20 Best Sustainability Books (2021) – Sustainable Living, Fashion & Beauty

Must-read Sustainability Books In 2022 For A More Knowledgeable You & A Better World!

Knowing how to Live in balance with nature is critical for our survival, and sustainability books are the key to that.

That is why we decided to curate the top 20 ‘sustainability’ and ‘sustainable living’ books for you.

The list covers all aspects of sustainable living, from the garments you wear to the food you eat.

The hand-picked self-help books will introduce you to the minimalistic lifestyle secrets and how to start your sustainable living journey.

Without further ado, here are the best books on sustainability right now, books that have inspired the creation of some of the biggest fashion startups ever.

The Sustainable Fashion Handbook

The Sustainable Fashion Handbook
‘The Sustainable Fashion Handbook’ by Sandy Black & Hilary Alexander

AUTHOR(S) | Sandy Black & Hilary Alexander
PRICE | From $35

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Of all sustainability books, this is a sourcebook on all aspects of sustainable fashion.

On one hand, ‘The Sustainable Fashion Handbook‘ highlights the environmental issues caused by wasteful and fast fashion.

On the other hand, the social impact of the global fashion industry, which employs up to forty million people worldwide in manufacturing and agriculture.

Sandy Black has assembled views from a diverse group with a range of perspectives.

She interviewed designers and technicians, academics and journalists, environmental and social action campaigners.

Craft specialists and artists, eco-entrepreneurs, and representatives of global corporations.

Each chapter contains essays by leading writers and thinkers.

It also has interviews and statements from key sustainable fashion designers such as Stella McCartney, Vivienne Westwood, and Hussein Chalayan.

Finally, it has case studies on the life cycle of jeans, smart textiles, and fair trade projects.

Slow Fashion

'Slow Fashion' by Safia Minney
‘Slow Fashion’ by Safia Minney. Sustainable Living Books.

AUTHOR(S) | Safia Minney
PRICE | From $18

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Slow Fashion‘ offers creatives, entrepreneurs & ethical consumers alike a glimpse into a new world –  the Eco-concept store movement.

Innovative, with sustainable designs and businesses that put people, livelihoods, and sustainability central to everything they do.

Safia Minney argues that the future of bricks & mortar retail is in Fair Trade.

Trade sustainable and organic products, together with vintage, second hand and local produce.

Restorative economics, the well-being of our planet, our bodies, and our minds can be inspired by this growing sector and one that is shaping big business.

This book curates pioneering people and projects that will inspire you to be part of ‘the change’.

With full-color photography and illustration throughout ‘Slow Fashion‘ profiles people and the alternatives to the mainstream.

It is a place for conscious designers, labels, and eco-concept stores across the world.


'EcoBeauty: Scrubs, Rubs, Masks, Rinses, and Bath Bombs for You and Your Friends' by Lauren Cox and Janice Cox
‘EcoBeauty: Scrubs, Rubs, Masks, Rinses, and Bath Bombs for You and Your Friends’ by Lauren Cox & Janice Cox

AUTHOR(S) | Lauren Cox & Janice Cox
PRICE | From $8

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EcoBeauty has something valuable for everyone out there. Taking time to find it is the problem.

This is an ultimate natural-beauty “cookbook”.

It has easy and eco-friendly recipes for getting gorgeous with fresh ingredients from the kitchen.

It has lessons on how to make organic beauty products like scrubs, bath bombs, and face masks, all at home.

It is a great way to save money and help the environment.

Moreover, if you follow and put it into practice you’ll have gorgeous skin and hair.

A must-have for anyone who wants to be healthy, save money and make the world a more eco-beautiful place.

Plastic Purge

Plastic Purge: How to Use Less Plastic, Eat Better, Keep Toxins Out of Your Body, and Help Save the Sea Turtles Author(s): Michael SanClements
‘Plastic Purge: How to Use Less Plastic, Eat Better, Keep Toxins Out of Your Body, and Help Save the Sea Turtles’ by Michael SanClements

AUTHOR(S) | Michael SanClements
PRICE | From $12

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When we talk about sustainability issues, plastic is one of the first topics that come to mind.

Plastic is everywhere we look.

Our computers and children’s toys are made out of it.

Our water and slices of cheese are packaged in it.

But why is there so much and what is it doing to our bodies?

Is it possible to use lesser plastic, be happier and healthier?

Approachable and engaging, ‘Plastic Purge‘ book provides easy-to-follow advice.

Learn how to use fewer plastics, reap the benefits of eating a healthier diet, see how you can live with less clutter.

The author divides plastics into three separate categories: the good, the bad, and the ugly.

Then, SanClements shows you how to deal with these types of plastics:

1. Embrace the good (items like your phone or medical equipment).
2. Avoid the bad (food storage containers and toys that contain toxic chemicals).
3. Use less of the ugly (single-use plastic that’s just plain wasteful).

Mindfulness for Compassionate Living

sustainable living books - 'Mindfulness for Compassionate Living' by Dr. Patrizia Collard
‘Mindfulness for Compassionate Living’ by Dr. Patrizia Collard. Sustainable Living Books.

AUTHOR(S) | Dr. Patrizia Collard
PRICE | From $5

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Self-compassion is a life-changing way of thinking that is rooted in Mindfulness.

Mindfulness for Compassionate helps you to learn how to have more loving kindness and forgiveness for yourself.

To have more empathy and compassion for others and to live your best life.

The self-compassion movement has been growing rapidly over the past two years.

Recent research into the neuroscience of compassion is showing that changing our thinking habits makes new neural pathways in the brain.

It means that compassion can be learned.

The benefits of learning compassion are personal and global.

But more than compassion, in this book you’ll be learning how to manage chronic pain to relieve stress.

How to boost your immune system and circulation, along with improving relationships, as we connect more authentically with others.

With gentle exercises to try, meditations, visualizations, and inspiring case studies, ‘Awakening the Compassionate Mind’ is your first step in being kind to yourself and others, releasing negativity, and living from the heart.

Wear No Evil

'Wear No Evil' by Greta Eagan
‘Wear No Evil’ by Greta Eagan

AUTHOR(S) | Greta Eagan
PRICE | From $5

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Have you ever wondered, “How can I inherently do good while looking good?

Wear No Evil‘ has the answer and is the timely handbook for navigating both fashion and ethics.

It is the style guide with sustainability built in that we’ve all been waiting for.

As a consumer, you regain your power with every purchase.

You can support the causes and conditions you already advocate in other areas of your life (such as local or organic food).

Moreover, you can do it while upholding your sense of self through the stylish pieces you use to create your wardrobe.

‘Wear No Evil’ provides a roadmap founded in research and experience.

Moreover, the book is coupled with real-life experiences and everyday inspiration.

  • Part 1 – presents the hard-hitting facts on why the fashion industry and our shopping habits need a reboot.
  • Part 2 – moves you into a closet-cleansing exercise to assess your current wardrobe for eco-friendliness and how to shop green.
  • Part 3 – showcases eco-fashion makeovers and a directory of natural beauty recommendations for face, body, hair, nails, and makeup.

Style and sustainability are not mutually exclusive. They can live in harmony.

It’s time to restart the conversation around fashion, how it is produced, consumed, and discarded.

It is time to fit with the world we live in today.


Books on sustainability - 'Overdressed' by Elizabeth L. Cline
‘Overdressed’ by Elizabeth L. Cline

AUTHOR(S) | Elizabeth L. Cline
PRICE | From $10

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Listed as one of the best fashion books, ‘Overdressed‘ does for T-shirts and leggings what ‘Fast Food Nation’ did for burgers and fries.

As cheap fashion has become a serious problem, Cline sets out to uncover the true nature of the cheap fashion juggernaut.

Discounting stores such as Target and traditional chains like JCPenny now offer the newest trends at unprecedentedly low prices.

Even worse; consumers have little reason to repair old clothes and keep wearing the clothes they already own.

Especially now, when styles change so fast and it is cheaper to just buy more.

What are we doing with all these cheap clothes?

And more importantly, what are they doing to us, our society, our environment, and our economic well-being?


Sustainability Books - 'Minimal: How to simplify your life and live sustainably' by Madeleine Olivia
‘Minimal: How to simplify your life and live sustainably’ by Madeleine Olivia

AUTHOR(S) | Madeleine Olivia
PRICE | From $10

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We are facing an urgent climate crisis and we must all take action now.

However, it can be difficult to know where to start when bombarded with overwhelming facts and statistics every day.

We all want to make a difference, but what can we do?

Minimal makes simple and sustainable living attainable for everyone.

The book provides practical tips for all areas of everyday life to reduce your impact on the earth and lead a minimalist lifestyle.

Leading environmentalist Madeleine Olivia shares her insights on how to care for yourself in a more eco-friendly way.

Also, how to introduce a mindful approach to your daily habits.

How to declutter your life, reduce your waste and consumption, recipes for eating seasonally.

How you can make your own natural beauty and cleaning products.

Learn how to minimize the areas that aren’t giving you anything back and discover a happier and more fulfilled life, while looking after the Earth we share.

This Changes Everything

This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. The Climate' by Naomi Klein
‘This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. The Climate’ by Naomi Klein.

AUTHOR(S) | Naomi Klein
PRICE | From $10

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Forget everything you think you know about global warming.

It’s not about carbon – it’s about capitalism.

The good news is that we can transform our failed economic system and build something radically better.

In ‘This Changes Everything‘, Naomi Klein exposes the myths that are clouding the climate debate.

You have been told the market will save us, when in fact the addiction to profit and growth is digging us in deeper every day.

You have been told it’s impossible to get off fossil fuels when in fact we know exactly how to do it.

It just requires breaking every rule in the ‘free-market’ playbook.

You have also been told that humanity is too greedy and selfish to rise to this challenge.

In fact, all around the world, the fightback is already succeeding in ways both surprising and inspiring.

Animal, Vegetable, Miracle

Sustainability Books - Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life' by Barbara Kingsolver
‘Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life’ by Barbara Kingsolver.

AUTHOR(S) | Barbara Kingsolver
PRICE | From $10

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With characteristic poetry and pluck, Barbara Kingsolver and her family sweep readers along a fascinating journey.

Away from the industrial-food pipeline, to a rural life in which they vow to buy only food raised in their own neighborhood.

Grow it themselves, or learn to live without it.

Their good-humored search yields surprising discoveries about turkey sex life and overly zealous zucchini plants.

A route towards a food culture that’s better for the neighborhood, but also better on the table.

Part memoir, part journalistic investigation, ‘Animal, Vegetable, Miracle‘ makes a passionate case for putting the kitchen back at the center of family life and farms at the heart of the American diet.

Sustainable Living Books – Top 10

The Story Of Stuff

'The Story Of Stuff: How Our Obsession With Stuff Is Trashing the Planet, Our Communities, And Our Health—And A Vision For Change' by Annie Leonard
‘The Story Of Stuff: How Our Obsession With Stuff Is Trashing the Planet, Our Communities, And Our Health—And A Vision For Change’ by Annie Leonard.

AUTHOR(S) | Annie Leonard
PRICE | From $10

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We have a problem with ‘Stuff’.

Just 5 percent of the world’s population IS consuming 30 percent of the world’s resources while creating 30 percent of the world’s waste.

In ‘The Story Of Stuff‘, Leonard reveals the true story behind our possessions.

See why it’s cheaper to replace a broken TV than to fix it.

Discover how “perceived obsolescence” encourages us to toss everything from shoes to cell phones while they’re still in perfect shape.

Learn how factory workers in Haiti or mine workers in Congo pay for our cheap goods with their health, safety, and quality of life.

It is a system in crisis, but Leonard shows us how we can stop the environmental damage, social injustice, and health hazards caused by polluting production and excessive consumption.

Don’t Even Think About It

Don't Even Think About It book by George Marshall
‘Don’t Even Think About It: Why Our Brains Are Wired to Ignore Climate Change’ by George Marshall

AUTHOR(S) | George Marshall
PRICE | From $10

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Most of us recognize that climate change is real yet we do nothing to stop it.

What is the psychological mechanism that allows us to know something is true but acts as if it is not?

George Marshall’s search for the answers brings him face to face with Nobel Prize-winning psychologists and Texas Tea Party activists.

What he discovers is that our values, assumptions, and prejudices can take on lives of their own.

These views are gaining authority as we share them, dividing people in their wake.

The essence of ‘Don’t Even Think About it‘ is that once we understand what motivates us, we can rethink everything.

We can rethink climate change and how we can turn it from an impossible challenge to a fixable problem.

Simple Matters

'Simple Matters: Living with Less and Ending Up with More' by Erin Boyle - Sustainability Books and Sustainable Living Books
‘Simple Matters: Living with Less and Ending Up with More’ by Erin Boyle.

AUTHOR(S) | Erin Boyle
PRICE | From $12

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Erin Boyle shares practical guidance and personal insights on small-space living and conscious consumption.

Equally pragmatic and philosophical, ‘Simple Matters‘ is a nod to the growing eco-friendly consensus.

A belief that living simply and purposefully is more sustainable, not only for the environment but for our own happiness and well-being, too.

Boyle embraces the notion that “living small” is beneficial and accessible to us all.

Whether we’re renting a tiny apartment or purchasing a three-story house, you can be happy.

The book is filled with personal essays, projects, and helpful advice.

It teaches you how to be inventive and resourceful in a tight space.

‘Simple Matters’ also shows that living simply is about making do with less and ending up with more.

You’ll have more free time, more time with loved ones, more savings, and more things of beauty.

Building a Better World in Your Backyard

Building a Better World in Your Backyard: Instead of Being Angry at Bad Guys by Paul Wheaton
‘Building a Better World in Your Backyard: Instead of Being Angry at Bad Guys’ by Paul Wheaton.

AUTHOR(S) | Paul Wheaton
PRICE | From $10

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As part of the ‘Sustainable Lifestyle Books’ series, this self-help book will help you make a huge and positive difference from your own home.

Prioritize comfort over sacrifice while saving thousands of dollars.

Explore dozens of solutions and their impacts on carbon footprint, petroleum footprint, toxic footprint, and other environmental issues.

If 20 percent of the population implemented half the solutions in this book, it would solve the biggest global problems.

All without writing to politicians, joining protests, signing petitions, or being angry at the people that are causing the problems.

Good solutions are often different from conventional environmental wisdom.

The average American adult has a carbon footprint of 30 tons per year.

Replacing a petroleum car with an electric car will cut 2 tons.

But if you live in a cold climate and you switch from electric heat to a rocket mass heater, you will cut 27 tons!

Join Paul and Shawn in ‘Building A Better World In Your Backyard‘ on a journey feature simple alternatives that you may have never heard of.

Alternatives that are about building a more symbiotic relationship with nature so we can all be even lazier.

Waste Not: Make a Big Difference by Throwing Away Less

Sustainability Books - 'Waste Not: Make a big difference by throwing away less' by Erin Rhoads
‘Waste Not: Make a big difference by throwing away less’ by Erin Rhoads.

AUTHOR(S) | Erin Rhoads
PRICE | From $9

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Shrink-wrapped vegetables, disposable coffee cups…

We’re surrounded by stuff that we use once and throw away.

Eco-activist, Erin Rhoads knows that small changes can have a big impact.

In her book, Waste Not, Erin shares everything she has learned from her own funny, inspiring – and far-from-perfect – journey to living with less waste.

The book offers useful tips on how to switch out the disposable plastics from your shopping trolley and make simple cleaning solutions free from harmful chemicals.

Find your favorite beauty products without all the packaging, make sustainable clothing, travel green, or even plan your own zero-waste wedding. Waste Not is here to help.

The book itself is produced in the most sustainable way possible: it was edited & designed entirely electronically, it is printed on FSC certified paper with soy-based inks, and all excess paper during printing was recycled.

Walkable City

'Walkable City: How Downtown Can Save America, One Step at a Time' by Jeff Speck
‘Walkable City: How Downtown Can Save America, One Step at a Time’ by Jeff Speck.

AUTHOR(S) | Jeff Speck
PRICE | From $10

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The very idea of a modern metropolis evokes visions of bustling sidewalks, vital mass transit, and a vibrant, pedestrian-friendly urban core.

But in the typical American city, the car is still king.

Making walkability happen is relatively easy and cheap; seeing exactly what needs to be done is the trick.

In this essential new book, Speck reveals the invisible workings of the city, how simple decisions have cascading effects, and how we can all make the right choices for our communities.

Walkable City‘ is a book bursting with sharp observations and real-world examples.

It is giving key insight into what urban planners actually do and how places can and do change.

Walkable City lays out a practical, and achievable vision of how to make our normal American cities great again.

The Sustainable(ish) Living Guide

The Sustainable(ish) Living Guide: Everything you need to know to make small changes that make a big difference by Jane Gale
‘The Sustainable(ish) Living Guide: Everything you need to know to make small changes that make a big difference’ by Jane Gale.

AUTHOR(S) | Jane Gale
PRICE | From $10

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You want to save the planet, but your to-do list is too long.

Remembering your re-usable coffee cup feels like a Herculean task.

Buying organic detergent gets in the way.

Sorting the garbage is the last thing on your mind.

If that’s how you feel every day, then ‘The Sustainable(ish) Living Guide‘ is the book for you.

It covers every aspect of our lives, from the stuff we buy and the food we eat, to how we can travel sustainably and work efficiently.

This book provides stacks of practical, down-to-earth ideas to slot into your daily life.

It is a gentle kick up the butt to put your newfound knowledge into action.

Practical tips include unsubscribing from all the tempting emails that drop into your inbox with details of the newest clothing range or the latest sale.

Keeping a mug next to your kettle to work out how much water you actually need to boil each time, as overfilling kettles cost British households £68 million on energy bills each year.

This book will help you change your impact without radically changing your life.

Moreover, it’ll help you figure out the small steps you can make that will add up to make a big difference.

Live Green

'Live Green: 52 steps for a more sustainable life' - sustainability books by Jen Chillingsworth
‘Live Green: 52 steps for a more sustainable life’ by Jen Chillingsworth.

AUTHOR(S) | Jen Chillingsworth
PRICE | From $10

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Many of us are already doing what we can to adopt a greener lifestyle.

We recycle, try to reduce our waste and plastics, choose organic food when shopping, eat less meat and opt for environmentally friendly cleaning products.

Yet we often wish we were doing more and it can be overwhelming to know where to start.

Live Green is a practical guide of 52 changes – one for each week of the year – you can make to your home and lifestyle to reduce your impact on the environment.

The book has all the ingredients to help you achieve a more sustainable year.

It covers all areas of your life: from your cleaning routine, home furnishings, food shopping, fashion choices, to natural beauty, and even Christmas.

You’ll learn how to make your own eco-friendly cleaning products.

How to buy vintage furniture. How to make your own moth repellent.

How to improve your natural beauty regime. Or, how to create a capsule wardrobe.

Overall, you’ll discover how to get the most out of life, living with intention.

101 Ways To Go Zero Waste

'101 Ways To Go Zero Waste' By Kathryn Kellogg
‘101 Ways To Go Zero Waste’ By Kathryn Kellogg.

AUTHOR(S) | Kathryn Kellogg
PRICE | From $10

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Amongst all sustainability books, this one provides some amazing practical tips.

We all know how important it is to reduce our environmental footprint.

But, it can be daunting to know where to begin.

Enter Kathryn Kellogg, who can fit all her rubbish from the past two years into a 16-ounce jar. How?

She starts by saying “no” to straws and grocery bags and “yes” to a reusable water bottle and compostable dish scrubbers.

In 101 Ways to Go Zero Waste, Kellogg shares these tips and more, along with DIY recipes for beauty and home.

Get sound advice for responsible consumption and making better choices for home goods, fashion, and the office.

Find small secrets on how to go waste-free at the airport.

“It’s not about perfection but about making better choices,” Explains KathRyn

This is a practical, friendly blueprint of realistic lifestyle changes for anyone who wants to reduce their waste.

Slowing Down to the Speed of Life

'Slowing Down to the Speed of Life' by Joseph Bailey and Richard Carlson - Sustainability Books and Sustainable Living Books
‘Slowing Down to the Speed of Life’ by Joseph Bailey & Richard Carlson.

AUTHOR(S) | Joseph Bailey & Richard Carlson
PRICE | From $8

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“Age-old wisdom presented in a practical, easy to understand manner that can be utilized by everyone.” —Bernie Siegel, M. D., author of Love, Medicine & Miracles

Newly revised and updated to address the increased stress of our modern times, this is a classic guide to creating a more peaceful, simpler life from the inside out.

Slowing Down to the Speed of Life‘ contains practical and easy exercises to help you slow down your mind and focus on the present moment.

In the words of Dan Millman, bestselling author of ‘Way of the Peaceful Warrior’, this is a:

“…life-enhancing book with insightful principles for peaceful and productive living at work and at home.”

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Sustainable Lifestyle Books – Conclusion

Hope you’ve enjoyed our selection of ‘sustainability books’.

If you want to fit ‘sustainable living’ into your life, in a way that works for you, these are the books to read.

You’ve got to start somewhere and these sustainable living books are an excellent start.

Don’t feel overwhelmed by the numbers we’ve put here. Just buy one.

Finally, if reading is not your thing, check out the other posts we’ve put out there.

We have constantly updated with free content: tips, e-books, audiobooks, podcasts, movies, documentaries, to keep you all engaged, entertained, and educated during these difficult times.

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  1. Love this useful piece of information about sustainability books, especially not in these times of difficulty. I’d love for you to keep us informed with similar content and once again, thanks for sharing.

  2. Man, I am into sustainable consumption and veganism and this article really opened my eyes to different points of views. Thank you, looking fwd to a vegan books version of this article please.

  3. I would suggest two books on green building design. ‘New Net Zero’ by Sim Van der Ryn and ‘Ecological design’ by Stuart Cowan. The intro of the second book is the best summary I have read on why sustainability is important.

  4. Arguably this is the best collection of books on sustainability.

    It has anything you need, from greenwashing to corporate CSR, and sustainability issues for consumers and people like you and me. Must read them all!!!


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