fashion sale image - Photo by Artem Beliaikin from Pexels

Quality vs. cost - which is more important?

It's no secret, nor are you delusional, that the clothes you like the most are not lasting...or at least longer than a year. There are specific brands and stores that I purposely avoid because no matter how great the prices are, the quality of the clothes just don't last. We become hypnotized by the large bright window signs and flashing lights. We're greeted with warm smiles and a sales associate that quickly rambles on about " EVERYTHING IN THE STORE IS 50% OFF!" and even with our attempted fixed shopping budget for the day, that idea has quickly faded away.

When my husband and I started growing our family, I made my dollars stretch and wanted to buy clothes that looked nice and affordable. Then I realized that those same clothes that I wore all the time were the same clothes that I tossed in the recycle less than 5 years. Now, I wised up and learned to not shop just for the sale, but for how the garments are made. Is it worth buying a $50 cotton blouse at store A or can I get the same or similar blouse somewhere else for much cheaper at store B? Does this also mean that its worth spending more for luxury brands because we "just know" that it's made of "good quality" clothes? Check out this link to luxury brands that aren't worth the money.

Pandemic or not, lower and middle class consumers do not want to spend a lot of money on their clothes and if you've been affected by the pandemic, you might be rubbing your pennies a little differently now. But let's think about this. Why should we continue to support businesses that persuade us to buy low quality and low cost clothes? We might think we're benefiting from this because its cheap and it looks good, but let's fact it, as consumers we know that we're buying cheap and many people have no problem with spending their hard earned money on it either. It could be emotional purchases or purchasing to keep up a certain appearance. I'm not hating. I get it.

Let's not forget the environmental impact and unfair labor practices. According to the EPA, in 2017 11.2 million tons of MSW (municipal solid waste) textiles made it to the landfill. This was data collected by the American Apparel and Footwear Association. Sweatshops is not just a China struggle - its a problem everywhere, including the United States. Textile industries take advantage of their employees by paying them poor wages and working in nearly the poorest conditions. Just because a brand markets themselves as ethical doesn't mean they are. 

We're human and creatures of habit. I'm not going to tell you how to spend your money. I just encourage you to be smarter shoppers. Not just for yourself, but for everyone else. We've all been duped into making unnecessary purchases and probably have regretted them. Me too. But lets change the way we see fashion and support those businesses that care about us. They care about our finances, our health, the environment, and protecting the people that make our clothes.  

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