In 1965, 95% of clothing worn in the United States was produced domestically, with the remaining 5% consisting of imports. In 2010, that number has been reversed, with almost all of commercially produced garments being made in just about every other country except North America. Which, from a capitalist point of view may be considered a good thing--good for cutting costs on labor and distribution, contributing to higher profits. But what does this mean for the consumer, you may ask?
It means is that when you buy those leggings from Forever 21 or handbag from H&M, your buying into and supporting a system that degrades the integrity of clothesmaking as a whole, where garments, shoes and accessories are usually made in foreign, industrialized sweatshops where the often harried process is conspicuously detached from the end product. It's a system that breeds ill treatment of workers, unfair wages, and does a grave disservice to the populous by selling overpriced, poorly made wares. How many times have you purchased what you assumed to be a quality piece, only to be blindsided by premature pills, unexpected tears, hidden disporportion or a general sense of kitsch?
Be informed and help stop the overt progression of mass-produced garments. Watch "Schmatta"!
What to Do?
Places to shop and ways to get awesome, better made (if not more stylish) clothes...for cheap!
-American Apparel (not so cheap, but a good investment, nonetheless)
-A sewing Machine