Monday, February 05, 2007

The Daily Mall Reader: Polyester Clothes

A daily dose of mall-related reading...

Can Polyester Save the World?

The New York Times - January 25, 2007

(Excerpt) Josephine Copeland and her 20-year-old daughter, Jo Jo, visited Primark at the Peacock Center mall here, in the London suburbs, to buy presents for friends, but ended up loaded with clothes for themselves: boots, a cardigan, a festive blouse, and a long silver coat with faux fur trim, which cost £12 but looks like a million bucks. “If it falls apart, you just toss it away!” said Jo Jo, proudly wearing her purchase.

Environmentally, that is more and more of a problem.

With rainbow piles of sweaters and T-shirts that often cost less than a sandwich, stores like Primark are leaders in the quick-growing “fast fashion” industry, selling cheap garments that can be used and discarded without a second thought. Consumers, especially teenagers, love the concept, pioneered also by stores like H&M internationally and by Old Navy and Target in the United States, since it allows them to shift styles with speed on a low budget.

Read the full article here.



4 Comments:

Blogger Cora said...

Does the US not have clothing recycling containers then? In Germany, there are containers in public places like supermarket parking lots into which you can throw your old clothes. Supposedly, these old clothes are then sold for charity, though pretty much everyone knows that the majority of them ends up in the paper mill. Of course, there always is the problem that second hand dealers raid the containers for useful stuff (I've personally seen kids hanging head first into a clothing recycling container), but at least the stuff gets recycled in some way. And it makes more sense than some of the sillier suggestions in this article.

Tue Feb 06, 06:33:00 PM  
Blogger BIGMallrat said...

In California, we have the recycling containers. They even take shoes! I, however, give my old clothes to Goodwill or the battered women's shelter. They take them glady and resell them.
I was surprised that I fit the persona described in the article. My wardrobe changes dramatically year-to-year. With Ross, Marshall's, TJMaxx, and Target, I buy lots of clothes on the cheap and toss them when I buy more (I admit, I have a set number of hangers and when the clothes exceed the number of hangers, I get rid of the extras). Cheap clothes allow me to get rid of them without feeling as I'm throwing away money. Plus, poly mixes mean NO IRONING! I'm hooked!
No more Nordstrom shirts that I keep for 10 years to feel I got a perceived value from them. Now, it's Mossimo for 7 bucks on the 50% off rack. One season, and they are done.
Maybe California will have the best-dress homeless?
Scott

Thu Feb 08, 01:08:00 AM  
Blogger Cora said...

Well, I'm pretty much the opposite, since I am the sort of person who will wear a favourite piece of clothing until it falls apart and only throws out clothes if they fall apart, don't fit anymore or are so absolutely hideous by my current standards that I cannot imagine ever wearing them again.

Thu Feb 08, 05:53:00 PM  
Anonymous didi said...

Chicago does have those recycle boxes but while I have seen them increasingly pop up over the last five years with an intense frequency, this make me wonder what happens to that stuff if anything. It is supposed to go to charity, yet I have seen some of these boxes pile up pretty overflowed for days on end without anything coming to pick them up. Plus, I don't where they usually locate these in Europe but it seems that I usually see them in abandoned or older strip malls. There was an Arby's in my neighborhood that closed down last year. A little while later one of those boxes popped up in the parking lot even though that place is now deserted and supposed to be torn down by a developer. Same thing happened with one that was placed in front of a former White Hen Pantry Conveniance store in an old strip mall near where I work that closed down earlier this year. It just makes it look like you get to drop off unwanted clothes and leave them there to rot and die.

The article poses an interesting quandry for me. I like purchasing clothes on the cheap but I usually love to keep them even after they have gone out of style. In the past I would buy clothes from really cheap places like Rave or %79 or DEBS, etc and some of the stuff I bought wouldn't last me long after a couple of washes and would start falling apart. SO I stopped buying at these places and started purchasing from better quality stores like New York & Co, but still on the cheap. I have the gold credit card that gives you a percentage off and gives you coupons on deals. Add that to the discount that is already added when the item is at rock bottom or final price sale and I end up paying way less than the original price. I preserve it even if it isn't trendy and wear them past their trend phase because trends do come and go but styles never change. I could pull up something I wore in high school ten years ago and probably apply it somehow to today's fashion trend of the week. The only time I take clothes to the charity box is either when they don't fit anymore (although I do have some size two Express jeans that I may be able to wear again if I happen to drop down from the size six I wear now) or I don't like to wear anymore because it is so unattractive that I shouldn't have bought them in the first place. This rarely happens now at least since I started pruchasing more quality line clothes.

Any thrift store is a great place if you are looking for quality things on the cheap. In the past few weeks I have bought classic style sweaters (one made from a cashmere/silk combo that is very preservable for $2, one that bore a tag of Marshall Fields and a 100% silk for $5, a top from New York & Co. that I already had at home in a different color that is not out of style and a sweater set from The Limited that I remember seeing a season or two ago but that is still trendy enough for me to be sporting) Also lots come back and go out of style all the time. If you put them away they will be trendy again in a few years. I have noticed that about a lot of the clothes I wore in high school.

Sat Feb 10, 02:07:00 PM  

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