'Overdressed: The Shockingly High Cost of Cheap Fashion' by Elizabeth L. Cline is a book about the toll that the fast fashion industry has taken on the environment, workers, our wallets and our personal style. The author argues we'd be wise to think twice before buying a cheaply constructed $10 skirt from Walmart or Forever 21 and consider the following: Where was the skirt made and under what conditions? How was the skirt produced so cheaply? Do I need another $10 skirt? Does it make me look good? And where will said polyester skirt end up when I'm bored with it (which will probably be by the end of next week)?
I think Cline is absolutely right. We should think carefully and thoughtfully about all these questions. What we choose to buy and choose to wear matters, and the ramifications go far beyond the trite Instagrams we might post about the fashions we so often carelessly buy at a voracious pace (myself included).
At the same time, I tend to take a big picture view of the world and it looks a little something like this: Change and growth are almost inevitable in any industry. Cline recognizes this fact, too, citing many historical examples where technology and innovation fundamentally changed the garment industry, from the advent of the sewing machine to cheap labor in emerging markets such as China. I don't see this as inherently good or bad, just an inevitability of life.
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