I have a bee in my bonnet. I’ll try to keep my shirt on, but this story is probably best considered in your birthday suit, which is quite possible, as we buy a lot of clothes, but we don’t actually wear most of them for long. The era of fast fashion enables you to purchase a new wardrobe at the drop of a hat on a shoestring budget. What’s also fast is the pace at which those clothes end up in a vast global network that sends your unwanted wears from local thrift shops to international trash heaps that are bursting at the seams. For the recipient regions, the trend is a sharp kick below the belt as the speed of fast fashion has caught the world’s waste management system with its pants down. I’d tell you to put yourself in their shoes, but their feet are already in the shoes you discarded. I know this news might make some feel a bit guilty, but if the shoe fits… So put on your big boy/girl pants and read this book excerpt in GQ, where Oliver Franklin-Wallis put his thinking cap on and rolled up his sleeves to follow the thread of What Really Happens to the Clothes You Donate. “Consider: only between 10 and 30 percent of second-hand donations to charity shops are actually resold in store. The rest disappears into a machine you don’t see: a vast sorting apparatus in which donated goods are graded and then resold on to commercial partners, often for export to the Global South. The problem is that, with the onslaught of fast fashion, these donations are too often now another means of trash disposal—and the system can’t cope. Consider: around 62 million tons of clothing is manufactured worldwide every year, amounting to somewhere between 80 and 150 billion garments to clothe 8 billion people.” (Some of us, it must be noted, have been wearing the same jeans, t-shirts, and windbreakers for decades and are not implicated in this story. Maybe it’s better to be a fashion victim than a fashion victimizer. Folks who live a fashion backwards life should consider themselves off the hook. If the glove doesn’t fit, you must acquit.)