Over-Dressed: The Shockingly High Cost of Cheap Fashion
by Elizabeth L. Cline
October is fair fashion month and I had the opportunity to attend a panel moderated by author Elizabeth Cline at the TrimLab a couple week’s ago. Which then prompted me to pick up her book.
About 6 months ago I was sent down the road to fair fashion, what it’s all about and what it means for my life. If I wasn’t already ignited to change my shopping habits, this book would have done the trick! I had cut out Forever 21 because their production practices are very questionable, but I was still holding onto H&M. The lesser of two evils, right? Well after reading this book, I can’t really continue to shop there. And have made the commitment not to shop at any fast fashion chains. I also have committed to having no fast fashion in my web series, So…This Happened, as of Jan. 20th. (We filmed a few episodes before this conviction.)
What I loved about Over-Dressed is that it delves deep into the problems our country currently faces with production, overspending, high volume of waste and the general mindset that fashion is disposable. The amount of clothing that people purchase and throw away is at an all time high. And big, fast-fashion companies like H&M, Forever 21 and Zara are rendering small boutique designers virtually extinct. When you are able to get a “fashionable” top for $5 at Forever 21, why would you pay $150 for something from an independent zer0 waste designer like Tabii Just or Daniel Silverstein? Quality has turned from “well made” to “good enough.”
Cline talks a lot about her own experience with fast fashion and while reading her story, it felt like it could have been my story. When Cline walked out of an “Kmart with 7 pairs of canvas flats,” that was the moment she started her wake up call. The journey she goes on will enlighten you to what is happening in our world right now and really make you think about how you shop!
Definitely give this book a read and allow it to challenge the way you think about fashion and shopping. Do you know what your wearing? Who made it? It’s quality? These are the kind of questions Elizabeth dared to ask herself and will ask you if you let her.