Thursday, July 07, 2011

You have a moral obligation to buy expensive clothes!

Nightmarish image courtesy of

Lucy Siegle recent released her newest book To Die For: Is Fashion Wearing Out the World?

This book is full of chilling statistics, including the following:

The average British female:
  • invests in 62 lbs. of clothing each year.
  • has upwards of 20 garments hanging in her wardrobe that she has never worn.
  • owns four times the amount today than she did in 1980.
  • is expected to spend £133,640 ($217,232) in a lifetime on fashion.

When you buy this much clothing, a lot of it has to be made in conditions that are less than salubrious for the factory worker, with environmental standards which may be non-existent.  Pile on a few thousand miles of transporting the garment, and the issues around how that item will eventually be discarded to lay in a landfill for all eternity... it's not a pretty picture.

And from my personal experience selling clothes, I never noted that the customers we saw all the time were anywhere close to being the best-dressed customers; usually quite the opposite.  When someone would come into our store ever 3 months and buy two complete, coordinated outfits, they always looked nice.  The people we saw twice a week who were always grabbing just one little marked-down item from the clearance rack - well, they always looked like they got dressed off of the clearance rack!

And I've tried to always support jobs at which I would be willing to work.  If I'm reluctant to work in a sweatshop, I don't buy things that are made in sweatshops.

In addition to being beautiful and elegant, we do have some responsibility to other human being who make things for us, and to the planet which hosts us in this adventure of life.  Therefore, buying fewer items, and paying more for them, is better for your image, better for the staff of the stores you frequent, better for the individuals who craft your garments, and better for the planet.  What a great excuse!

This just FEELS better.  photo from Elfa


  1. The second photo is so soothing. I love the color coordination of the garments and how it all works together. This is probably my ideal closet. I love what you said about the difference between those who shopped less frequently but bought well planned outfits as opposed to those who shop frequently from the clearance rack picking up one item. I can't imagine accumulating a wardrobe like in photo #2 from picking up an item or two on clearance every few weeks.

  2. Incredible ideas you've put forth here. Those statistics are indeed chilling, and I'm so glad that the truth about fast fashion is being told. I've looked forward to this book's release, and am off to request it from the library. In the meantime though, the value that you hold of not wanting to support jobs and industries in which you yourself would not want to work is pretty profound. You can say the same of food/restaurants, too.

  3. Thank you for sharing the dirty little secret behind fashion. Women have been brainwashed into believing that more is better - and getting it cheap is the best. However, not only do most women with large wardrobes not look stylish, they are supporting human slavery and environmental destruction. Not very chic! And I agree with LuxeBytes that this problem extends into other industries, as well.

  4. Great post! I read a similar statistic only a week or two ago (and will be referencing in a future post) that in the 1930s, the average woman owned 11 the average woman buys 62 items of clothing a year (may not be exact quote because now of course I can't find the magazine I read it in...blast). It is all very crazy out there. xxBliss

  5. Oh my goodness, that 2nd closet. Getting dressed every day from that closet would be a privilege.

    I've been reading for a while but just recently decided to start over from the beginning. I'm so glad you started this blog and so grateful you've kept it going!