Disposable Clothing Redux

h&m shopping
June 27th, 2012

As you may have read in a previous post, I am not a fan of disposable clothing. You know what I mean: the inexpensive, low-quality, high-volume items sold at big box and mall stores. Their popularity is growing because retailers have devised a way to get even the most finicky fashionista to buy their wares through the now-popular designer collaborations.

Well, I feel vindicated. Journalist Elizabeth Cline has written Overdressed: The Shockingly High Cost of Cheap Fashion. And who is paying the cost? We all are.

  • Our environment – Chemicals are used to dye the fabric, energy is used to produce and ship, and landfills are quickly filling.
  • Our personal space – Closets around the country are overflowing with skinny jeans and sequined tank tops.
  • Our bank accounts – Because the items are low quality, the clothing only lasts a few wearings, then you have to buy more.
  • Our self-esteem – Because new styles come out every eight seconds (not really, but close), we feel the need (or pressure) to keep up with what’s in the stores.

I am seeing this first hand as I volunteer at a local thrift shop. We are drowning in used XXI and H&M labels. I often feel that people buy more because the items are so inexpensive (we regularly get clothing with the tags still attached). But, at least I know the clothing we get is going to a second owner and the proceeds are going to charity.

It appears our society is in need of some retail therapy, and Cline might be just what the doctor ordered.

Take a look at your closet. Is it stuffed with twenty white Target T-shirts? You only need that many if you only do laundry once a month.



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Our Friends Say
  1. Marcia says:

    We received this from Fritzie in our email today: “Thanks for speaking out. Your article is right on point. My motto is: buy less but spend more for good quality and non-trendy stuff. I still wear clothes I bought more than 20 years ago and don’t ever feel out of style. A new handbag (or shoes) and a great scarf and I can go anywhere.”

  2. [...] of cheap and chic clothes and how it affects almost every aspect of our lives. After writing my rant last year, I decided to make a promise to myself: I would not buy any new clothing for a year. If I [...]


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