It’s an upsetting reality of the industry – shoppers can balk on social media and shake their sticks all they want at the soul sucking fashion empires that profit off of undeveloped countries destroying both environment and lives, but the very next day we’re skipping into Zara or H&M because the prices and owning something new are just too irresistible. I too am dead guilty of this, but my goal today is not to focus on the impact of fashion fashion (which we should all know by now) but rather where we choose to draw the line and consciously decide to shop for something of better quality, something longer lasting, or to not purchase at all.
The idea for today’s post spawned from this Zara bag (similar here) I recently acquired by chance. It hung innocently on a nearby rack as I stood in line to do a return – it was minimal, black, roomy, and fit the necessities of a new bag I was casually scouting for. I looked at the price: $29.99. And it certainly felt like $29.99; the thin and cheap polyurethane felt smooth under my fingers as I turned the bag over and over, inspecting the thin woven interior lining and its surprisingly acceptable overall construction. It even included a longer shoulder strap. Should I? Or should I not? The struggle was real.
The Race to the Bottom
I think at some point we all kind of pause and wonder just how low can it go, and how comfortable we are spending those hard earned dollars on a garment or accessory that’s potentially water soluble let alone the fact that it was made by a person earning pennies an hour. I have no problems admitting just how thrilling it can be to bring home a haul of new trendy things and knowing you didn’t break the bank, but how satisfying is it really, to be filling our closets to the brim with items still smelling like factory grime that torques terribly and disintegrates in the wash? Should we be buying just because we can?
There comes a time where something’s just too good to be true. You know the feeling; when you pick out a garment, check the price tag and accidentally choke on your Starbucks, exclaiming “wait how much is this??” Laws of the universe will dictate that there’s most likely something significantly wrong with this item, like I don’t know, the threads holding it together is actually silly string. But seriously, chances are it’s held together with Elmers and and will come apart after 2 uses. That’s where I draw my line; at this point you might as well flush money down the toilet. Like my beautiful but unfortunate Forever 21 choices from awhile back, below.
The old adage – quality over quantity
But occasionally something like this Zara bag comes along, where after some heavy inspections, I can see that it would actually hold up. The price attracted me, but ultimately it was its acceptable and solid construction quality that made me commit.
Occasionally I’ll still make unwise decisions, but over time I find it easier to balance the emotional appeals of fast fashion against the knowledge of its value, thereby making better purchases and stretching my dollar. It’s a balance between spending spontaneously and respecting value.
Aritzia Jacket (Similar) // Aritzia Del Mar Tee // H&M Skirt (Similar) and Tights // Zara Boots (Similar) // Zara Blanket Scarf // Both the Aritzia items above have been worn to death for multiple seasons now, and I still love every single minute! The leather Zara booties were one of their pricier shoes, but it’s also lasted me 2 seasons so far of heavy use.
What is your thought process when confronted with rock bottom prices? Would you tend to be more impulsive or air on the cautious side? Drop me a line below!