The Shockingly High Cost of Cheap Fashion

Book - 2012
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Like The Omnivore's Dilemma did for food, Overdressed shows us the way back to feeling good about what we wear.

Fast fashion and disposable clothing have become our new norms. We buy ten-dollar shoes from Target that disintegrate within a month and make weekly pilgrimages to Forever 21 and H&M. Elizabeth Cline argues that this rapid cycle of consumption isn't just erasing our sense of style and causing massive harm to the environment and human rights-it's also bad for our souls.

Cline documents her own transformation from fast-fashion addict to conscientious shopper. She takes a long look at her overstuffed closet, resoles her cheap imported boots, travels to the world's only living-wage garment factory, and seeks out cutting-edge local and sustainable fashion, all on her journey to find antidotes to out-of-control shopping.

Cline looks at the impact here and abroad of America's drastic increase in inexpensive clothing imports, visiting cheap-chic factories in Bangladesh and China and exploring the problems caused by all those castoffs we donate to the Salvation Army. She also shows how consumers can vote with their dollars to grow the sustainable clothing industry, reign in the conventional apparel market, and wear their clothes with pride.

Publisher: New York : Portfolio/Penguin, 2012.
ISBN: 9781591844617
Branch Call Number: 338.4774692 Cli
Characteristics: vii, 244 p.
Alternative Title: Over-dressed


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LPL_KimberlyL May 26, 2018

So this was an awkward book to read while clothed in almost exclusively Old Navy seasonal dresses and colorful cardigans! Essentially, in case you haven't heard, fast fashion is contributing to massive amounts of waste and the industry itself is detrimentally harmful to the planet and marginalized communities. So, you know, this is a pretty cheerful book to read! (Sarcasm.) Overall, this can be added to any "Difficult, But IMPORTANT" list of books everyone should read. If only to become more aware of how accepted habits, such as constantly buying cheap clothes, are actually kind of terrible. It's certainly made me rethink my buying habits. It's a bummer, but again, incredibly important.

Mar 24, 2016

This book made me realize the the drop in quality and styling in womens' clothing is no illusion- it's an epidemic. I am looking at all my buying choices with new eyes. It's also made me think very seriously about re-learning how to sew, and crafting my own clothing.

Oct 30, 2013

This book is incredibly well written and well researched. It really opened my eyes to a lot of things I've never thought about before. Not only are the clothes available at the mall made by people who aren't being paid a living wage, they have no tailoring and are of poor quality. Our clothes also get thinner to save money. One woman Cline interviews says it best, we are wearing rags. I would reccomend this book to anyone, particularly if you are interested in shopping, a sustainable lifestyle, or quality over quantity.

Oct 06, 2013

Although the writing seemed stilted at times, overall this book was very interesting and gave me lots to think about. Definitely recommended if you enjoy clothes and shopping!

Jul 01, 2013

This book is a great read. I've never really been someone who follows the latest fashion trend and after reading this book I doubt I ever will be. I have tried to make my own clothes when possible which means they are designer (me) originals as well as repairing anything as needed. It is a real eyeopener about how most clothes are made these days, why they are so cheap and how disposable they really are. I truly never gave any thought to what happens to clothing once it goes to charity either. The environmental costs for the countries which manufacture most of those cheap clothes should concern everybody these days.

Mar 13, 2013

It made me think about the kinds of things I buy. It's a lot harder to find quality clothing for women over 50 than it used to be. A quick read ... I found especially interesting the chapter on thrift stores, and what happens to our clothing after we donate it away.

Oct 07, 2012

This is an amazing book! Women have needed a read like this to explain the drop in price, style and quality of clothing available in stores today. Time to get out the sewing machine!

SMBE Aug 24, 2012

This book was difficult to read because it was so poorly written. It is amazing that it was published.
The subject was interesting however her presentation was poorly organized. She writes like a high school student.

Aug 19, 2012

I suspected this all along. If everyone read this book and absorbed its message, it would literally change the world.

Jul 28, 2012

A well-balanced expose of the cost of the current fashion industry in human exploitation and environmental degradation. Most interesting was the new trends--the cost cutting factories in Asia are now unable to compete for quality goods, so real high fashion manufacturing may come back to North America.

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Mar 02, 2014

dusyaka thinks this title is suitable for 14 years and over

Apr 16, 2013

Khaleeka thinks this title is suitable for 13 years and over


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