3 Books We Can't Recommend Enough

lifestyle sustainable business Sep 06, 2022

You know that feeling when you finish a really good book and you’re excited to start reading something new, but you can’t seem to find something that catches your attention? Or maybe you want to read a book about sustainability, but don’t know where to start. Whatever situation you may be in, we have 3 books that we recommend to anyone who wants to learn more about sustainable business.

Don’t forget - we have a YouTube version of this post, so if you’re a visual learner, make sure you check it out! 

1. The Responsible Company - Yvon Chouinard & Vincent Stanley

For Patagonia fans, The Responsible Company is a must-read. Following up Let My People Go Surfing, Chouinard and Stanley paint the picture of Patagonia’s journey. The overarching theme throughout the book is the notion of responsibility, but what does this mean? What does a responsible business look like? Through examining leadership, commitments, and even missteps, the authors illuminate what it takes to create a responsible brand. 

One of our favorite elements of The Responsible Company is the emphasis on stakeholder engagement. The book features a handy workbook-style guide in the back that helps explain what stakeholder engagement can look like (in practical and applicable terms) and what brands should be considering when assessing their impacts (both social and environmental!) 

If you’re just entering the sustainable apparel space, this is a great place to start. It’s a quick read and easy to understand, and chances are it’ll make you ask more questions about sustainable business. Want to get your hands on a copy? You can pick one up at ThriftBooks, Powell’s, or Amazon.

2. The Ecology of Commerce - Paul Hawken

Paul Hawken is a legend in the sustainability space and he has penned multiple books, but The Ecology of Commerce is one of our favorites. Examining traditional business practices, Hawken offers ways in which we can create a more harmonious system. As the title suggests, Hawken advocates for looking at business through the ecological lens. In his words “ecology offers a way to examine all present economic and resource activities from a biological rather than a monetary point of view.”

Moreover, The Ecology of Commerce is centered around the Triple Bottom Line approach - aka People, Planet, Profit. While this book is content-rich, the ideas and Hawken’s writing are easy to digest. If you’ve never heard of the Triple Bottom Line, don’t sweat! After reading, you’ll have a pretty good idea of what the approach entails. However, if you’re curious to learn more about the Triple Bottom Line, ask about our Sustainability 101 Masterclass. We’ll be dropping this soon and it ties in well with what Hawken explores in The Ecology of Commerce

Ready to pick up a copy? Find it on ThriftBooks, Barnes&Noble, Powell’s, or your local library!

3. Cradle to Cradle - William McDonough & Michael Braungart 

If you’re a fan of circularity, you’re going to love Cradle to Cradle. While circularity has been a hot topic in sustainable apparel, there has been very little done to effectively execute it on a large scale. McDonough and Braungart’s book can help businesses reimagine how their products are made and how they can be repurposed. Cradle to Cradle is a design-oriented book, but that doesn’t mean you have to be a designer to join the conversation.

Whether you work for an apparel brand or not, you’ll find value in Cradle to Cradle and perhaps a newfound appreciation for circularity. If you want a quick synopsis of what the circular economy is, we have a video on that too. You can also check out the Ellen MacArthur Foundation to get more details on the circular economy. 

You can get your copy of Cradle to Cradle at Barnes&Noble, ThriftBooks, or Amazon

The great thing about these books is that they’re all foundational learning tools. Whether you’re a seasoned veteran or you’re just getting into the sustainability space, these three books can surely help you on your journey. 

If you pick up any (or all 3) of these books, be sure to share your thoughts with us in our LinkedIn Group. This is a place where we talk about all things sustainability, connect, and share some of our experiences - we hope to see you there! We also have a weekly newsletter filled with updates on the sustainability world. Join the Crew here.

If you have any questions or want to learn more about that Sustainability 101 Masterclass, email us at [email protected]. We’re happy to help in any way we can. 

Thanks and I’ll see you back here on Thursday!


#sustainability #keeplearning #sustainablebusiness

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