This month's reading list is a little bit of everything- ethical fashion, business, economics... I'm planning to post a bit more of an in-depth look at a few of these books, but I thought I'd give a quick preview of each in the meantime.
1. Conscious Capitalism
This book by Whole Foods Co-CEO John Mackey and Raj Sisodia caught my eye because, quite frankly, I'm not sure where I stand with capitalism right now. I'm certainly jaded by crony capitalism and the like, but I'm not quite ready to throw out capitalism in its entirely because I still think that when it is combined with integrity and accountability it is a system that has the potential to do a lot of good. So far, the tone of Conscious Capitalism is too cheerful and chirpy for my taste ("the world isn't really that bad off! We've come so far! So many people can read now- thank you capitalism!") but I'm going to keep reading to see if things get more serious...
Kate Black, founder of the MagnifECO blog, has written a book by the same name! It's a helpful guide to making better shopping choices, with chapters on beauty, clothing, jewelry, and more. Some of the chapters get quite specific- there's an entire section on underwear and one on outerwear. MagnifECO includes lots of helpful tips and guidelines- like which beauty product ingredients to avoid and why, and what different fair trade labels mean. This book would make a great gift for that friend of yours that's just starting to dabble in conscious consumerism.
3. Friend and Foe
I was intrigued by the premise of this book by Adam Galinsky and Maurice Schweitzer, which promises to teach you "when to cooperate, when to compete, and how to succeed at both"! As a small business owner who tends to be an over-collaborator (I just want to include and help everyone! Even if I end up getting "burned"!) , I'm hoping to learn to be a bit more discerning and strategic when forming partnerships and planning projects.
I know, I know... I'm a little late to be only just picking up this book by Elizabeth Cline- It's been the talk of cause-based companies and ethical bloggers for awhile now. Cline tackles the evils of fast fashion by sharing facts and statistics mixed with her own experiences and personal stories. I like the fact that she focuses quite a bit on the de-valuing of clothes, and the loss of basic sewing and mending skills that used to be commonplace just a generation or two ago.
5. The Purpose Economy
Entrepreneur Aaron Hurst begins this book with a 5 page comic-strip illustration detailing humanity's journey throughout various economic phases- agrarian economy, industrial economy, information economy, and, finally, what he calls "purpose economy". According to Hurst, purpose economy is a new way of looking at our lives and businesses, seeking connection and passion and social good through the work that we do.