This past weekend, I pulled out my fall raincoat, complete with lining, because it’s so dang chilly outside. Whenever I put something on for the coming season, I immediately check the pockets in hope of finding, of course, cold, hard cash. What I almost always find, however, are wads of Kleenex, sometimes new, sometimes used. This time, I found, yes, Kleenex, along with something new.
I generally don’t pay much for my clothing, opting to thrift most everything I buy, for several reasons (in no particular order):
- I like a closet full of choices
- Recycling and reusing clothing is crucial for the environment
- There’s no shortage of magnificent fashion finds when thrifting
- I can buy expensive shoes without guilt
According to Elizabeth Cline, who wrote Overdressed: The Shockingly High Cost of Cheap Fashion, “most of our donated clothing doesn’t end up in vintage shops, as car-seat stuffing, or as an industrial wiping rag. It is sold overseas….And by one estimate, used clothing is now the United States’ number one export by volume, with the overwhelming majority sent to ports in sub-Saharan Africa.”
While that seems like a charitable deed, turns out the world has changed, and many people in developing countries are able to now afford fast fashion and super-cheap clothing from China. We can (and should) no longer use Africa as our dumping ground for unwanted textiles. In fact, there is at least talk in Eastern Africa to ban all imported used clothing by 2019.
After years of being harassed online by Zulily, I finally succumbed and bought a few things, namely a black tunic and three pairs of leggings, only one of which I have in hand. The other two pairs are literally on that slow boat from China. Continue reading
I first discovered Fidji shoes when I was in Germany a few years ago and ever since then, they consume 90 percent of my shoe budget, even though they’re definitely not vegan.
(Quick side note: Although I discovered them in Germany, Fidji shoes are actually made in Portugal. I’ve yet to visit Portugal, but look out when I do, Fidji Shoe Factory.) Continue reading