Format:
Book
Author:
Title:
Publisher, Date:
New York : Portfolio/Penguin, c2012.
Description:
244 p. ; 24 cm.
Subjects:
Notes:
Includes bibliographical references and index.
Contents:
Seven pairs of $7 shoes -- "I have enough clothing to open a store" -- How America lost its shirts -- High and low fashion make friends -- Fast fashion -- The afterlife of cheap clothes -- Sewing is a good job, a great job -- China and the end of cheap fashion -- Make, alter, and mend -- The future of fashion.
LCCN:
2012004525
ISBN:
9781591844617
1591844614
9781591844617
1591844614
Other Number:
733230711
System Availability:
6
Current Holds:
0
# Local items:
6
Control Number:
937287
Call Number:
338.4/774692
Course Reserves:
0
# Local items in:
1
# System items in:
1
Find It
Map It
Fiction/Biography Profile
Genre
NonFiction
Health, Mind and Body
Sociological
Topics
Clothing and dress
Fashion industry
Workers
Shopping
Environmentalism
Human rights
Social responsibility of business
Sociology
Setting
- United States
Bangladesh - Asia
China - Asia
Time Period
-- 20th-21st century
Large Cover Image
Trade Reviews

  Publishers Weekly Review

The good news for shoppers, notes Brooklyn journalist Cline in her engagingly pointed, earnestly researched study, is that cheap knockoffs of designer clothing can be found in discount stores almost instantly. The bad news is that "fast fashion" has killed America's garment industry and wreaked havoc on wages and the environment, especially in China, where most of the cheap clothes and textiles are now made. A self-described shopaholic of low-end stores H&M and Forever 21, which emerged from the first budget retailers in the 1990s like Old Navy and Target, which marketed cheap fashion as chic, Cline traces the phenomenon soup-to-nuts from the sad consolidation of the big department stores and depletion of New York's garment district, once supplying the massive labor needed for making clothes. From there, she takes her narrative to the factories overseas where workers are paid a fraction of what Americans earn. Cheap imports flooded the U.S. market, for example, shutting down textile mecca Inman Mills, in Greenville, S.C. Cline visited the root of inequity at massive, state-of-the-art factories in China where millions of "flavor-of-the-month" garments are manufactured for export, creating a new middle class for some Chinese while locking the lowest paid workers (also in Bangladesh, Cambodia, and Vietnam) in nonunion, slave-like poverty. As the fabrication of artificial fibers takes a walloping environmental toll, Cline urges, in her sharp wakeup call, a virtuous return to sewing, retooling, and buying eco-friendly "slow fashion." (June) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
Summary
Until recently, Elizabeth Cline was a typical American consumer. She'd grown accustomed to shopping at outlet malls, discount stores like T.J. Maxx, and cheap but trendy retailers like Forever 21, Target, and H&M. She was buying a new item of clothing almost every week (the national average is sixty-four per year) but all she had to show for it was a closet and countless storage bins packed full of low-quality fads she barely wore--including the same sailor-stripe tops and fleece hoodies as a million other shoppers. When she found herself lugging home seven pairs of identical canvas flats from Kmart (a steal at $7 per pair, marked down from $15!), she realized that something was deeply wrong. Cheap fashion has fundamentally changed the way most Americans dress. Stores ranging from discounters like Target to traditional chains like JCPenney now offer the newest trends at unprecedentedly low prices. Retailers are pro­ducing clothes at enormous volumes in order to drive prices down and profits up, and they've turned clothing into a disposable good. After all, we have little reason to keep wearing and repairing the clothes we already own when styles change so fast and it's cheaper to just buy more. But what are we doing with all these cheap clothes? And more important, what are they doing to us, our society, our environment, and our economic well-being? In Overdressed, Cline sets out to uncover the true nature of the cheap fashion juggernaut, tracing the rise of budget clothing chains, the death of middle-market and independent retail­ers, and the roots of our obsession with deals and steals. She travels to cheap-chic factories in China, follows the fashion industry as it chases even lower costs into Bangladesh, and looks at the impact (both here and abroad) of America's drastic increase in imports. She even explores how cheap fashion harms the charity thrift shops and textile recyclers where our masses of cloth­ing castoffs end up. Sewing, once a life skill for American women and a pathway from poverty to the middle class for workers, is now a dead-end sweatshop job. The pressures of cheap have forced retailers to drastically reduce detail and craftsmanship, making the clothes we wear more and more uniform, basic, and low quality. Creative inde­pendent designers struggle to produce good and sustainable clothes at affordable prices. Cline shows how consumers can break the buy-and-toss cycle by supporting innovative and stylish sustainable designers and retailers, refash­ioning clothes throughout their lifetimes, and mending and even making clothes themselves. Overdressed will inspire you to vote with your dollars and find a path back to being well dressed and feeling good about what you wear.
Table of Contents
Introduction Seven Pairs of $7 Shoesp. 1
1"I Have Enough Clothing to Open a Store"p. 11
2How America Lost Its Shirtsp. 36
3High and Low Fashion Make Friendsp. 62
4Fast Fashionp. 95
5The Afterlife of Cheap Clothesp. 119
6Sewing Is a Good Job, a Great Jobp. 138
7China and the End of Cheap Fashionp. 161
8Make, Alter, and Mendp. 187
9The Future of Fashionp. 207
Acknowledgmentsp. 223
Notesp. 225
Indexp. 237
Librarian's View
Book
2012

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