Newsmakers: Elizabeth Cline on cheap fashion and sustainable apparel
By Erik Siemers
Elizabeth Cline the author of “Overdressed: The Shockingly High Cost of Cheap Fashion.”
The way Elizabeth Cline sees it, consumers have been coerced by retailers into buying cheap clothing in an effort to keep up with the latest fashion.
Cline is the New York-based author of “Overdressed: The Shockingly High Cost of Cheap Fashion,” which takes a critical look at the world of “fast fashion” and its effect on consumer culture.
Cline will be the featured speaker Tuesday at an event dubbed “Portland Undressed” starting at 7 p.m. at The Cleaners at Portland’s Ace Hotel, 403 SW 10th Avenue. The event is hosted by Pino, a Portland-based handmade clothing brand, and lifestyle blog Eyes + Edge.
Tickets for the dinner event, which should be purchased by Friday, cost $85. (Click here for more on how to buy tickets.)
We spoke with Cline by phone this week to hear how consumers can break the “fast fashion” cycle and how Portland’s robust apparel industry can play a role in making it sustainable.
Sustainable Business Oregon : Your book touches a lot on public fashion consumption and how retailers have sped up the fashion cycles to keep consumers coming through the doors. That seems like it would lead to a lot of waste. What is the net effect of “fast fashion” on waste streams?
Elizabeth Cline: I think there’s been a dramatic increase in consumption of clothing and of course, our throwing away and donating has also increased. Americans are throwing away about 68 pounds of textiles per person per year. A lot of that is clothing. The amount of clothing we’re donating to charities increased. There’s a lot confusion on the consumer side as to how they’re supposed to dispose of clothing. That’s the only explanation for how clothing can be thrown into the trash. It’s almost all 100 percent recyclable.
If you are commenting using a Facebook account, your profile information may be displayed with your comment depending on your privacy settings. By leaving the 'Post to Facebook' box selected, your comment will be published to your Facebook profile in addition to the space below.