounded view of vital sustainability topics for fashion!!! I have been reading and researching sustainability in the apparel and textiles industry for a number of years now, but this book furthered my understanding of sustainability concepts, the current industry situation, what designers are currently doing, and future suggestions. I highly recommend this book!

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  • Anne Lyth
  • 2020-04-13

Brilliantly told, current and worth reading

This is a book everyone should read/listen to. The message is loud and clear, but not downcasting in all. It has a lot of great information and makes me want to be a better person, changing my buying habits to be more sustainable. I highly recommend it.

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  • Mike Mc
  • 2020-04-06

well researched on fashion and manufacturing

Great stories and facts on the fashion industry, the failings of fast fashion, the rebirth of craft and the future with ecommerce. Well narrated.

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  • Meghan
  • 2020-01-06

Everyone whp wears clothes must read

So insightful and well researched! The author really knows how to create a narritive while reporting facts.

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  • cannonwall
  • 2020-01-05

Very informative and optimistic

Great book about the problems in the fashion industry. Highlights key players and what they are doing to make positive change. Super interesting information I had not heard before.

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  • karen
  • 2019-11-23

Great book!

This book was enlightening and will definitely make me more aware of how I purchase clothing in the future.

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  • Chelsea Lensing
  • 2019-09-11

Everyone who purchases clothes should read this book

Great, informative book. Well researched and compelling. A must read for clothing wearers, designers and clothing wearing humans!