Sunday, October 28

Over-Dressed: The Shockingly High Cost of Cheap Fashion

I saw this title over on Modern Mrs. Darcy's reading list ages ago and my interest was piqued. I was able to download the first chapter on my Kindle, and knew immediately that I had to get my hands on the book.

Fortunately, my library had a copy and the rest of the book was just as good as the first chapter. One of the reviews on the book's amazon page sums it up almost perfectly:
"Elizabeth L. Cline is the Michael Pollan of fashion. Overdressed demonstrates how hysterical levels of sartorial consumption are terrible for the environment, for workers, and even, ironically, for the way we look.” (Michelle Goldberg)
The premise is startlingly simple: we're all being scammed by cheap fashion. Americans squander mind-boggling amounts of money every year on clothing, and get less and less for their investment. Clothing trends now change nearly weekly, and many items are never intended (or even expected) to last more than a few washes. We assuage our guilt by donating our unused things to Salvation Army (or its equivalents), blind to the (sickening) reality that a huge percentage of what is donated never goes back into circulation. It ends up as rags, gets shredding into fiber for alternative uses or simply amasses in landfills.  

I'll stop there, because if I keep going this could get really long, but I encourage everyone to get your hands on a copy of this book. I can't tell you how many things I learned here that shocked and sickened me. There's so much more than just being fashionable wrapped up in decisions that seem deceptively simple.

It definitely made me rethink my own habits and choices - and I don't even like to shop for clothes or shoes as it is! I appreciate books like this that make me think without pretending to have all the answers or relying on scare tactics. The author was genuine about her own failings and had an approachable writing style that was enjoyable to read.

I wish I'd had more time while reading it so that I could have done a chapter by chapter review the way my friend did recently of Jen Hatmaker's Seven. Since I wasn't that on top of things, all I can say is go read it then come back here and leave your thoughts - I'd love to hear what you take away from it!

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