Fashion Reader: The Spirit Level

The Fashion Reader is a series where I explore the books that have influenced, inspired and intrigued me. I share stories about writers who have provided that creative spark, those who have shaped my beliefs and those who have simply been a pleasure to read. With some, the link to fashion will be obvious, with others, the relevance to women in fashion might be more subtle. Either way, I hope you enjoy reading…

Last week I talked about how reading books has stimulated my imagination and creativity, this week I thought I would focus on a book that has influenced my beliefs and philosophy.

When I read The Spirit Level in 2008 it really hammered home to me the importance of education and the need to have a moral commitment to a more equal society.

The book attempts to explain how inequality damages the entire fabric of society. They claim that unequal societies have more violence, obesity and lower levels of well-being.

The idea is that the more pronounced the inequality, the more competitive a society is and the more stressful it is to live in that society.

Hierarchies and inequality invoke feelings of superiority and inferiority, dominance and subordination, which affect the way we relate to and treat each other.

The book makes you think about the consequences of Britain’s unequal society and how it is affecting us with chronic health and social problems for everyone, including the rich.

It really cemented my belief in the value of education being accessible to all and it also became a key source when I wrote my own book, Why Fashion Matters, in 2014.

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