Author and journalist Dana Thomas is making a fashion statement. Just not the kind of fashion statement you think. She uses fashion as a way to explore and start a dialogue around the implications of the industry on our environment and mankind. The Laundress chatted with her about her findings and easy swaps we can all start making today.
What is your background and what inspired you to write your most recent book, Fashionopolis?
I began covering fashion at The Washington Post in the late 1980s, when the fashion editor Nina Hyde tapped me to be her assistant. In 1992, I moved to Paris, when I married a Frenchman, and have been writing about all things—from the Cannes Film Festival to the French Open—since then. For fifteen years, I was the European Cultural Correspondent for Newsweek, and now I am a regular freelance contributor to the New York Times. I’ve written three books: Deluxe: How Luxury Lost Its Luster, Gods and Kings: The Rise and Fall of Alexander McQueen and John Galliano; and now Fashionopolis: The Price of Fast Fashion and the Future of Clothes.
I wrote Fashionopolis as a follow-up to Deluxe, but also the third in a trilogy: Deluxe is about how fashion sacrificed in ingrate for the sake of profit; Gods and Kings is about how fashion sacrificed the creative for the sake of profit; and now it is about how fashion sacrificed the planet and humanity for the sale of profit. That said, these books are not about fashion. They are about business, capitalism, commerce, society, mankind—everything, really. I simply use fashion as a way to talk about bigger issues, because we all get dressed.