Buying into fast fashion

(Photo by Cristina Rucchetta)

A couple weeks ago, I wrote about individual style and the realization that even when we are trying to be different, somehow we all end up looking the same based on the products we tend to by. As stated before, there’s nothing wrong with styling ourselves in a similar manner.

As university students, most of us rely on basics and picking up whatever we can find in our local mall due to fast fashion’s ability to provide us with the latest styles, at half the price and half the time it takes for designers to present us with an updated look.

What I want to talk about this week is the mall, and our habits as consumers to keep buying even though we are in the poorest period in our lives.

Older generations characterize these school years as the time where Kraft Dinner is considered a staple for breakfast, lunch and dinner because we live off of student loans and buying non-perishable food items aren’t as costly.

But what about the shopaholic? We all know who they are. They are the female or even male, who is able to go without doing laundry for months because their closets never cease to have items in them.

They have the same shirt in three or four different colours and they always come home from the mall with something that was “just so cute, I couldn’t resist!”

I define my penchant for retail as “compulsive shopping disorder” (CSD), a disease characterized by an irresistible urge to buy anything new: clothes, shoes, accessories and especially lipstick.

For the most part, I consider it harmless. I live for fashion so much that I write about it, so it makes sense that I can’t help but love shopping. I even work at the mall, so it’s much easier for me to know when there are sales and promotions going on.

However, I am the first to admit that I am a broke student who does not need any more “stuff”, so I will be the first to blame fast fashion for feeding into my CSD.

For starters, fast fashion is cheap and I mean dirt cheap. Why save up to buy that $200 shirt when you can go to Sirens and get a similar one for $20?

It doesn’t matter if the quality isn’t up to par, you still have what you want and you didn’t have to pay an arm and a leg for it.

Furthermore, that gives you the opportunity to buy more things that you may not have needed, or even wanted, in the first place.

You end up with a closet full of “stuff” that is either out of season, damaged or you wore once and never put on again.

Also, now there are ways to get the high-end labels without breaking the bank.

In the past ten years, designers have realized how much more accessible fast fashion is to younger demographics.

Since 2004, H&M has done 16 designer collaborations and on Nov. 15th, the launch of Maison Martin Magiela will be the 17th.

Forever 21 and Target are fans of designer collaborations as well, because it brings in traffic and boosts sales even though items from the collection are being sold for a fraction of the price.

This really makes me question why we care so much about aesthetics, for appearances sake.

Is it because we don’t want to look like broke students? Or is it because it’s so easy to look trendy for $100 or less that we don’t even care how much money we waste on these small but frequent purchases?

All I know is, I need to forgo shopping for clothes and buy some groceries this week.

And when I mean groceries I mean something other than packaged noodles. Eating Kraft Dinner all day is starting to make me look like Snooki.

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