In the weeks since the horrific collapse of the Rana Plaza garment factory — and subsequent deaths of more than a thousand factory workers — we’ve been thinking a lot about what it means to be a conscientious consumer. As Americans, we’re privy to more and cheaper goods than ever before — and as globalization spreads and the means of production move further and further away, we’re less and less connected to what we buy.
It’s pretty clear that something’s got to give.
Enter Elizabeth Cline. In her new book, Overdressed (
not out until the end of August already out, with the hardcover to be released in August), she delves into the rise of cheap, fast fashion, and — by traveling to China and Bangladesh — documents first-hand how our desire for more and newer clothing is impacting the environment, the culture and workers’ lives.
As style editors and fashion lovers, both Winona and I have grappled with wanting to give you, our readers, affordable, accessible options, while also honoring our desire to support fair worker practices and ethical businesses. In the coming weeks and months, we hope to bring you a lot more coverage on conscious, sustainable fashion, alongside some of our affordable shopping guides. There is no such thing as a “perfect” consumer, but we believe in giving you as much information as possible so you can make the decision that’s right for you.
After the jump, I talk to Elizabeth Cline about how we can be better educated and more conscious clothing consumers.