Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Boycotting disposable fashion!

It never fails, every time I wear this dress someone assumes I made it. I have to decline and admit it's a million times worse than handmade. I bought it years ago when I'd still shop at the devil clothing store known as Forever 21. I no longer shop there. Most people don't realize the consequences of a $2.50 t-shirt or a $15 dress. Think about it. If that store is making a profit on a $2.50 t-shirt that is made overseas in an impoverished country, or domestically with undocumented workers, how fair is that labor and trade? It's generally not. 
Forever 21 has a terrible history with it's labor practices, and I can't believe that people haven't heard about it. I'm not a fashion blogger, but I thought I'd have a "fashion blogger" outfit post to highlight this topic. So many style bloggers blog consistently with outfits posts wearing mostly Forever 21 clothing. It's sad that this style of blogging, notating their clothing, probably drives more business to that company!
DON'T BUY THEIR CLOTHES! Read more about why you shouldn't shop at Forever 21 here. Or simply Google Forever 21 labor lawsuits. There is so much the average shopper of theirs doesn't know and I encourage you all to do some research. Know where your clothes come from! Also, mall stores like Wet Seal and Charlotte Russe get their clothes from the same factories and those should be avoided too. 
Who is to blame? Well they directly make the products, they exploit the labor, steal designs from other designers and cheapen the product. But inevitably, the demand for cheap clothing comes from the greedy consumer. More F21 mega stores continue to open because of this demand, resulting in more clothes constructed so consumer driven women have a full closet. I'm sorry, but you don't need one of every color in a shirt you like. Get one. Or don't get it because it won't be in style in a year anyways. And they aren't even made to last that long. And get your clothing from a company that makes good, well constructed clothing
The solution: shop at stores with a history of fair labor practices. Stores like American Apparel, Target, and H&M are a good alternative. Even better-- shop at a resale shop or a thrift store. Go thrifting and you'll find something no one else will have! Etsy is an even better alternative. Putting an actual face to who made your clothing.
Sure, it is harder and more expensive to shop this way, but wouldn't you rather have fewer clothes, knowing you aren't exploiting someone. It's just clothing. It's not worth knowing that someone had to suffer so you can have a cheap t-shirt or the latest poorly constructed floral shorts. 
Shoes: thrifted. Dress: Forever 21 -- years ago
Belt: vintage. Watch: thrifted

I refuse to spend my money on companies that do not value fair labor practices. I spent all of 2010 buying only handmade and secondhand clothing, nothing new! It completely changed the way I bought and wore clothes. Want to try something like this? Challenge yourself to a month at first. No new clothing for a month. You get the urge to get a new top, go through your whole wardrobe and I'm sure you'll find something that works.
What are your thoughts on Forever 21 and companies that offer disposable fashion? I'm love to hear your opinion.

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  1. Well said! I've recently stopped shopping at Forever 21. I'm a bargain shopper for sure, but it's just not worth it when lives are involved. I'm SO glad you posted this - even if one person decided to stop shopping at these stores, who knows how many lives that could impact??

  2. After reading this I definitely won't be shopping there anymore. I think I shall take your challenge. This will in turn save me so much money. I spend so much to replace clothes that doesn't last.

  3. Wow i never knew about their labor practices. i will definitely rethink shopping there again. i have started to try and remake some cholthes i have thrifted, but sewing by hand takes forever. Do you have any suggetions of a sewing machine that would be good for a beginer that wont cost me a bundle?

  4. THANKYOU for posting this!!! I buy 90% of my clothes from thrift stores, vintage boutiques markets or i swap with friends.. the rest is target or kmart.. it makes me sick to the stomach to think of all the clothing that is mass produced by china/ underpaid workers/ not sold/ goes to landfill...
    Thanks again for posting this, I hope it will sway the mind of people that read it..

  5. Callie -- Good for you, stopping shopping there. Every single one of us can make a difference! : )

    Alex -- Keep me posted on how things go with the challenge of not buying new clothing. It is so much fun. And if you sew at all, the possibilities are endless!!! I'm so excited for you!

    Manda -- Sewing by hand is definitely too time consuming when fitting clothes. I'd recommend a Singer, Brother, Janome. It all depends on your budget. But GO TO JOANNS or a sewing machine store. The ones that Walmart sells that SAY Singer aren't always made in the same factories as the ones at Joanns or specialty stores. They just put "Singer" on them. Martha Stewart has a really awesome Singer she is endorsing that looks like a great machine for a decent price.
    Check it out here::
    It's about $200 at Joanns. It will pay for itself in a few months if you use it enough : ) any questions feel free to email me @

  6. & You are VERY welcome Chloe Anne! It's great to know there are like minded people out there and my efforts and rants are wasted : )
    I, too, hope this stays in peoples minds.

  7. I agree one hundred percent! It's only just come to my attention in the last year or so how bad slave labor is world wide. Thank you for posting this and for posting better alternatives because that is where I have trouble figuring out where to shop. I'm sure you and your readers are also aware of how bad the chocolate industry is. It's been hard transitioning myself away from all the consumerism but it's worth it knowing I'm not adding to the demand that is enslaving people around the world.

  8. Thanks for writing this post and opening peoples' eyes - including mine! I'm a big thrifter and love it, but I've bought things at Forever21 before too, without really thinking about the consequences of those cheap purchases. So thanks for this.

  9. Wow! This was an amazing post. I actually wrote a paper in school last semester in my college writing class about "fast fashion" and how it was affecting the world. I have withheld from shopping at Forever21 since!

  10. I worked for Forever 21 during the Christmas season last year. I hated much so that I refuse to buy anything from them. They are a selfish company. The store where I worked was brand new, it was beautiful, but they didn't even have chairs for us to sit in during our much needed breaks. If this is happening in the suburbs, can you imagine the treatment they give the people that are making the clothes? Fashion is about self expression and it should also be about making informed decisions. Remember that we vote with our dollar! We don't need any more Forever 21's.