Today, we’re discussing Overdressed: The Shockingly High Cost of Cheap Fashion by Elizabeth Cline.
“ … fashion has become a slick, industrialized, heavily marketed industry. Loving most clothes sold today would be like loving a fast food sandwich.” – Elizabeth Cline
Overdressed looks at how the American fashion industry has changed in the last four decades. These changes have allowed retailers to drop the price of clothing to shocking lows ($1.99 for a tank top at Forever 21). However, those cheap prices come with hidden costs: environmental degradation, underpaid workers, dangerous factories, and poorly-made clothing that doesn’t satisfy us.
Consumers are trapped in a cycle of buying too much clothing but not loving any of it. Our closets are so over-full that a book on throwing things away has become a massive best-seller. Our shopping habits enable poverty and human misery–but most of us choose to ignore that, since it happens overseas to people we don’t know.
There is so much to talk about in this book, so I’m going to keep the questions short!
- How did you feel when you finished this book?
- Will your shopping habits change after reading this book?
- Do you have any tricks for building your wardrobe in a sustainable way?
Thanks to all our reader who suggested other resources on this topic!
KALIMAK recommended “Sweatshop”, a documentary/reality tv series where three Norwegian travel to Cambodia, where they meet the people who make their clothes. It puts a remarkable human face on an issue that feels overwhelmingly complex.
You can watch this series online, for free, with English subtitles.