Features

February 6, 2014

‘Overdressed’ author rescheduled for Dalton State

A lecture by Elizabeth Cline, the New York fashion writer and author of “Overdressed: The Shockingly High Cost of Cheap Fashion,” has been rescheduled for Thursday, Feb. 13, at 6:30 p.m. in the Goodroe Auditorium at Dalton State College.

Cline, a Whitfield County native, was slated to appear on Jan. 30 but the lecture was canceled due to snow.

Cline was raised in Varnell and attended Westwood School before moving with her family to Cairo, an hour west of Valdosta. 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 said. “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 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, Cline interviewed various clothing factory owners and workers, designers for popular low-cost retailers, quality control analysts and production and sourcing experts in the fashion industry. When she concluded 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 consumption trend in fashion and gathering the information for “Overdressed,” Cline has made a few changes to how she purchases clothing.

An advocate for what she calls “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, are durable and made of quality materials.

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 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,” Cline said. “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 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 continued. “I want to empower people to change this industry through the way they shop.”

Cline has written blogs and articles for publications such as The New Yorker, Village Voice and New York Magazine, many of which can be found on her website www.overdressedthebook.com.

Cline will deliver her lecture in Goodroe Auditorium in Gignilliat Memorial Hall. Seating is first come, first served. There will be books for sale and a book signing after the lecture.

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