Dalton-Area Author To Speak On US Obsession With Cheap Fashion

Monday, January 13, 2014
Elizabeth Cline
Elizabeth Cline

Dalton State College’s Fine Arts and Lecture Series welcomes Elizabeth Cline, author of “Overdressed: The Shockingly High Cost of Cheap Fashion” on Thursday, January 30, in Goodroe Auditorium. Ms. Cline, a Whitfield County native, will present a lecture on cheap fashion, and how its disadvantages far outweigh its benefits. The money wasted each year on cheap clothing, the impact it has on outsourcing labor to countries overseas, and ways to be a responsible shopper will be discussed. 

Ms. Cline was raised in Varnell and attended Westwood School before moving with her family to Cairo, Ga. She says she is excited to be visiting home and to spread the word about smart shopping.

“I still feel very tied to Georgia and come home as often as I can,” she says. “Part of the reason I wanted to write about the fashion industry is because the South used to be the epicenter of textile manufacturing, and I'd love to see garment factories, textile factories, fashion designers, and dye houses booming here again.”

Now a New York-based writer, author, and public speaker, she began to notice the widespread and deeply rooted obsession with purchasing excessive amounts of inexpensive garments when she took a look at her own closet. Upon discovering that she owned more than 350 items of clothing, Cline decided that it was time to get to the bottom of why Americans are so enthralled with what she calls “disposable clothing.”

“I was just really curious about how retailers are able to sell clothes so cheaply and how low price changes the way we consume,” she said. Over the course of two years, Ms. Cline interviewed various clothing factory owners and workers, designers for popular retailers like Forever 21 and Gap, quality control analysts, and production and sourcing experts in the fashion industry.

When she concluded that the real story wouldn’t come merely from sources in the U.S., she traveled overseas to get the full picture from factories in places like China and Bangladesh. “The experience was eye-opening to say the least,” she said.

Since researching the overconsumption trend in fashion and gathering the information for “Overdressed,” Ms. Cline has made a few changes to how she purchases clothing. An advocate for “slow fashion,” she urges people to think about how they spend their clothing dollars and to purchase garments that are ethically produced, essential to one’s wardrobe, and are durable and made of quality materials.

Ms. Cline says that the best places to look for trendy clothing without breaking the bank are places like consignment and thrift stores, as well as your own closet; she will reveal tips on how to shop affordably and ethically during her lecture.

“It doesn't cost more money to be a conscious clothing consumer,” Ms. Cline says, “It could mean patching your jeans instead of throwing them out, trying to buy items that are well-made and aren't going to fall apart, simply shopping less (most of us have closets full of clothes already), and supporting brands that treat their employers and the planet with care when possible.”

“The clothing industry takes a huge toll on the environment, jobs, and human lives,” she continues. “I want to empower people to change this industry through the way they shop.”

Ms. Cline has written blogs and articles for publications such as “The New Yorker,” “Village Voice,” and “New York Magazine".

Elizabeth Cline will deliver her lecture on “Overdressed: The Shockingly High Cost of Cheap Fashion” on January 30 at 6:30 in Goodroe Auditorium in Gignilliat Memorial Hall at Dalton State College. Seating is first come, first served. There will be books for sale and a book signing after the lecture.


State Releases 2014 District-Level TCAP Results

The Tennessee Department of Education on Wednesday released district-level results from the 2014 Tennessee Comprehensive Assessment Program, which show strong gains in high school, and relatively constant scores in elementary and middle school. As seen in state results, districts did well in high school in most subject areas. Statewide, growth in 3-8 reading dropped slightly ... (click for more)

Women Entrepreneur Symposium To Be Held Tuesday

The WE women entrepreneur symposium (formerly named Women At The Top Symposium or W.A.T.T.S) will be held on Tuesday, August 5, from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at Stratton Hall. Congressman Chuck Fleischmann, Honorary WE Chairperson, invites all women entrepreneurs to a symposium featuring Sloane Scott, a.k.a. the “Digital Diva” of FLO Thinkery, as the keynote speaker, ... (click for more)

County Commission Chairmanship Up For Grabs After Exit Of Henry, Skillern

The chairmanship of the County Commission is up for grabs after the exit of two commissioners who have held the post in recent years. Larry Henry is moving on to serve as Circuit Court clerk. Fred Skillern was upset by Randy Fairbanks in the Republican primary. Most of the returning commissioners have their eye on the possibility of taking over as chairman, or at least getting ... (click for more)

PAST Act On Horse Abuse Stalls Out In U.S. House Despite 70% Support

Rep. Ed Whitfield (KY-01), chairman of the House Subcommittee on Energy and Power, issued the following statement today regarding the Prevent All Soring Tactics (PAST) Act, H.R. 1518:   “I regret to inform you that Speaker of the House, John Boehner, currently refuses  to bring the Prevent All Soring Tactics (PAST) Act to the floor for a vote.  His decision ... (click for more)

Curtis Adams: Beck, Mackey Should Be Considered For County Commission Leadership

Just think about this;  a person highly qualified applying for a job.  As he is just about finished filling out his papers for his interview, he sees at the bottom there is a place for him to check Democrat or Republican.  He would think, “if I mark the wrong one I may not get the job.” Being a real leader requires honesty, integrity, and, most importantly, fairness. ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Mark’s 50th Anniversary Toast

In the new book that celebrates the first 50 years of baseball’s Southern League, its splendid author Mark McCarter recalls that very early in his career as a sports writer, he was riding with his boss somewhere and mentioned that if the legendary Allan Morris ever needed help covering the Chattanooga Lookouts that he’d love to help. Today, as he looks back, he ruefully adds, “I ... (click for more)