Disposable Clothing

September 1st, 2011

Okay, I’m about to become very unpopular, so here goes…

I can’t stand Forever 21, Zara, TopShop, Target collaborations, H&M, and their counterparts. There I said it, now I feel better and let me explain myself. No, it’s not because I can’t fit my 40ish butt into clothing made for pre-pubescent bodies… but it may be a factor.

I realize that these retailers allow women the chance to look like a runway model literally the day after the actual model walks down the actual runway in New York or Paris. And there is a sort of satisfying socio-economic equalization going on when you can buy a Diane Von Furstenberg knock-off at Forever 21 for less than $40. (Her dresses usually retail in the $250+ range.)

But we are being inundated with disposable clothes. Yes, they are fashionable today, but can only stand a couple of washings before falling apart. And the fact that they are so inexpensive makes it easier for consumers to justify the short life of the garment. On average, each American household generates approximately 68 pounds of textile waste per year!

I always try to go by what my mother taught me: Buy a classic wardrobe with pieces that will last. You can add a couple of trendy pieces each season to stay current. I don’t go out of my way to spend more on clothing, but I just don’t buy into the fact that I have to change my wardrobe every eight weeks to feel good about myself. And if you’re changing your wardrobe every eight weeks, either your last name is Hilton, or you’re buying disposable clothes.

If you do buy from the shops listed above, make an extra effort to recycle your clothing. They can always be donated to a homeless shelter or a thrift shop.



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Our Friends Say
  1. Could not agree with you more. Amen to that sista’! Well said. Well said indeed. Stop creating more trash folks — and if you have not yet seen it, please view:

  2. [...] 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 [...]

  3. Jennifer says:

    I really put a lot of thought into my purchases. It gives me great angst to throw anything away. I just found out from the Salvation Army that clothing and shoes I donate which aren’t suitable to be resold are recycled. In fact, he encouraged me to bring my old holy, stained shirts that I thought would just go into the trash. Just about everything else is sold for scrap/rags. The gentleman I spoke to said that only 1% of what is donated isn’t utilized. And that goes for everything. Not just clothing or shoes!

  4. Jennifer says:

    Oops. I don’t revere my clothes. I meant to write holey.


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