Moving From Fast Fashion to a Few Quality Pieces

According to Quartz, we spend about 3 percent of our annual income on clothes (I expected it to be a little higher!). We also have five times the amount of clothes as we did in the first half of the 20th century, and it’s mostly due to the fact that overseas production has made clothes cheap to produce (low-cost fast fashion). But wages of workers overseas are slowly rising, and more consumers are considering the ethical dilemmas that come with cheap clothing. How will this affect the way we buy clothes in the future?

One option is to reconsider our approach to clothing by taking a cue from Europeans who have historically been more more focused on quality rather than quantity. Much of the cheap clothing we consume in droves is like our fast food diets—high in calories (quantity) but low in nutrition (quality). We are a culture that buys a lot of junk. Think about your own wardrobe—consider how many items of clothing you own and how often you wear each of those items. My guess is that most of us wear about 20% of our clothing 80% of the time. That is a lot of wasted space and wasted money.

In the past few years, I’ve changed the way I buy and wear clothes by going the uniform route, though I also like this European approach of buying classic, quality pieces that last a long time. One item that comes to mind is my peacoat—I’ve worn it every winter for the past 14 years or so.

Photo: Maegan Tintari

Why Do We Tolerate Whole Foods-ian Pseudoscience?

Michael Schulson writes for the Daily Beast, questioning why many of us are eager to dismiss the pseudoscience of Creationism but politely tolerate, or even choose to passively half-believe, all the dietary pseudoscience around health food and products sold in places like Whole Foods.

’90s Cool Kids Clothing Not Selling Well Today

It's Fashion Week in NYC, and New York magazine issue is all about the things we wear and the businesses that sell them. One particularly interesting piece comes from Matthew Shaer, who reports about Abercrombie and Fitch's struggle to keep up in today's market where "fast fashion" sells.

Things I Bought That I Didn’t Use

Bought it, didn't use it.

Thoughts While Considering Buying a Bag of Dried Cranberries

Oh look a bag of dried cranberries.

Shopping at Actual Stores Still Beats Shopping Online

Data from the Commerce Department shows that a large majority of our shopping is still done in brick and mortar stores even if it feels like online retailers like Amazon have grown tremendously in its 20 years of existence (is Amazon a Millennial?). It also looks like we're not that into ordering groceries online—maybe because we like things as fresh as possible and also see with our own eyes the produce and cuts of meat we're going to put into our bodies before we buy it, though I'd be interested in hearing of people's experience of ordering booze from the internet.

The Tricks Shoppers Pull

Reporters at the Los Angeles Times look at various tricks shoppers pull at department stores, and how retailers are addressing them.

Supermarket Tricks

Reader's Digest put together a list of supermarket tricks we all fall for (here is a link that will save you from having to click through a 50-slide slideshow), and a lot of it is interesting! I did not know the thing about the cakes, for example, and I've definitely bought cakes straight out of the display case many times. I have never ditched anything at the checkout lane though.