Last Sunday I read a book review in the New York Times by Avis Cardella of a new book called “Overdressed: The High Cost of Cheap Fashion” by Elizabeth L. Cline. Some of the points made got me thinking.
The review contains an astonishing fact, at least to me: only 2 percent of the clothing U. S. consumers purchase today is manufactured in the United States, opposed to approximately 50% in 1990. Cline’s theory is that consumerism, fashion trends, and social media’s “relentless image consciousness” contribute to a desire for what the author terms “disposable clothing.” Any consumer can walk into a low cost clothing shop or big box store and purchase shoes and clothing for under $10 that will last long enough for the trend to pass.
Cline feels that this disposable clothing damages not only the economy but our environment and even “our souls.” According to Cardella, the book contains all the data to prove her point including the fact that “in 2010, Goodwill sold 163 million pounds of used clothes and household items.”
As a nudist, these facts are particularly disturbing because we already understand the danger to the environment that “disposable clothing” creates. AANR members across the continent regularly participate in activities to help protect the environment, a basic tenet of the nudist/naturist lifestyle. We have no need—or desire– for cheaply made clothing trends dictated by social media and the fashion industry. And, of course, we already recognize that wearing clothes creates a disconnect that damages our souls.
Besides living a clothes-free lifestyle, as we have done for decades, what can we, as nudists, do to bring attention to this disturbing trend and possibly help reverse it?