A few years ago, our book club read the book Overdressed: The Shockingly High Cost of Cheap Fashion by Elizabeth L. Kline. You can read our discussion here. Spoiler: I never did take that class in sewing.
Nor did I do anything different after I read the book. I became concerned, researched my options, became overwhelmed, forgot about it.
That’s a lie. I didn’t forget about it because it remained in the back of my mind every time I bought a ridiculously cheap t-shirt, or every time my dad came over with a huge bag of clothing for the boys from Marshall’s. That hardly makes it okay. My inaction is as sinful as those who demand more and more from the backs of those who have nothing left to give. Maybe even more so, if those consumers who demand are clueless. If the “haul” youtube videos are a barometer for intelligence and social ethics then, yeah, pretty clueless.
True Cost, a documentary on the fashion industry, popped up on NetFlix as a recommendation. I watched it while folding clothing into origami. This documentary is a must-see.
I don’t recall Overdressed delving into the labor issues the way True Cost does. Overdressed painted a broad picture of the problems in the fashion industry while True Cost focuses almost solely on the labor and environmental injustices we commit with our dollars.
I’ve never been a fan of fashion, and I’m sure my weight has something to do with my disdain. It’s easy to settle myself comfortably into my armchair and say “how vain, how shallow, how dumb” when I worry someone will turn around and say “how fat.” Incidentally, worrying about someone thinking you’re fat is also vain, shallow, and dumb, but that’s an observation for another day. This goes beyond how one looks in soft pants and a mid-drift top. This is an issue of dignity and human rights and our failing stewardship of the planet.
All things I’m thinking about as I embark on my closet portion of the KonMari journey.