2 for $10?
3 for $12?
30 percent off with free shipping? You know you will find me at this sale. You see, I am a fashonista, always trying to get the most amount of clothes for my money.
I doubt I am the only one, as many of us are on a budget, and when we see a good sale, we cannot resist. Why would you want to pay more and get less?
Plus, the more clothes I have, the more I can express my personality and style. What could be bad about that? Right…?
I never thought about why I could get so many clothes for such a low price (why bite the hand that feeds you?) until I saw the documentary, The True Cost, which highlights just how much goes into my super cheap and stylish clothes. From the documentary, I also learned:
We pay less than our grandparents did for their clothes
Prices have gone down on clothing, primarily because of the change in production in the garment industry. In my grandparent’s time (1960s), the U.S. made 90 percent of the garments sold here. Today? A mere 3 percent is made in the States. Clothes are sold so cheaply, we don’t care if we have to throw them out, or only wear them once.
We are giving jobs to those who need it…why wouldn’t we want that?
Yes, you’re right. But we are also taking advantage of a country that needs those jobs so badly that they will do anything to keep the factories. They depend on them. And the fashion industry knows this. If they demand shirts to be made at a ridiculously low price, and that demand cannot be met? They will move on elsewhere to someone who can make it for cheap.
So, where does the price cut come from?
I bet you can guess. The workers. The environment too.
Working conditions are horrendous. In Bangladesh, a clothing factory collapsed and killed 1,137 people in a slow and painful death. Many were buried alive. Two hundred people were missing. They knew the building was unsafe and yet management forced employees back inside.
These (primarily women) workers are not compensated for their long hours and hazardous working conditions. The wages are unsustainable (only $1-2 dollars/day).
By cutting the cost on our clothes, we are hurting people
And now you know. Consumers (myself included) are part of this problem. We keep buying more stuff without thinking about why it is so cheap, and who is paying the cost. We are the demand: if we don’t buy it, they won’t make it.
Don’t want to be the problem, but want to help solve it?
By Lyndsi Petitti