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Wednesday, 02 July 2014

Comments

Alice

I whole heartedly agree that I would rather buy independent or second hand; I mostly shop in charity shops / online via second hand traders and if I do buy 'new' it's always on places like Depop, Ebay and the like, and I can't actually remember the last time I walked into a chain!
I am very conscious that clothes are very disposable these days (and this seems to be pushed on us, thanks to Primark), and I am trying to reuse and recycle when and where I can.

Kristiina

I could not agree more with you Michelle. I hate to see people carrying Primark or Topshop shopping bags because I know they are full of rubbish which will end up on a landfill soon. I also prefer small labels and do not want to pay just for a big name, because that's what you really are paying for, the name. Your post was also about shoes and I must say my favorite shoe brands are Terhi Pölkki and Minna Parikka. Both small and independent!

dust

Alice is very right, big part of this "culture" is pushed on us. Big companies care only about profit and there's never enough of it. Small labels don't aim in that direction so blindly. It feels like luxury needs a new definition beyond its default meaning. New definition should include change on our end as well, from educating ourselves to actually wearing the thing we bought.

Did we we even get to see those glitter boots on you? Show us!

Kingdom Of Style

I do wear high street, but I chose my high street based on what I know I'm going to be wearing a year down the line. I feel incredibly cheated when it falls apart sooner. Do I answer to my whims of an occasion? Yes of course I do, but that comes from having such a changeable style. But I tend to keep my clothes for a long time, and anything that ends up being sold or in the charity shop is because it doesn't fit me any longer or because I've bought a higher-end version.
My Balenciaga boots will breath life into my whole wardrobe and I can wear things differently from before. One well considered purchase has changed my whole wardrobe.

Kingdom Of Style

I haven't actually worn the boots on the blog actually! I have no idea why!

dust

That's exactly what Birdeater said to me when I complained about this unwanted 3 kilos that just don't want to go away : "you have a new wardrobe now because everything fits differently!". Basically, according to her, my weight gain equals your Balenciaga boots. This "investment" changed my whole wardrobe!

You described it well with pointing out the difference between people who like fashion and people who just like to shop. And then there are different kind of shoppers and various kinds of fashion lovers. I know a person who mercilessly shops vintage, but always in wrong size, which is not good as well because she just simply wastes her money and eventually throws things away. It's very wrong to generalize high street as bad. I guess it's about making better choices. Not perfect, not even good, just better.


Kingdom Of Style

Ha yeah my extra weight definitely has changed the way clothes fit me. I now know what sausage meat feels like!

Angela

This post was incredibly refreshing to read! Unconscious consuming has grown into a dilemma, and I admire those that have taken it upon themselves to make a change in their shopping habits. It is always difficult to weight the cost and worth of any item, that's why I also prefer to shop independent labels. Majority of the time, I don't have to worry about the insane markup from a prestigious brand name. The designs from independent labels are also often less homogeneous and more innovative. Plus, I'm always down to support a talented artist.
notjustalabel.com is a great site loaded with independent designers.

Keep up with these type of posts-we need more blogs that reveal and discuss these type of topics.

Ainsley

I love fashion and I love shopping. Not the way you describe in your post but I do love the whole experience. I normally describe just wandering round shops as shopping, even if I buy nothing. I love vintage, I love designer and I love smaller, independent shops and labels but I also love the British High Street and feel that whilst some of the bigger companies need to better themselves in so many areas, there are many positives to such companies, too.

I love that some of the pupils that I teach who come from non-priveledged backgrounds can go to a shop like Primark and buy themselves a new outfit to feel great in for the school disco without breaking the bank; but I also think that one of the scariest things about the affordability of such shops is the immediacy of the whole shopping process. If you covet an item that is slightly out of your own budget (be it Prada or Primark), you instinctively think about whether the piece itself is actually ‘worth it’. You think about how often you will wear it, its longevity, the quality of the craftsmanship, comfort, whether or not it will take you through seasonal changes and so on, but with immediately affordable items, this same process will be less likely to occur.
I totally agree with Angela’s reference to “unconscious consuming” and just read an article this morning that echoes some of the points made on this post: http://www.theburningplatform.com/2014/07/01/the-real-reason-for-the-forty-hour-workweek/

A really thought-provoking post, Michelle.
xx

Steff

I agree with Dust on redefining 'luxury'. I'm pretty ignorant as to what constitutes luxury vs. high street, as all I care about is who made it (e.g. locally vs. overseas, studio vs. factory) and what it's made of (e.g. quality natural materials vs. synthetics). 99% of what I buy comes from the designer themselves, and I can't afford luxury, per se. It's all about priorities. I'm willing to spend, for example, $70 on a T-shirt from Ovate because I know it will last years, making it cheaper than buying multiple crap tees from Zara or some such just because they're $10. And because said $70 tee is so well made, it feels like luxury to me, regardless of the name on the tag.

Clair

I wanted to comment on the Primark aspect of this post - I work for Primark, on the shopfloor of a flagship store. The garments featured in the press last week with labels saying 'forced to work exhausting hours' were both sold by Primark in 2013 - They have not been available to buy for at least 9 months. Furthermore, the 2 garments featured were made by completely different suppliers - 1 in China, and 1 in Romania. Last year, a project took place in Cardiff (where the garments were purchased) which featured similar labels as an art display. All of this suggests that the labels were not attached to the garments by the workers in the supply chain that sewed them, but attached after the clothes had arrived in store, or after they had been purchased.

I do agree that for myself personally, I don't really like the disposable fashion culture, but it is all about choice. Judging by the amount of people who shop in my store, a lot of women choose to buy a large variety of clothes rather than a few select pieces. They ultimately probably spend the same net amount on fashion as they would if buying a few 'lasting' pieces each season.

dust

You are very conscious and critical about your choices, one of the rare. Hopefully, those kids Ainsley mentioned will grow up into people with chances and choices. I still like to believe that industrial production of clothes that are supposed to dress many, is a sign of progress and that good, considerate design should become standard, not luxury. Fashion should be public service! But fashion is a market. So here we are, drowning in cloth.

I'm conflicted daily with the choices and it's not easy making the right ones all the time. Industry must have a place in fashion, but it better change. At the moment, both high and low segment disgust me equally, both under and over priced. It's scarier to imagine numbness of the riches which purchase in one goal more luxury than human brain is adapted to feel, than frustration of the poor.


Kingdom Of Style

Clair I fully agree that it is about choice, but it's about informed choice, not blind consumption without realising the human and environmental cost of shopping cheaply, in particular. But the hard truth is we live in a world with poverty and shops like Primark allow many poor UK families to cloth themselves and their children. If Primark was around when I was a kid that's where my mum and dad would have shopped since we were very poor. However, the people in that situation are not as many as the people who simply want to buy more rather than better, and if you educate those people that this comes at a price and they still choose to do it, then fair enough because, yes, that's their choice. But it's an informed choice at least.
Ideally, the fashion business, and not just cheap fashion, would focus less on profit on more on fair wages and better working conditions for factory workers. Primark alone made £298 million in profit this fiscal year.

Clair

Agreed, 100%.

https://www.primark.com/en/our-ethics gives lots more information about initivites financially supports by the business and a detailed outline of the ethical trading policy.

plus.google.com/111456008731373774030

I like this post a lot.

For many years I shopped based on price tag and my fancy, not knowing that it's better to buy less and on items that fit me.

Now I am much selective on what items I'd keep after a month of deliberation (return period). I make absolutely sure that an item is worth my closet space or it goes back to the store.

Hopefully more people would shop better.....

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