Over-Dressed: The Shokingly High Cost of Cheap Fashion

over_dressedElizabeth L. Cline
2012
391 C641o

This book was a real eye-opener about the fashion industry.
Clothes are mass-marketed in China and flood stores such as H & M, Zara, Forever 21, and Target. These clothe are often disposable and cheaply made and end up going to good will or the dumpster. If they do end up at the Salvation Army, only the best items are kept for sale. The rest are discarded or sold very cheaply to rag graders and textile recyclers. Whatever they don’t want is shipped to Africa, and very often end up in the dump over there. Fashions change so often that these stores get new items weekly and, in some cases, daily. This practice is known as fast fashion. Our Western thirst for cheap fashions has also taken hold of over-populated India and China, and there is no telling what the environmental impact of fast fashion may be. The author takes us on a tour of the dying textile industry of the United States and reflects on the changes that need to occur to make it thrive again. She points out that mentalities have to evolve and people have to be made conscious of the great waste that is occurring and the ways in which the consumer can help curb it. Buying vintage clothing, buying locally, refashioning our ‘old clothes’ and repairing them, and looking at the quality of the fabric, the cut and the details before buying, are good ways to make a difference.