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Overdressed: The Shockingly High Cost of Cheap Fashion (2012)

by Elizabeth L. Cline

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3422456,848 (3.71)17
Evaluates the costs of low-priced clothing while tracing the author's own transformation to a conscientious shopper, a journey during which she visited a garment factory, learned to resole shoes, and shopped for local, sustainable clothing.

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This has been doing the rounds of the interwebs for a while, and it fits into my recent goals to buy less, make more, reduce crap. It was a fairly thought-provoking read, even if not a lot of it was a major revelation. It sucks that good manufacturing jobs are almost extinct in the US, and while the author points to slow fashion in LA and Brooklyn as signs that this might be changing, I hardly think it's on an industry scale yet. I had no idea that when I was a teenager, we still made 50% of our clothes here!

I would really like to feel good about where my clothing comes from and how it's constructed, and I don't want to wear synthetics (or hemp pants). I guess I'll just have to keep plugging away at that learning-to-make-clothing thing!

ETA: This graphic: http://tumblr.everlane.com/post/41880067167/youve-heard-of-farm-to-table-but-hav... illustrates the point of a much of the book. Companies mostly divorced from their sourcing, which makes it harder to create ethical products. (I realize the graphic comes from another company that produces overseas, and excuse me if my trust factor isn't high enough to buy their ethics-speak hook, line, and sinker. Yet.) ( )
  beautifulshell | Aug 27, 2020 |
Excellent book on what needs to change in the fashion industry and how consumers need to change their buying habits. Full of statistical facts, blunt, and to the point. A book for consumers as well as those studying economic inequity and environmental damage. ( )
  caanderson | Jun 7, 2020 |
One woman's story about her quest for sustainable fashion, after realizing that fast fashion is not sustainable. The statistics and companies she cites are somewhat dated now, but the facts haven't changed. ( )
  lilibrarian | Feb 12, 2020 |
Overdressed is a non-fiction book about the reality of the fashion industry. In this book Elizabeth L. Cline explains how the quality of clothing has gotten worse as the cost went up. She states that most people with enough money, would just buy clothes to buy something. She talks about how the production of rubber shoes and clothing items could be effecting the environment. Most people have more clothes than they would wear on a regular basis, or even remember.

Overall, I thought the book was pretty good. I did feel at some times that she was being a bit negative but it does show the reality of cheap clothing. This book definitely exposes some of the bigger clothing companies for bad quality. ( )
  SDeWitt.ELA2 | Oct 22, 2019 |
pg. 198 cheap fashion is a waste of money... "because the materials and sewing often aren't even worth owning."
The cheap clothing industry has taken jobs out of our nation and is filling our landfills.
Natural materials can be composted, but most clothing is made with mixed fabrics and most are manmade. We do not have the technology to separate the materials.
"clothing that is well made is not cheap..." pg. 208
pg. 221 "cheap clothes not only undermine those who sew, sell and design them, they're the pitiful result of decades of price pressure that has erased the craftmanship and splendor of what we were." ( )
  VhartPowers | Dec 27, 2018 |
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To my grandmothers, Routh and Margarett
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In the summer of 2009, I found myself standing in front of a rack of shoes at Kmart in Astor Place in Manhattan.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Evaluates the costs of low-priced clothing while tracing the author's own transformation to a conscientious shopper, a journey during which she visited a garment factory, learned to resole shoes, and shopped for local, sustainable clothing.

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