REVIEW OF ECO-CHIC: THE FASHION PARADOX
This book, with almost the same name as a book published earlier this year by Matilda Lee of the Ecologist, finally gives a bit of space to hemp. Sandy Black is the author, and she appears to have done a good bit of research, albeit UK-centric, and one might note rather Brighton-centric at that. The bulk of the book is on cotton/organic cotton, and yes there is mention of the fact that cotton drinks up too much water, there is even an image of the Aral Sea, showing its depletion.
Chapters tend to feature specific designers, and as such tend to read as infomercials, complete with full colour pictures from their ads, with some emaciated looking models. This is a paperback coffee table book, but not just all images and breezy text, it serves as a history of the UK eco-fashion industry from the late '90s to the present. The very good resource guide and somewhat good bibliography (it does include Hemp for Victory, which was pointed out to her by Bobby Pugh of The Hemp Shop in Brighton). There is no index, sadly.
Hemp is mentioned on pp. 21, 42, 62, and 126-131. There was a fair amount of effort put into this, going so far as to feature THTC quote Mina Hegaard and Chris Conrad, but marred by the obvious inconsistency of stating on one page that hemp cultivation was illegal in the UK, then talking about hemp cultivation in the UK, along with a picture of such; which those in the know assert is from Bobby Pugh's hemp farm in the mid-'90s.
Sandy Black is well known in the UK for her work in fashion, and this book will be passed around and read by fashionistas from Brighton to Glasgow. What she has had to say about hemp has been basically positive and accurate, but one does wish she had said more, or used images of hemp clothing rather than images of buds, leaves and a farm.
Eco-Chic is published by Black Dog Press, London. 4to, pbck, pp. 256. ISBN- 978 1 906155 09 4