What the hell am I talking about, you ask?
Naomi Wolf wrote an article, The High Cost of Cheap Fashion, about a month ago, about why exactly those clothes at Zara, Forever 21, H&M and the like are so cheap. Later, Aminatou Sow, posted two items over at Feministe, Retail: It's Complicated and More on Fast Fashion. Both are making their way around the blogosphere, and are worthwhile reads.
These bits were what jumped out at me:
"Fast Fashion — much like Fast Food — is cheap, addictive, and built on an unsustainable, low-wage system. These throwaway clothes are purposefully designed to be worn a few times and discarded, which contributes the growing problem of textile waste. According to the EPA Office of Solid Waste, the average American household throws away more than 68 pounds of clothing and textiles per person per year so it’s not hard to imagine how the constant production of new clothing poses a number of environmental challenges, especially in developing countries. "
"Truly committing to Slow Fashion would require us to learn more about the clothes we buy and who produced them, and using that knowledge to make socially and environmentally responsible choices. "
We all know I have a problem. The No Shopping Project demonstrated this to me in a way that I knew deep down, but never fully realized. I'm having the same feelings that I did when I knew I had to give up eating so much processed, crap food. I know what the "right" thing to do is, but I don't want to give up what I like, and I am definitely the product of a culture that embraces stuff, and a culture that wants that stuff cheap and fast.
I suspect I'll be spending some time with Elizabeth Kubler Ross in the near future.