Guide to my Clothing and Fashion Industry Series

Here is a Guide to my series on the clothing and fashion industry, called “The Real Global Price of What You Wear.”


Interior of clothing store, wooden floor walkway flanked by mannequins, racks, and shelves of clothing. Part 1: Introduces Fast Fashion and Ultra-Fast Fashion; the global overproduction of clothing and the environmental costs of that overproduction; how textile workers are often underpaid and mistreated; countries that produce the most clothing for Western consumption; and the role of companies and consumers.


Donated clothing stacks at a Goodwill outlet being prepared to be sent to various aftermarkets. Part 2: Textile waste and how much ends up in landfills; what happens to returned clothing; what happens to donated clothing; textile and clothing recycling; the global second-hand market and impacts on other countries; and solutions for what we can do as consumers including best practices for donations.


Cotton flowers in field with blue sky background. Part 3: This part covers why natural fabrics fare better than synthetic regarding environmental impact, though the overproduction of both types of fabrics is the problem. Reviews the common types of plant-sourced natural fabrics used in clothing and fashion.



Three raccoon dogs peek out from their small wire cages at a fur farm in Poland. The animals are curious about the photographers doing this nighttime investigation. Poland, 2015. Part 4: This part reviews the common types of animal-sourced fabrics used in clothing and fashion.




Colorful patterned fabrics, folded and stack together. Part 5: This part reviews the common types of synthetic fabrics used in clothing and fashion.




Many embroidery floss skeins in rainbow order, making a blank heart shape in the center. Part 6: This part covers how to better care for your existing clothing so that you can wear it longer. Includes why you should wash your clothes less, better laundry care, mending, and clothing reuse.



Hanging Shirts in Ombre order, from reds on left, oranges center, and yellows on right. Part 7: This part explains why we need to shop less and buy less new clothing. It explains that we shouldn’t buy clothes simply because they are on sale or clearance, and why outlet stores and stores like T.J. Maxx aren’t really full of good deals. The article includes tips on identifying quality-made clothing. We can buy responsibly made clothing, secondhand clothing, rent clothing, and even start a capsule wardrobe!


Interior of a clothing store, upscale appearing fixtures and lighting with neatly folded and hung clothing.

Part 8: The last part in this series (for now). Discusses chemicals, dyes, the shoe industry, companies that manufacture recycled fabrics, and how we can demand more and better from corporations.