The True Cost of Fast Fashion
I wandered into the mall the other day and started looking through some of my favourite haunts – Banana Republic, Aritzia, Club Monaco.. and a few things sprang out at me immediately:
EVERYTHING IS REALLY EXPENSIVE
I know that ever since I went through my little two week thrifting experiment where I picked up all of this for less than $200, it has completely shifted my worldview on what things cost and just how little resale value it really has after it has lost its shiny lustre.
So when I started looking at the prices carefully and seeing $185 for a skirt or $215 for a dress, my heart started having palpitations.
Did I seriously ever pay that kind of money for something that would end up as $7 on a rack in a thrift store, if it ever made it there?
…AND IT IS ONLY POLYESTER
To add insult to injury, it is all polyester! 100% polyester!
Going for $185! Or $215!
Plus taxes!!! 15% mind you, in Quebec.
I just can’t believe that this is what things cost these days in the world of fast fashion.
It makes me wonder if it’s just cheaper to buy a sewing machine and learn how to make my own clothes by hand. I’m sure the cost of the fabric would probably kill me, not to mention the learning curve, but in the long run, maybe it’d be cheaper if I could just alter and sew everything I wanted instead of trying to buy it at retail.
The markups must be incredible, I am guessing those items were at best $10 to make, and with the marketing juggernauts behind their brands, it shoots up the price (and profits) beyond imagination.
THE QUALITY IS ALSO QUESTIONABLE
Aside from polyester, loose threads, seams just barely tacked on, patterns not matching, and unlined pieces are the bane of my shopping existence.
For items that are properly sewn and lined, 00% silk, virgin wool or so on, the price tag is in the THOUSANDS.
NOW I TRY MY BEST TO SHOP LIKE THIS:
- Not at all. Best thing to do is not to buy anything.
- Shop my own closet.
- Borrow items.
- Thrift them.
- Buy from independent designers who do quality work for reasonable prices.