Elizabeth Cline, author of "Overdressed: The Shockingly High Cost of Cheap Fashion" will speak at Dalton State College in Dalton, GA Thursday, January 30th, at 6:30 pm. "The average American buys 68 garments and seven pairs of shoes every year. That adds up to about 100 items of clothing, and it's not just limited to people with a lot of money. When an outfit costs about $20, we buy way more than we need." That's what Elizabeth Cline says about the consumerism of American buying habits. Elizabeth, who is from Varnell, GA and now lives in New York City, is concerned about how manufacturers are producing volumes of clothing in record numbers quickly to sell more and be more profitable. "What I really focused on in "Overdressed" is the loss of jobs. The textile and apparel industries have changed so much in the last 10 years. We lost several hundreds of thousands of jobs and that impacts the South as much as any part of the country. There used to be a bigger textile economy in the area."
A shopping spree inspired Elizabeth to write "Overdressed". The shopping spree resulted in her purchasing seven pairs of K-Mart shoes for $7 each. That led her to take a closer look at her closet where she found hundreds of items she bad barely worn. In researching her book, Elizabeth traveled to China disguised as an employee of a fake fashion label. She also visited thrift-store warehouses where large amounts of disposable clothing are sold and in some cases, sent overseas to third-world countries turned into rags or went to the landfill. Today most of the clothing sold in the United States is made in other countries "many with cheap materials, poor stitching and questionable labor." This was made especially evident after the collapse of a poorly made garment factory in Bangladesh in 2012 killed 1,000 factory workers which started a conversation about shopping habits and labor conditions of overseas manufacturers. Elizabeth hopes her book will start a conversation and interest in local and American made clothing. "It's about being selective. I want to empower consumers and change the way we view clothes, and try to think of the whole life cycle of things."
Elizabeth will speak at the Dalton State College Goodroe Auditorium, 650 College Drive in Dalton which is about 20 miles south of Chattanooga. Admission is free and a Q&A session and book signing will follow.