A Summer Reading List for the Conscious Consumer

Plus, they’ll make you look extra cool by the pool


The days are getting longer, the air is getting warmer, and nothing sounds more appealing than settling down with a good book and a cool drink on the front porch, by the pool, or on the beach, right?

If you’re wondering what to read, this summer reading list for the conscious consumer can provide a little mental stimulation on your next vacation.

And who knows, maybe one of your traveling companions will take an interest in what you’re reading.

Ready for the books?

Let’s get to it!

Slow Fashion: Aesthetics Meets Ethics by Safia Minney

This 2016 book takes a good hard look at the world of fast fashion and its global effects. Through interviews with designers, brand owners, models, photographers, farmers, and more, the author explores the different ways in which “slow fashion” may be realized.

It’s filled with practical tips you can implement in your life and a ton of beautiful photographs. The author’s interviews with pioneers of the slow fashion movement are really inspiring and will have you ready to implement change in your closet right away!


Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less by Greg McKeown

This New York Times bestseller is focused on providing a new way to think about the pressures and commitments of life. It’s not about doing more, or even doing less, really. The message of essentialism is to expend your energy on getting the right things done.

It’s a lesson that’s applicable to our shopping habits as well. In a world where one side is urging us to buy more and another is encouraging us to throw everything away, essentialism is a good middle ground.

The Travels of A T-Shirt in the Global Economy: An Economist Examines the Markets, Power, and Politics of World Trade by Pietra Rivoli

The long title of this book is perhaps a subtle nod to the long and circuitous journey of the titular t-shirt. From Texas cotton fields to Chinese production factories to a used clothing market in Africa, our clothing is surprisingly well-traveled before and after we own it.

The Humane Economy: How Innovators and Enlightened Consumers Are Transforming the Lives of Animals by Wayne Pacelle

Another critically-acclaimed bestseller, The Humane Economy explores how every business currently grounded in animal exploitation will inevitably be disrupted- and soon.

Written by Wayne Pacelle, the former president and CEO of the Humane Society of the United States, this book offers a behind the scenes look at the forces that are driving society’s turn away from animal-based businesses and towards more ethical alternatives.


Deluxe: How Luxury Lost Its Luster by Dana Thomas

Offering a very candid look behind the curtain, this book will undoubtedly upset you if you’ve ever shelled out for big-name luxury goods.

Written by investigative journalist Dana Thomas, this book exposes the shocking differences between extremely expensive luxury goods and their cheaper, no name counterparts. (Spoiler alert: there usually isn’t any!)

Stirring It Up: How to Make Money and Save the World by Gary Hirshberg

Written by the president and CEO of the world’s largest organic yogurt company, this book emphasizes the incredible impact that individuals can have in the marketplace- or “the power of one.”

You will feel inspired after reading this book, not only to vote for ethical companies with your dollars, but maybe even to start an ethical company of your own! Just warning you.

Wear No Evil: How to Change The World With Your Wardrobe by Greta Eagan

This book covers the environmental and social harms perpetuated by the fast fashion industry and goes into detail on how you as a consumer can prevent them.

It introduces a unique concept known as the Integrity Index to help you do good while looking good, and shop without fear of compromising your values. Huh, sounds kind of familiar!



Kayla Robbins
DoneGood Contributor

A freelance writer working with bighearted businesses who want to better our world.



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