January 6, 2014

RTW Fast - - Why on Earth???

Fact:  I possess a fair amount of self-control but this trait is in direct and constant conflict with my lack of patience.  So, given these two facts one might predict that my pledge to become a "Ready-To-Wear Free Zone" in 2014 is doomed from the start!  

Oh ye of little faith!  My prediction is that this pledge might not be as difficult to uphold in 2014 as it would have been in 2009.  Several factors conspire to bolster my chances of success....
  1. I have TOO MANY DAMN CLOTHES - most of which I rarely wear. I know that I am not alone in this transgression!
     (Image is from Elisheva: http://bellabusta.tumblr.com/post/36816418436/cluttered-cramped-and-crowded-closets-why-do-we-own)
  2. I find myself shopping for the ultimate bargain and end up buying lots of inexpensive - strike that - CHEAP garments that last slightly longer than the new chew toys that we buy for Bogey (our chew-toy-destroying-Golden-Retriever)
  3. I have become a complete devotee of (read: obsessed with) buying vintage, consignment and/or thrift - - perhaps too much of a devotee (which has contributed to #1 on this list!).  Unfortunately it appears that my RTW fast also extends to these types of purchases so this is where my self-control gene needs to up-regulate!
  4. I love "up-cycling" clothing that I am gifted or have purchased as part of my #3 obsession
  5. I am reading "Overdressed: The Shockingly High Cost of Cheap Fashion" by Elizabeth Cline.  The Huffington post describes her book this way: "Cline dissects the current state of global fashion production and consumption, putting America's habits into a pretty dim perspective."


The Huffington Post goes on to provide several examples from Ms. Cline's tome (which I will brazenly share here because I am now officially late in getting ready for work!!)

  1. There are no trends anymore. According to Cline, gone are the days of discernible decades. While the '80s had hammer pants and the '90s had crop tops, the rise of "fast fashion" has made it so that those who came of age post millenium will be without a quintessential embarrassing trend.
  2. We're addicted...to low-cost items. She writes that we've grown accustomed to paying less and getting more -- a lot more. According to Cline, American families spend an average of $1,700 per year on clothing, and, as a nation, we're hoarding about 20 billion garments per year. If you've ever over-rationalized a potential purchase ("I don't need them, but you can never have too many pairs of jeans, right?"), this number sounds about right.
  3. So many items of clothing to buy, so few places to buy them. While we're being over-inundated with actual pieces, our store options are being pared down with huge chains dominating the industry, leaving us with fewer places to shop.
  4. Polyester is now the world's dominant fiber. This really drives home Cline's "quantity over quality" point.
  5. The cost of producing garments in New York's famed garment center hasn't risen much over the years. Contrary to popular belief, the actual cost of producing clothes in the once-thriving hub has remained pretty much the same. The price of producing garments outside the United States, on the other hand, has become ridiculously low, effectively ending the heyday of domestic fashion production.
  6. While the price of housing, gas, education, health care and most other basic necessities have been steadily on the rise, clothing prices as a whole have dropped. This may be hard to believe after Kanye's Nike Airs sell for $93,000, but there are certainly a lot more people queuing up in front of H&M to buy discounted Versace than bidding on five-figure kicks.
  7. The entire life cycle of a Zara garment is a mere two weeks long.Zara can design, produce, deliver, display and theoretically sell a piece of clothing in just 14 days. This may help justify the high price of a pair of Christian Louboutin pumps versus the affordable, red-soled versions from Zara.
  8. Fashion retailers are in cahoots with IKEA and The Container Store.Well not exactly, but cheap decor companies are making a killing on closet organizers to keep our massive collection of clothes from burying us alive.
  9. The Salvation Army is never wanting for clothing donations. Ever.Cline visited a major distribution center in New York City and found out that they process an average of five tons of garments every day and only choose 11,200 to send out to stores.
  10. In a perfect world, we would sew all of our own clothes. Kind of. Cline argues that the overconsumption of fashion has led to a decline in craftsmanship. In a chapter entitled "Sewing Is A Good Job, A Great Job," Cline asserts that the emphasis on speed and cutting costs has essentially made our clothes as disposable as a paper cup. What if we promise to buy our clothes from Etsy? OR TAKE THE RTW PLEDGE????
Thank you for your PATIENCE in reading this long, wordy and nearly photo-less post - clearly my SELF-CONTROL was not engaged this morning - but I wanted to share with you (or perhaps remind myself) why I joined Ms Gunn's merry band of fasters when so many of us continue to gorge ourselves on fast clothing!



Bittner said...

Awesome! I am now considering joining you....

Judith said...

Its just crazy when you read it in black and white like this! Good for you to join up with Sarah ~ can't wait to see your sewing ahead in 2014 ... off to have a peek around your blog ... J

Maggie said...

I am re-reading Overdressed right now to bolster my willpower!

AngelatheCreativeDiva said...

I thought about joining this, but I haven't bought RTW in about 5 years. I either make my clothes or go thrifting. And that's about twice a year. Now a fabric fast...

Goodbye Valentino said...

How is the fast going? LOVE your pic!