Wear No Evil: How to Change the World with Your Wardrobe is the go-to book for environmentally friendly and socially conscious style. Throughout her book, Greta Eagan works to change our hearts about the fashion industry, get our closets organized to emulate a more eco-friendly one, and finally, shows us how to find the perfect outfits and brands in order to look our best.
Check out our interview with her to learn a bit more about the woman behind the book.
Darling Magazine: What compelled you to write Wear No Evil: How to Change the World with Your Wardrobe?
Greta: I had dedicated my graduate studies to sustainability in fashion and inadvertently applied what I learned to how I was living, shopping and building a sustainable wardrobe. I sort of took for granted that in any situation, with any purchase at hand, I could quickly suss out the ethical or environmental component and then proceed with the purchase or keep looking. Friends would come to me and ask my advice on how to shop for an item or gift with both the style and eco standards they wanted to uphold. I was able to easily suggest ways to shop and brands that fulfilled those criteria. After answering many of these queries, I thought that I should put this all down in a book that could act as a guide and resource for not just my friends and family, but everyone out there who is looking to shop better without sacrificing on style.
DM: What are some key points made in your book?
Greta: The book is broken into three sections. The first section educates the reader on why they should care about where their clothes come from and reveals the impact of the fashion industry on our world. Most books in this space stop there, leaving the awakened consumer a little paralyzed about how to move forward with their newly found understanding. Wear No Evil provides a flexible and easy-to-use methodology on how to navigate this new conscious space for consumption in fashion. The Wear No Evil methodology is what I was using to shop anywhere, any time, while upholding my personal values and style. The system is straightforward and customizable to every individual. That was really important to me, because I didn’t want to be playing the role of the know-it-all with a strict regimen for everyone to follow. Instead, I wanted to show an option for approaching conscious consumption that meets people where they are. They don’t have to dive into the deep end to participate.
Wear No Evil provides a flexible and easy-to-use methodology on how to navigate this new conscious space for consumption in fashion.
The second section is all about getting organized. It takes the reader through a closet cleansing exercise, gives insight into how to dress for your body type and colorway, and outlines ways to organize your wardrobe so that you get the most out of your closet. For every category (jeans, sweaters, swim, etc.) I provide ‘go green’ advice on what to look for in this area to shop ethically while also giving tried and true style tips to help the reader build a truly sustainable wardrobe – one that reflects their style and personal values.
The third and final section puts what you’ve learned in part one and two into action with sustainable fashion outfit examples. Acting as your guide to good style, this section outlines various occasions and calls upon real women with real style (some of my friends in the fashion and beauty worlds) to offer advice on what to wear, coupled with that same ‘go green’ guidance. The fashion illustrations in this section are amazing and so is the advice from women living fashionable lives! Finally, the last chapter touches on eco beauty to round out the Wear No Evil transformation.
DM: How big of an impact does an eco-friendly wardrobe have on the environment?
Greta: The textile industry is the second most polluting industry, just behind petroleum. So the impact is substantial. The good news is that the sustainability umbrella is big. Whether you decide to support organic clothing options, processes that use less water or closed loop systems, non-toxic dyes, recycled materials, shop secondhand, or opt for vegan alternatives – your conscious consumption contributes to an overall shift. I always say that some is better than none. We vote with our dollars when we make purchases and send messages to brands about what we want. When we collectively vote for better processes and better products, that demand will influence the supply.
DM: Which are your go-to eco-friendly brands?
Greta: Over the years I have definitely developed a few favorites that speak to my style sense and have eco credentials built into their DNA. They include: Amour Vert (contemporary basics, local production in California, organic and sustainable fabrics), The Reformation (uses destock fabric to make cool kid wardrobe staples), The Sway NYC (makes designer leather bags and jackets from upcycled leather), Stella McCartney (for vegan shoes and bags), ASOS Africa (awesome ethnic prints on pieces ethically made by their Africa co-op), Allison Parris (party dresses that guarantee a good time, all made in NYC), Svilu (ethically made in NYC from sustainable fabrics providing city chic staples), and Valentine Gauthier (work wear with a signature flair made in partnership with NGO artisan groups).
I was wearing lipstick to bed at the age of eight, dressed in my outfit for school the next day, so I think you could say I’ve had a long career in fashion already!
DM: Can you talk a little about your background in fashion?
Greta: I was wearing lipstick to bed at the age of eight, dressed in my outfit for school the next day, so I think you could say I’ve had a long career in fashion already! I went to the London College of Fashion for Fashion Marketing and Promotion, and did a few work placements at various fashion brands and fashion PR firms, and then started my blog (then called GretaGuide.com and now called FashionMeGreen.com). I traveled the world giving eco-fashion makeovers to style influencers who were fashionable in their own right, and not yet savvy on their options in the eco fashion realm. The idea was so show (through an editorial style shoot we’d produce) that they needn’t sacrifice their style to be sustainable. We always had great aha moments from the style influencers on these shoots and really good responses from viewers who would see the shoots posted online. It was a wonderful visual exploration of this space. From there I began working with bigger brands (Kate Spade, Glamour, The Outnet, Eileen Fisher, etc.) to act as a sustainable style ambassador and help style shoots, model and host events as a living example of a ‘green it girl.’ I still work with brands in this capacity and am always excited to collaborate on storytelling, sustainability strategy and production.
DM: How important was Wear No Evil to getting your message of sustainable fashion out to the world?
Greta: Writing the book was a real privilege. I feel so lucky to have created a resource that will help others navigate this new frontier in fashion and hopefully have an impact on how we support each other and our planet. The most important thing for me in getting this book out there was to show that there are many options for ‘going green’ with our wardrobes today and restarting the conversation around eco fashion as an integral part of our evolution as producers and consumers.
Images via Sam Wong