Wild Dress: Clothing and the Natural World by Kate Fletcher

Recommended read published by Union Books

Kate Fletcher explores relationships between garments and human embeddedness in nature. Going beyond the idea that nature is a means to human ends; Wild Dress documents how we wear clothes in ways that give more weight and awareness to the natural world.

The book comprises a series of autobiographical texts about what happens when clothing and nature meet and offers an entirely new perspective on fashion pleasure and ecological limits.

On writing the book, Fletcher said “Most of the time fashion places humans at the top of a hierarchy and nature at the bottom. Nature remains unseen, misunderstood, subjugated. I wanted to change this. So I set out to write in a new way about fashion and sustainability —  from direct, sensory experience — and from the experience of life and living to present a different relationship between what we wear and the natural world.”

This book is not fashion or sustainability as we know them – it is a thoughtful exploration and reflection of the true nature of clothing and how it connects us to the world around us. 

There were so many wonderful parts to this book, but a resounding message was that ‘our actual, natural selves are ever present in what we wear. We can dress up all we like, but clothes reveal us as natural beings. They unearth our animal bodies, our self-willed breath, our responsibilities to the world. The question that then follows is what this means for how we dress; what will we do about it.’

A combination of humorous musings and deep reflections, this book makes you stop and think, and really pay attention to the interrelated relationships we have with both nature and clothing.

‘In order to grow an understanding of the world, I had to notice more, to be drawn in, sucked in, in order to be opened out, to be able to see. The life of our clothes is a story of integrated relationships. To try to understand a garment apart from its background is to risk the collapse of both. To be what they are, they require each other.’

I loved it a book to enjoy and share.

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