Overdressed: The Shockingly High Cost of Cheap Fashion
The way Americans dress has fundamentally changed in recent years. Once crafted in domestic factories, 98% of our clothing is now made abroad. And stores ranging from fast fashion chains like H&M and Forever 21 and discounters like Target to traditional companies like Gap and Macy’s now offer the newest trends at unprecedentedly low prices. It’s driving up our pace of consumption and turned apparel into one of the most environmentally destructive industries on Earth. And we have little reason to keep wearing much less repairing the clothes we already own when styles change so fast and it’s cheaper to just buy more.
In her debut book, Overdressed: The Shockingly High Cost of Cheap Fashion, journalist and former cheap fashion addict Elizabeth Cline sets out to uncover the true nature of the cheap fashion juggernaut. What are we doing with all these clothes? And more important, what are they doing to us, our society, our environment, even our souls?
Released by Penguin Portfolio in 2012 (paperback in 2013), Overdressed has been hailed by BusinessWeek as “the fashion world’s answer to… The Omnivore’s Dilemma,” featured in the New York Times Sunday Book Review, and declared a “sharp wakeup call” by Publishers Weekly. Cline has shared her work on Fresh Air With Terry Gross, NBC Nightly News, BBC The World, WNYC’s The Brian Lehrer Show, NPR’s On Point, among dozens of other television, print and radio outlets.
Overdressed, now available in audio book format and internationally in six languages, has helped galvanize a global ethical fashion movement. The book is on the curriculum at universities and high schools around North America, including at Parsons and The Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City.