As more people try to adopt environmentally conscious items into their lifestyle, will they also reconsider the clothes they wear? Journalist Tatiana Schlossberg joined Boston Public Radio on Monday to speak about her new book "Inconspicuous Consumption: The Environmental Impact You Don't Know You Have," and about fashion's role in environmental degradation.

"Fashion is an area we don't think about when it comes to climate change," Schlossberg said.

Mongolia and China produce much of the world's cashmere, Schlossberg said. Goats, which produce cashmere wool, contribute to desertification when they are kept together in large numbers, since their hooves and teeth uproot grass and destabilize the soil, she added.

"When winds come in that part of the world, the dust gets spread around, leading to desertification in that part of the world, worsened by climate change," Schlossberg said. "Mongolia is experiencing climate change faster than the rest of the world."

The goats in Mongolia and China also have an impact in the rest of the world, Schlossberg said, since the dirt they destabilize gets blown into the air. "It worsens air pollution and blows across the Pacific Ocean into the West Coast of the United States," Schlossberg said. "Officials in L.A. say that they can attribute at least one additional day of smog there to pollution from China."

Schlossberg wants to make the production of fashion transparent so that consumers can be aware of the chain of events that cashmere creates before it ends up in a shopping cart at the mall.

"Our actions don't exist in a vacuum. We think we're just buying a cashmere coat, but we have a role in these global systems," she said. "We often talk about how bad the pollution is in China, as if that's China's problem, when a lot of the things they're making is for us."

Ultimately, the responsibility for environmental consciousness lies with companies selling fashion products, Schlossberg said.

"It really shouldn't be up to the consumer to have to figure out if this cashmere sweater is better than that one," she said. "The responsibility really should be on the companies who produce these things in a more responsible way and to price them accordingly."