Americans buy an average of 68 garments and eight pairs of shoes a year, according to the American Apparel and Footwear associations. We never used to amass that much, writes New York author Elizabeth Cline, but shoppers want to buy what is trendy and "in", the cheapest styles that lead to disposable fashion.
I for one don't buy this much ! Eight pair of shoes, I wish I could find 8 pairs of shoes that would fit me. If they would fit I would buy 68,000 pairs.
Cline's book "Overdressed: The Shockingly High Cost of Cheap Fashion" is an eye-opener to those of us who feel a sense of accomplishment when we score two pairs of BOGO shoes for $15 or buy four $10 T-shirts, knowing they could wear out in a few months. As her reporting bears out, rock-bottom bargains as the norm are bad for the economy, the environment and how we feel about what's in our closets.
Our clothes, which only a generation ago was much stronger, is now like a one-night stand. It's nearly impossible for mass-produced, poorly made clothes to feel personal, Cline says, so when we look in our closets, we no longer see an expression of our individuality.
Do you see an old friend in your closet?