With sales of more than five hundred billion US dollars a year, the fashion industry is one of the most important sectors of the global economy, employing millions of men, women, and often children in the developing world. And yet its record is far from pretty. The collapse of Bangladesh's Rana Plaza with some thirty-five hundred desperately underpaid garment workers inside was a shocking example of what can go wrong when manufacturers ruthlessly cut costs while turning a blind eye to labor rights and workplace safety.
Written by an apparel industry insider, Fixing Fashion argues that the true legacy of Rana Plaza is increased awareness of how cheap, disposable clothing has led time and time again to serious community, environmental, and labor rights abuses. Ethical supply chain professional Michael Lavergne explores:
By taking a hard look at the very real impacts of our consumer culture's addiction to disposable fashion, Fixing Fashion challenges each of us to take full responsibility for understanding the hidden cost of our clothes.
Michael Lavergne is an ethical supply chain professional committed to sustainable fashion industry and the protection of labor, environmental and human rights in the developing world.
Michael Lavergne is an ethical supply chain professional who has spent the past eighteen years leading sourcing initiatives across Asia, Latin America, The Middle East, Africa and North American markets. He gained experience in labor, human rights and environmental issues in Central America, Mexico and SE Asia and has supported responsible industry development in East Africa and The Middle East. Michael has written on ethical trade issues for Canadian Business Magazine , The Toronto Star , and The National Post , among others. He is a board member of Fashion Takes Action , and speaks regularly at industry events such as The Sustainable Fashion Forum and the World Ethical Apparel Roundtable .
Now the industry is undergoing a shift, and many of us are questioning our buying habits. The rise of socially and environmentally responsible retailers like Patagonia and The Body Shop has led to dramatic changes in the eco and ethical fashion landscape. Magnifeco is the Fast Food Nation of the fashion world—your guide to making a difference too. In this guide, author Kate Black:Examines non-toxic beauty and ethical fashion Recommends a multitude of ways for consumers to make better decisions Introduces the brands and designers leading the way along this socially responsible path
With this complete head-to-toe guide covering everything from hair and beauty products to shoes and footwear, you can feel better about everything you put on your body and be—magnifeco!
Kate Black is the founder and editor-in-chief of Magnifeco.com, the digital source for eco-fashion and sustainable living. She has lived and worked in the major fashion centers of the world, has written over a thousand articles about designers and ethical fashion, and speaks regularly at regional and national green living events.
Cheap fashion has fundamentally changed the way most Americans dress. Stores ranging from discounters like Target to traditional chains like JCPenney now offer the newest trends at unprecedentedly low prices. Retailers are producing clothes at enormous volumes in order to drive prices down and profits up, and they’ve turned clothing into a disposable good. After all, we have little reason to keep wearing and repairing the clothes we already own when styles change so fast and it’s cheaper to just buy more.
But what are we doing with all these cheap clothes? And more important, what are they doing to us, our society, our environment, and our economic well-being?
In Overdressed, Cline sets out to uncover the true nature of the cheap fashion juggernaut, tracing the rise of budget clothing chains, the death of middle-market and independent retailers, and the roots of our obsession with deals and steals. She travels to cheap-chic factories in China, follows the fashion industry as it chases even lower costs into Bangladesh, and looks at the impact (both here and abroad) of America’s drastic increase in imports. She even explores how cheap fashion harms the charity thrift shops and textile recyclers where our masses of clothing castoffs end up.
Sewing, once a life skill for American women and a pathway from poverty to the middle class for workers, is now a dead-end sweatshop job. The pressures of cheap have forced retailers to drastically reduce detail and craftsmanship, making the clothes we wear more and more uniform, basic, and low quality. Creative independent designers struggle to produce good and sustainable clothes at affordable prices.
Cline shows how consumers can break the buy-and-toss cycle by supporting innovative and stylish sustainable designers and retailers, refashioning clothes throughout their lifetimes, and mending and even making clothes themselves.
Overdressed will inspire you to vote with your dollars and find a path back to being well dressed and feeling good about what you wear.