illustration (c) Lena Corwin
Did you know that only 3% of our apparel is produced in the United States nowadays? I knew the number was low, but 3%? That’s down from 90% in 1955 according to Elizabeth Cline‘s article “History of the Dress” on Etsy.
“In 1930, the average American woman owned an average of nine outfits. Today, we each buy more than 60 pieces of new clothing on average per year”
At first, that seemed like a lot, but now that I think about it, that’s only 5 per month. I wonder, does that include underwear and socks? On the other hand, there are more than 9 outfits in my closet; a mismatched jumble of second hand pieces, some re-fashioned, hand-sewn shirts and skirts along with a few new purchases thrown in.
But when it comes down to everyday wear, I probably do wear only 9 outfits. So why do I buy more stuff?
How many new items of clothes do you own, buy and wear?