Octopus pre-empts Barber's debut Consumed for new imprint

Octopus pre-empts Barber's debut Consumed for new imprint

Octopus has pre-empted Aja Barber's debut Consumed, a call for more equitable and sustainable consumerism, as a lead title for a new imprint run by Romilly Morgan.

Morgan, editorial director at Octopus, pre-empted world English rights from Jon Wood at RCW. Consumed: On Colonialism, Climate Change, Consumerism and the need for Collective Change will be published by the new imprint – details of which will be revealed next month — on 16th September. Barber will be donating $10,000 of her advance to various charities involved in supporting those most affected by the consumer industries.

Barber is a writer and fashion consultant with 230,000 followers on Instagram. Her Instagram video Why Performative Allyship is Triggering, which called out brands and influencers for monetising the Black Lives Matter movement, has accumulated nearly one million views.

She said: “Consumed is my story of how I found my way out of the cycle of overconsumption which not only made me feel pretty bad but also further funded a corrupt and unethical system. There's a strong case within these pages for why and how you should too. But our work doesn't stop there. It's time to demand better for everyone. We need change and we need it now. This cycle is harming and exploiting people, particularly marginalised people of colour, and destroying our planet forever. It is time for us to stop being consumers and start being citizens. Because here’s the thing, you can buy everything but you can’t buy your integrity back.”

Octopus explained: “The book will be radical in format. In the ‘learning’ first half of the book, Aja will expose you to the endemic injustices in our consumer industries and the uncomfortable history of the textile industry; one which brokered slavery, racism and today’s wealth inequality. She will also explain how white privilege built these industries with colonisation and then sold it back to white people with capitalism off the back of brown and Black people. In the second ‘unlearning’ half of the book, she will help you to understand the uncomfortable truth behind why you consume the way you do. She asks you to confront the sense of lack you have and the reasons why you fill the aching void with consumption. The less you buy into the consumer culture, the more power you have.”