In Karin Klein's Southern California community, it's not unusual for families to drop close to $1,000 on a prom dress.

Klein's family has never been one to splurge in that way. As a parent, Klein was always uncomfortable with spending money on something that might only be used once. And her kids' awareness of fashion-related environmental and human rights concerns kept the family on an tight budget.

"There were always a lot of talks [with the kids] about where we place our values," Klein says.

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