Rare is the occasion I convince myself to step into Forever21. Where, you may not believe, this jumpsuit is from. I was on the phone discussing plans for a trip to Mexico when I inadvertently stepped into the store. I ended my phone call and had a white, off-the-shoulder blouse with eyelet detailing around the trim in my hand. It was cute, but in all honesty is something I wouldn’t ever wear. I set it down, recognized I was in Forever21 and started making my way out of the store. Realizing my cousin, whom I’d gone shopping with, wasn’t done yet, I decided to wander around inside a bit more.
Like most people, I love a good bargain. Forever21 is great for finding super trendy pieces at rock bottom prices. However, the more I learn about fashion and the industry, the more reluctant I am to step into places like this. The social and environmental impacts that fast fashion creates is something we all need to be more aware of. Cheap garments are light on your wallet but have a high ethical cost many may not even be aware of.
I’m not going to turn this into a full fledged college essay on the exploitation of overseas labor because in all honesty, we will all most likely keep shopping at stores like Forever21. The point I really want to make is: consider quality first when making a purchase. Higher quality garments, especially wardrobe essentials, are totally worth the higher price point. They’re typically cut better, therefore offering a better fit and are also made of higher quality materials so you’ll have them for much longer than your $10 blouse. Additionally, a higher price point typically means that the person making that garment or accessory was paid a living wage and works under humane conditions. Keep 90% of you sartorial purchases higher quality. And allow 10% or less to be fast fashion finds that are way too cool to pass up.
Cuff: Nordstrom Rack
Shoes: Sam Edelman