Forever21 & Topshop are bankrupt: is it the end of “Fast Fashion”? ǀ Justine Leconte


Hi everyone, it’s Justine. This year there
has been a wave of fast fashion brands going bankrupt.
Forever21 in Europe, Topshop in the US… big names that are suddenly in big
trouble. So does it mean that the so-called golden era of fast fashion is
over? What are the options for you as a consumer, as a shopper, wherever in the
world you are? That’s the discussion that I would like to start in today’s video.
And before we do that, let me very quickly define what fast fashion
actually is, to make sure that we’re talking about the same thing because
it’s not a word commonly used everywhere in the world
what is fast fashion in a nutshell fast fashion is a concept created for rich
countries if we’re honest a fast fashion brand will have clothes produced in a
less less rich country then production was so cheap that they can afford to
ship the clothes all the way to Europe for instance where the living standard
is and the costs are higher and then they can sell these clothes in an
expensive store somewhere in London where the rent is expensive the
salespeople are expensive everything is more expensive so the business model
works because the production costs in the first place were insanely low it
works because there are people buying in rich countries and people producing in
less rich countries it’s a system based on inequalities internationally and even
then the margins for the fast fashion brand are really low because the price
tags are kept so low to attract consumers even on a budget so if you’re
a fast fashion brand you will have to sell incredibly high volumes in order to
be profitable at all now if the production costs start to increase for
instance workers in Bangladesh get a law that says that they have to be paid a
living wage (it’s not the case right now, they work for a salary that they cannot
live off of) let’s assume their salary increases (still not a high cost factor
for the brand in the end, and we’ll come to that later) or the shoppers in said
store in London are starting to demand higher quality better ethics sustainable
sourcing as a fast fashion brand you will immediately lose your margin which
is small and you will go bankrupt so it’s a very unstable
system with very little buffer in case something happens and something in the
equation changes that it’s just the summary of how it works
if you want to know more about how fast fashion how the business model really
functions from beginning to end I recommend that you watch this video
which I did previously it’s linked here and down below as well
in there I explain among other things the breakdown of the retail price of a
t-shirt as an example how much the government worker who saws it gets paid
the retailer the transport the brand etc if you new to that topic I have to warn
you it might blow your minds but now back to this video I want to move on to
forever 21 which is the topic in the title and it’s absolutely a hundred
percent a fast fashion label what happened is that forever 21 failed at
its own business model which is quite a thing the American brand forever 21
filed for bankruptcy they are closing about 350 stores worldwide out of 800
approximately they are practically leaving Europe and Asia they are giving
up their their remaining active in North and South America but shrinking big time
so it’s really a setback for brand that once was major they thing is the way
they filed for bankruptcy doesn’t mean that they have to shut down the business
it just means that they are freed of their debts they don’t have to pay the
creditors so the supply chain people the production people the suppliers won’t
get paid and if you know what I stand for and what I talk about generally
speaking on this channel you would know what that makes me feel I’m mad when
things like that happened I think it’s so unfair for the people who are before
before that in the supply chain like they always have the poor cards at the
end of the day forever 21 was once known for trendy fashion and very very low
price tags the problem is trends pass and once
you’ve lost your cool competing on price is not smart because it will never save
you if you’re not cool people don’t want to
shop at your stores anymore so forever21 is victim of the business
model that they contributed to establishing their brand was never
really unique they lost the edge price is irrelevant at the end of the day so
they have to start over does that mean that we’re witnessing the
beginning of the end of the first fashion era unfortunately not quite yet
Primark on the other side of the Atlantic Ocean in Europe is still doing
well Primark is uk-based and currently
leading the market for very very very very cheap clothes directed mostly out
of there a young target group teens young adults dirt-cheap really we’re
talking about in British pounds 10 pounds for a pair jeans 250 for a bra
25 for coats if you think about it for a minute you wonder how they even do it if
you know the price levels in Europe it seems so low that it’s hard to be true
I said cheap but I should say blood cheap instead Primark is one of the
brands that was having clothes produced in the sadly famous Branagh Plaza
building factory in Bangladesh that building collapsed in 2013 killing over
a thousand people and somehow Primark and others got away with it
Primark targets teens and young adults how by relying heavily on the latest
trends there’s another UK former flagship retail brand that’s called
Marks & Spencer where everybody in the UK used to shop they didn’t set enough
on trends things Primark and they lost their relevance because teens and young
adults didn’t want to shop well their parents and grandparents were shopping
so Primark is really trying to stay relevant by going for the very very very
young people and releasing new collections all the time but now teens
and young adults in Europe and everywhere in the world are becoming
more and more environmentally conscious that’s the greatest Wenberg effect and
suddenly they’re starting to research and to question the way the fashion
three works so a strategy question for the future Primark how are you going to
do in three years from now when your exact target group is going to be a lot
more aware and demanding in terms of the clothes they’re buying maybe they will
turn towards more sustainable more ethical brands and you will lose your
relevance as well? Primark is aware of the danger which is why recently they
started the so-called sustainable line which means that they source organic
cotton what they don’t tell you though is that sustainable doesn’t mean ethical
it’s a lot easier and a lot cheaper to source sustainable materials for your
production than to pay the government workers properly and they say nothing
about that it’s completely untransparent actually if you really want to do things
right you need the sustainable sourcing and you need fix in terms of how you do
your production so it’s really just a marketing stunt meant to buy themselves
an image of an ethical brand when really it’s actually one of the dirtiest
players out there let me be really clear about that and also this sustainable
line is just a tiny part of their sort and all the rest of what they sell all
the basics is still sourced and produced the way they used to do it and trust me
it’s not clean their sales keep increasing yes they’re doing fine for
now but it’s artificial growth it’s because they keep opening new stores
overall it seems that the fast fashion business model is starting to feel out
of breath is overheating htm’ has been having difficulties it’s one of the
leaders in the market they launched a new brand which is positioned as a more
ethical sustainable we don’t really know thing Topshop is bankrupt in some parts
of the world as well so it’s really it looks like it like a downward trend for
most players so they’re all looking for solutions if consumers shoppers start to
demand higher quality and higher ethics is the solution than to shift to the
other extreme and go luxury?… Barneys New York is bankrupt as well if forever 21
and Primark are down here in terms of pricing Barneys is is a
it is the the epitome the most luxurious high-end expensive department store
chain in the US I studied in New York so at my school they will always say that
the holy grail for young fashion designers starting out is to get into
Barneys there was a professor who said once in class getting to Barneys is the
highest sign of recognition that you can get from the industry if you get your
clothes to get sold at Barneys together with Vuitton Gucci Chanel etc it means
that you’ve made it in fashion but you know what I looked into it the
conditions to get into stores like Barneys as a designer or ridiculous they
negotiate the prices super hard they have you design special things special
colors variations just for them they put you on a rack there they won’t promote
you so unless you do the heavy lifting no one will even know that you’re being
sold at Barneys and at the end of the season if they haven’t sold everything
they force you by contract to buy your inventory back so 100% of the risk and
of the cash flow problems potentially is on the side of the young designer and I
always thought before I go knock on the doors of big retailers like Barneys I’d
rather sell my clothes directly the fixed cost and the financial risk is a
lot lower for me and the price tag will be a lot lower so my clothes will also
be more affordable for customers for shoppers and this system seems like a
much better option for everyone doesn’t it you would think that barn is selling
high price high and high high things would have huge margins and then also
huge profits because it’s the opposite of what fast fashion is doing and yet
behind that facade of the most luxurious fashion experience they have bankrupt as
well so where is the solution fast fashion brands can’t seem to be able to
last on the long run it looks like the system is overheating but on the other
hand traditional retailers look like they can’t sell enough to survive either
so that’s that so problem somewhere in the equation and
that brings me to a question or I should say an affliction that I get every time
I talk about the topic of fast fashion on this channel Justin you’re saying
that fast fashion is bad but you know not everyone can afford Chanel and
designer brands and I have a problem with that argument because Primark is
five dollars or pounds or euros whatever shannon is mm are you telling me that
you see no option in between because for me the option is clearly in between it
can’t be the price of Primark because that’s not sustainable that’s not
ethical and I think that’s not okay it has to be more expensive than that and
in Western countries we can afford more we did afford more before the fast
fashion labels existed and nobody was going around wearing new clothes you
know what I mean and then it doesn’t have to be as expensive as Chanel there
is a lot of buffer in between and lots of brands that are tackling different
aspects it can be a safer more sustainable sourcing system with
Fairtrade labels it can be local production it can be an ethical
production based in Europe there are plenty of options in between and I think
the option is definitely in between now I’d like to send a question back to you
how much is in between how much are you willing to pay for what more
specifically and regardless of the brand new looking up I’d love to know how much
you would pay let’s say for a cotton t-shirt basic made in China
how much would you pay for a t-shirt in organic cotton made in Europe how much
would you pay for a t-shirt in recycled cotton made in China do you look at the
tag does the origin or the material influence the price that you’re willing
to pay are you willing to pay more for organic for garment workers paid
properly protected by European law for instance are you willing to pay more
because it’s recycled or because it’s a new technology called development and
you know it will be better for the environment and why or why not I will
read all your comments under this video I will try to summarize all the inputs
and the arguments you’re writing down and I will present the results of this
little survey to you in a future video so here really your opinion matters if
you feel like you want to know more about how the fashion industry works
here and down below I have linked two videos the first one is the one that I
mentioned earlier about how the system works and the price breakdown for a
t-shirt and the other one is a video where I explain how you can find out
yourself if a brand is part of the fast fashion system or not because spoiler
forever 21 and Primark are by far not the only ones out there and you have
several fast fashion brands in every country you can think of. Thumbs up if you watched until here! I will see you
very soon in a new video, that’s all from me for today 🙂 Until next time, take care,
bye!

100 comments

  1. Hi everyone! Looking forward to your comments on the questions at the end of the video 🙂 Here is the other video mentioned, on how to tell which brands are fast fashion brands: https://youtu.be/mG_6yUtLZ4k

  2. I paid $18 for a tee from Everlane and it’s so thin that I can’t wear it alone. While $18 is far from high priced, I could have bought a 3 pack from Hanes for less and they are more serviceable. I also bought a sweatshirt from Everlane that I can’t even wear outside the house because it looks so cheap. For reference, I feel more put together in a $4 sweatshirt from Walmart. The pants I bought from Everlane have the oddest crotch/rise that I’ve ever experienced. After these bad experiences I decided to forget about ethical fashion and go back to buying what I can try on and afford. It’s too difficult and expensive.

  3. Ethics in business is a complex problem and should be addressed. A point to understand towards this end, is shown by what happened in England in the Oliver Twist days. When child labor was abolished, the country had no system to replace the incomes of the child workers. And, as a result many turned to crime and/or actually starved to death.
    So, in poor countries if the corrupt garment manufacturing system was removed. In reality, those workers would receive no help from their governments or anyone else. And, the result would be more prostitutes and extreme poverty. Protection against this would be needed, but in reality would not happen.
    Therefore, the problem is complex.

  4. I have a small income and the cheapest and most eco friendly way I can think of is to buy from thrift shops. This means Im not adding to landfills, inhumane practices and, I can find high quality timeless staples. I get frustrated when very expensive brands actually make and sell low-quality product, I give up. I still look out for an "affordable" ethical brand that sells a high-quality product. Investing is hard right now as my size goes up and down every year making it all seem more complicated. The market is overwhelming. Just like the US food system, healthcare, schooling, etc. Thank you Justine for your insight and expertise!

  5. Being a student my budget is not incredibly high. But I would still prefer a T-shirt which is made of good materials (at best recycled) and with fair conditions as I am sure this will result in better quality overall.
    Speaking in numbers I would say something from 25-35€ for a T-shirt (made in Europe).
    The only problem I have with shopping ethnically is, that it takes time and effort to research (where to buy) and there is a lot less to chose from designwise. It's so easy to walk into h&m and find something I like but since I don't live in a big city there are very little options for shops selling fair clothing. So I basically have to rely on online shopping.
    If anyone has some suggestions for online shops with fair but 'trendy' designs, I would be very grateful.

  6. Justine, you are so right when you say the fast fashion chains crumble quickly when anything in the equation goes wrong! Forever21 actually only open in Brazil for the first time a few years ago and are now closing more than 300 stores and leaving entire continents! And all that to have their debts reset, leaving not only loads of retailers unemployed but leaving unpaid loads of seamstress who already live below minimum wage! It’s outrageous 😩

  7. While, here I am from Southeast Asian country and cant relate hahaha never buy many clothes coz cant afford it , even fast fashion brands here are expensive

  8. Tbh if things got to expensive I wouldn’t be able to buy much of anything, also I’m concerned that thrift stores n vintage would go up in price bc they realize they can suddenly make all this extra money

  9. I think one of the reasons why those fast fashion chains got so big and are still so prevalent is the way Americans shop (I can't say much for Europe). When I lived in the US I was startled to see how every town basically has the same stores, same restaurants, same Walmarts. You could be dropped in a mall anywhere in the Midwest and you wouldn't know the difference. I live in a big city in Brazil and we still have hundreds upon hundreds of local stores and even chains that are only local, so you have a much wider selection of locally-made things. I remember watching a video about why Walmart failed here and it really boils down to consumer profile – here, most people don't mind/ are willing to go to multiple smaller stores to find the best quality/prices for whatever it is that they're buying, while most Americans favor one-stop shops. Think about how Forever 21 has everything from underwear and pajamas to shoes, jewelry, hair accessories, makeup, etc. The difference I see is that here, the biggest/ most popular brands are still specialized in one item. It doesn't mean that people here don't shop fast fashion, it just means that there's a wide variety of options with price tags that aren't all that different.

  10. I stopped buying fast fashion completely and instead, invest on quality pieces that will last me for years to come. I may not have very trendy garments, but I've learned how to style what I do have to "look" on trend. I look back on all of the clothes I used to buy from fast fashion and remember the way they washed and how it unraveled more with every wash. How many clothes I had to throw away because they were too ruined to even donate. It was appalling!

  11. Cotton made in China : £10
    Organic cotton made in Europe : £17
    Recycled cotton made in China : £25

    I'm looking forward to hearing what the results are! Thank you for such an interesting video Justine 🙂

  12. Why are The top brands like Channel etc not taking responsibility too why don’t they do more affordable clothing they could even call it “sustainable Channel” , for example.

  13. I think I would like to know how much it costs to make a certain piece of clothing in average in order to assess how much I should or could pay for it

  14. Hi Justine, When I hear about new sustainable brands, I always have some strange feeling about the mention that their fabrics are "sourced in Europe". What does it actually means? That the fabrics are produced in Europe or that they buy it in wholesale from a european wholesaler?

  15. And then there is also the argument that we don't need so much clothes (as we generally buy) so if we would buy less clothes, we could defintatily 'afford' more expensive clothes

  16. Cotton t-shirt or blouse:
    China or low quality:   $ 0
    Vietnam, Guatamala, Mexico or other higher quality:  $45
    Fair trade, organic, ethical, sustainable – high quality:    $45-$90
    Made in USA:  unavailable
    Recycled cotton – Vietnam:  $45-$90

    I do look at the label to see where it was made, what it is made of, and how to care for it.  I do look at how the garment was constructed and how the dyes were applied.  

    The most I paid for a “t-shirt” is $45 USD.  It was made in Guatemala and available in a brick and mortar store, where I could touch and feel it.  I love the colors and feel of Guatemalan cotton, and it is extremely well made, so it was not a hard decision to make.  

    It varies by year, but in general, I only purchase one to six items for myself, per year.  Some years it is a pair of nice shoes or a necklace, other years it might a couple of blouses and a pair of pants.  

    From a sustainability perspective:   As long as it fits, I wear everything for decades. I buy well constructed and fashion forward items, then initially wear them for work, vacation, social functions, and evenings out – typically paired with any number of things purchased in the previous 2-8 years. When they begin to look dated or worn, I wear them around the house.  When they begin to look worn, I wear them in the garden and other places where sweat, stains, paint, and grease are common.  When they finally start to rip and tear, I turn them into rags for cleaning, into patches for jeans, or cut them into scraps for artistic pursuits.  

    … Note:  If something doesn’t fit (due to fabric shrinkage or body changes) and is still in good shape, I give it to a resale shop.

  17. I really like Joules, Fat Face and Crew Clothing (and occasionally Jack Wills) here in the UK. I hope they’re sustainable and ethical! You inspired me to stop buying from Primark and New Look. My life has changed and my clothes last longer. I don’t follow trends and i don’t need to mend seams and hems that rip and unravel or buttons that disappear. Overall, I’m saving more money by purchasing from the moderately priced items than the filthy cheap ones. Thanks Justine, for changing my life.

  18. For me personally, I care about both ethical and sustainable. Ethical is more important to me, but I also feel like if it's ethical it's more likely to be sustainable too. I would be willing to pay $25-$35 for a shirt I knew was ethically sourced.

    One of my issues is something you mentioned in your video. I'm super weary of green washing. I feel like companies attach green buzzwords to sell more at a higher price, but they are at best misleading and some are just out right lies. For example, a company says it's ethically sourced, but it's just one part of the making of the garment that is ethical and not the whole process. I find my trust in big companies especially is extremely low.

  19. I'm glad we still go to tailors in Sri Lanka for saree jackets and stuff. No one has still fast fashioned that. I won't waste money to buy some genuine leather Chanel bag. But there's a nice local brand here that does vegan handbags as well as another charity where beautiful tote's are made by mothers of differently-abled kids. Will buy from them.

  20. Slavery has always existed and it always will. It's reality. Big empires were built on
    slaves. Being very realistic many people do not want to spend the money for the clothing when they have a cheaper option, specially teens and people in countries like Egypt for example. Also those people in Bangladesh are happy to work there than having no job and no food at all. Reality is that equality has never existed and it never will. Why do you think progressive leftist very developed countries want massive immigration??? For cheap labor for slaves dear!!!

  21. I am touched by your honesty and willingness to share your feelings and opinions with us. I could feel your hurt by the terrible things that have happened and are happening, and now I feel it too.
    Is it the store or the brand that makes it fast fashion? Places in the US like Walmart, Target, and Kohl's are generally quite cheap but they sell multiple brands. Then there's Amazon with a huge brand and price range too. I'm trying to understand where to look for the problem.

  22. I think giving prices in euros means nothing, because our wages are so different across Europe, so I would say I don't want to work more than 2-3 hours for a basic T-shirt, so that caps the price at about 10 euros for me, if it gives something extra: I get a connection to the maker(it's local and I can meet them for example), or it is really really well made and good material or unique or I feel I am supporting a great cause(like workplaces for people with disability) then maybe I would go for a day's earnings that's about 30-35 euros. I wouldn't go over that for a T-shirt. In an emergency I would buy a Chinese T-shirt but would pay no more than 3-5 euros. All in all, organic is really not important for me, I am going for sustainable, good quality, easy to care for, maybe local. For me fast ashion is also barely affordable, going higher is overreaching and I have to take it out from holiday or food funds…

  23. Hi Justine. Answering your questions of course I would willing to pay for the clothing in the higher price if I would get the better quality and more etchical. Especially when it is better quality I might be able to pass on the clothings like my mom do. But for pricing I cant pin point u the number because I dont shop lots of clothes (i still use my mom’s old office wear which aged more than 20 yrs old and my old ones which aged more than 10 yrs old). And somehow i feel more assure buying the europe production more than the china one, because usually the qc are better, so it would last more longer.

    I once ask you about these on your qna but i dont get pick. So i’m asking again. Hoping u to look at these 🙂

    I live in Indonesia, the country where most of the fashion shops available are the fast fashion shops. And I dont cant tell which one are really the sustainable and ethical ones, because many of the local brands are just selling the Bangkok clothing which definitely fast fashion items (not to humiliate the Thailand). But for sure I would love to buy new clothes because i kinda feel i wouldn’t fit for my mom’s office wear anymore and i need new ones to update my wardrobe (mine more less still looks like little girl clothing and I’m working 23yrs old now). I am planning to save up some money so I can buy like the designers clothing which I hope would last long like my mom’s. Since my wage isn’t that high i cant easily afford the designers clothing.

    What do you thing your solution you can suggest to me? Is making my own clothes (like going to the tailor) better than buying? Or is it better for me to save up and buy for the classical piece later?

    Thanks and love you 🥰

  24. I am very much willing to pay more for quality and sustainability. The problem I run into is that, in my experience, those things are primarily available from online retailers, rather than bricks and mortar stores. It is important for me to try on clothing before purchasing.

  25. I'd like to introduce an unpopular idea: what about "made in China" cheap items sold by their own makers? For example, there are a lot of small businesses in China selling in AliExpress. Even bigger factories (not talking about super complexes) are selling the same items they produce, as in why to buy a CK bra if I can have an unbranded one, same quality, lower price and pay directly to the makers (again, not talking about copied designs, just same quality with their own designs).
    To elaborate a little bit on this: I live in a poor country. If I decided to buy supplies and make my own items (even to grow a small factory) I know I'd be able to sell them for a lower price to the international market simply because producing here is cheaper (paying a fair wage included).
    Could that be considered the ultimate laboureur revolution?

  26. Please could you explain please what is the most organic fabric for cloth to buy? F.e. 33% of forests are used for making viscose, for cotton it takes a lot of water, poliéster doesn’t decompose. What would you choose?

  27. Fast fashion would not survive in the world of equality, fair wages and consumer demand for quality. It is a phenomenon that should never has made it. It only makes sense that finally some of these chains went bankrupt.

  28. Barneys just like Neiman Marcus is overrated. Like many things in the US. More often than not their pricing does justify the quality

  29. It takes much more energy and time and of course money to buy ethical clothes. But in the end of the day if you can buy basics in good quality and little bit funky accessories to follow the trends (in local jewelry shops ) you will have a nicer clothes , you will be happier coz you know you did something for your planet and other people. Next to these things an extra, the cherry on top you will look more wealthy and stylish coz the quality of your clothes are much better than fast fashion ones. You wont go shopping every week or in every month to buy new clothes. So you will have time to collect your money and just be mindful which piece you need in the next season due to the price. Its a slow process but worth it 🙂

  30. I live in UK and I find really difficoult to find clothes that are not made in low wage countries. For example, I used to buy shirts from TM Lewin, not cheap as Primark, but very affordable, and made in Vietnam. I then decided to renew with shirts from Brooks Brothers, better quality and more expensive, to find out that they were made in Thailand! How do I know how much profit they keep, and how much they pay in wages?
    Another argument that confuses me is that the conditions of the workers are actually due to the fact that the countries are poor, and it makes me feel bad that if they cannot have these jobs they won’t have jobs at all. So i find it not so straightforward to make up my mind

  31. No I don't feel Fast Fashion will ever be over. It's the only thing teens want and can afford and there will always be teenagers

  32. I would definitely pay more for clothing made in Europe that translates into better quality and better work ethics, of course.

  33. I wonder… if someone follows trends, so to say, "blindly", how many things do they actually have in their wardrobe? I like how it was before – a bit slower, two seasons and you wear the same stuff for several years, just add a piece here and there that is trendy. Natural materials, trends could blend into an existing wardrobe, etc. Btw, I hate second-hand stuff. I also wear some pieces for ten or more years because I simply love them.

  34. The best fashion decision I've ever made is to buy exclusively secondhand. This way, I get to be more sustainable, not supporting the companies I don't believe in, yet still getting the benefit of wearing clothes I feel comfortable and fashionable wearing.

  35. Hi Justine, how do you feel about the resale market – poshmark, thread up, etc? I get most of my wardrobe from thrift/resale stores.

  36. Thank you for providing this informative content. I listen to you in the car when I'm otherwise alone and appreciate your "companionship".

    T-shirts are tricky for me because I have bad luck with small holes and stains so I can't keep them as long as other (woven) items. Also, I assiciate knit with my husband's undershirts and as being a fabric I pay less for. That said, I would expect to pay about $15 for a t shirt made in China, up to $60 for a well cut European made tshirt that I knew I would wear for years. To be honest I'm not educated on recycled/sustainable cotton and therefore don't understand the value and wouldn't necessarily pay more for it (but I'm excited to learn).

  37. Hi Justine, thank you for informing on such an important topic!
    I decided for myself to only buy in second hand shops for a year. In Hamburg, where I live, there are many wonderful, good quality second hand shops.
    I would pay 30- 40 € for a t-shirt. If fair trade would mean a higher price, I would pay it.

    A german comedian made the joke, if you want to see the new trend color for spring, go to google earth and check the colors of the rivers in China.
    I personally prefer close made in Europe.

  38. I love you, Justine, for speaking out against fast fashion and sweatshops. I've made my clothes for 50 years or bought fair trade….sometimes get lucky and find US made from the 70s in thrift shops. It is so hard to find anyone who cares…a few young people online in the UK speak out here and there…the Clean Clothes campaign is from there.
    I just make simple gathered skirts, shift for sleeping…SOS Texas cotton is 100% clean with tee shirts at a very modest price, made in North Carolina of organic Texas cotton.
    The fabric is sold online, jersey, in black or cream (natural). It makes lovely skirts. Sometimes I get fabric at a store because I want little flowers for fun.
    Your voice is good to listen to…love your talks. God bless you….God wants us to live justly, love tenderly, and walk humbly with our Creator. I have good taste in people….bonjour and JOYEUX NOEL!!!

  39. Despite 2 big companies declaring bankruptcy, I don't know if this means the beginning of the end of fast fashion. I think there will always be a demand for cheap clothes that can be thrown away and replaced for very little money in the western world. I also believe social media and the selfie culture have a role to play in the rise of fast fashion. Instagram influencers – or not – take photos with new outfits every day: the outfits are either thrown away or sent back to the brand, so not being paid for. I'd love it if you could produce a video on your views on social media, Justine, it would be really interesting…

  40. I am willing to pay $45-70 for an organic t-shirt from Europe, if it was ethically made in china, i suppose I could pay the same if the quality is there,, otherwise I won't buy it if the quality is not there.

  41. I live in Norway, and we can't get away with buying poor quality clothing as the conditions are so hard here. Therefore, I look mainly at quality when deciding what I'm willing to pay (how well it's made, the purity of the fabric with wool vs polyester f.ex). I'm willing to pay more for basics and outerwear than trendy clothes for instance. I also buy as much second hand as I can. That being said, I worked for a high-end clothing store selling locally produced, ethically sourced fashion, and my biggest problem was that the clothes were often just as poor quality as clothes fro H&M etc….. It almost didn't matter how expensive the piece of clothing was, the clothes would be poorly sewn and tear all over the place. I used to think that higher price meant better quality, but now I realized that I often find just as good quality in cheaper stores, which is a dilemma for me as I don't want to have clothes with poorer quality just in order to buy ethical…. I know this is not the case for all ethical clothing of course, but it was definitely an eye opener for me. I think many brands cut corners to save costs and end up with poorer quality clothes, even the more expensive brands…

  42. Hi Justine, as a 22 year old working part time and studying, shopping has been a huge topic of concern for me. I’m from a single-parent provincial Bulgarian family and don’t have the same opportunity to discriminate as my western peers. Therefore, I’ve been trying to make better not the best-case choices. Buying my T-shirts from hm conscious, buying second hand durable items and a recent big purchase- a backpack made of recycled polyester be lo&sons and buying local products when I can are a few of the way I try to be better. I also choose the items carefully and make sure they’re made of good materials- cotton, wool, cashmere, etc. I would also like to add that for many consumers like me the trade off between sustainable clothing consumption and sustainable food, transport and other resource use is an important factor. I wear clothes as long as possible, so I have fast fashion pieces that are 9+ years old and either recycled or donate them at the end.

  43. The first thing I check once I see an article of clothing I like is the country of origin. If it doesn’t say France, Germany, Italy, Portugal (or another Western Europe country) I usually walk away. Quality & price go hand in hand for me when buying

  44. It's so interesting to learn about what it takes to get your clothes in stores. Thanks for sharing your knowledge.

  45. Dear Justine, I really like you, and I guess you are talking to a different demographic than mine, that is, to people of (some) privilege. You seem to genuinely not understand the position some of us are in, even in Europe. I’m an unemployed woman with a university degree, my husband is a small-scale farmer, we have two kids. I cannot dream of Chanel, even HM is luxury for me (like this seasons Conscious line recycled wool coat for 100 euro – I went and bought one for 50 in New Yorker store instead and I’m already seeing it’s starting to peel…). I try to use all the handmedowns I get, I repair our clothes (that’s actually fun, with patches etc), I wear all my fast fashion stuff to its last breath and then ‘donate’ it to my father who reuses the cotton ones as rags for his art), my mom makes us sweaters… I am looking into buying vintage from Asos marketplace and Etsy but even that is over my budget for now, I’m about to improve that. Sometimes you just need something (kids grow like weeds!) and can’t wait 2 months to source it ethically and within budget. There aren’t even any thrift stores within 100 km radius! Just wanted to let you know there are some people out there who are informed, ethical but sometimes just don’t have other option than to buy (at least some) stuff from the fast fashion brands.

  46. Thanks for this video, Justine. I find that &OtherStories and Arket provide a good price point for basics, although I am unsure how sustainable they are. I would be willing to pay £25 for a T-shirt that is organic and sustainable. As it is an item that does not last forever (although they can last a while) and needs to be replaced. 🌹

  47. $10-15 max for a t-shirt from china
    $100-150 for Jean's organic
    $40 for a good t shirt organic cotton that's going to last me a while.

  48. To be honest I thrift shop a lot more now . The prices tags on new clothes does not match the quality. Something about vintage has so much more character and appeal and longevity not trendy. In Canada shirts are no less than $30 for low to med quality. I can’t reason with that. Yes looking at where a garment is made does effect the amount I’m willing to 💰 Thx for the video very informative ❤️💕

  49. Years ago I started only buying jeans from American or similar and that voluntarily had some transparency( not perfect, but a start)for 50-90 usd. They really wear out so much less than some of the not so ethical or sustainable ones my friends have given to me. In the same condition and laundry loads and one wears out in the thigh and belt loop in half the time, it's silly to think of having to buy something twice as often or more that never goes out of style.

  50. I have been looking for years, for a well made cotton tee. There is a t shirt by theory that I have had for years and would love to grab it in a different color. I would pay like $75 for a basic tee if it will last me as long as the shirt by theory has.

  51. Forever 21 will close all of its 44 stores in Canada by the end of this year. My hope is that through videos such as yours, people will realise money spent at fast fashion stores is of no benefit whatsoever, and in fact, detrimental to many. Please continue educating your viewers on this topic.

  52. I'd high quality and good fit, $15-$20 is okay for a t-shirt from China, $15-$35 for Europe, just because the designers who manufacture from Europe (from what I know) usually had better quality than Asian made t-shirts.
    As for recycled cotton, if the quality check, fit, texture is of my liking anywhere from $20-$25

  53. Primark is literally my idea of hell, I've not been in a store for around 4 years and I've not bought from one from over 5. The place is always packed, and no one respects the product. For the sake of getting a t shirt cheap I'd rather not have to pick it up off the floor/snag it out of a pram wheel. No one cares about it because it is worth almost nothing, the staff are too overworked and underpaid to care about the items.

  54. Interesting video ! I thrift a lot of my clothes now (on Vinted and Depop mainly), makes me feel a little better about my wardrobe, BUT I also try to sell my clothes there. When you donate them to charities, a lot of them actually end up in landfills…

  55. So my biggest issue is that I require plus size clothing; I take a Canadian 3X most places and many of the ethical places that I have been able to find within my budget do not have my sizes. The amount of money I tend to pay for my clothes are: $20CAD for a cotton T-shirt and I’ve never seen any recycled or organic cotton tags. $45 CAD for a pair of jeans. I mostly shop at Old Navy and Reitmans because they are the two lower-mid cost brands that carry my sizes most of the time. If anyone knows of an ethical and sustainable plus size clothing shop that ships to Canada please let me know! Especially that sells pants that are actually plus sized!

  56. In answer to your question: first choice is to buy goods from my own country of Canada and the next choice is buy from a source where I can check credentials and background. Buying goods manufactured in one particular country does not mean that the goods are ethical, responsible or sustainable. Each item/store/manufacturer needs to be checked. If that sounds like a lot of effort; it is. But for me, it's worth it.

  57. the more people buy from legit ethical and eco based brands, the more mainstream it will become and thus the more affordable it will be.

  58. Where to buy clothes to avoid fast fashion? Besides thrift stores. Please share some brands/store names in EU. Merci.

  59. Let's just say Buffalo Exchange is my happy place.

    For new clothes, I'm finally able to afford Kohl's prices (a couple years ago I didn't have enough for even Goodwill. Yikes!). But I am shocked at how many clothes at Kohl's lack any cotton, and yet they are a little up there. I would need to really really love a brand new piece to look past 100% chemical material. I always look at tags when thrifting. I can't stand the way those silky, fake material tops feel. For a cotton t-shirt I'd pay up to $30. Don't really care about whether it's organic or where it's made at this point (I never shop F-21 or H&M though), but as my budget increases, I would definitely prefer to stop buying from exploitive countries!

  60. Hey Justine, So as you say , people are getting consious about the fact that it is important to pay attention to ethical/sustainable clothes. I'ts almost a trend to be consious about it and i have the feeling that's also why people buy a lot more in thrift stores. I live in Brussels and there are more and more thriftstores opening. So I was wondering if all Thriftstores are ethical and sustainable? Cause sometimes the prices are also very low..

  61. Thrifting, charity shopping: the future, to erase a past of pollution, inequality and exploitation. Love your videos Justine

  62. I understand what she means when she says that there are mid-options between Primark and Channel, but I don't think it's a coincidence that these brands have flourished during times of austerity in Europe. This week a documentary came out in the UK featuring children who have to sleep in their coats in the winter because the parents can't afford to heat their houses… teachers in the UK are complaining that more and more kids are coming to school hungry.. yes we are a western country and a rich country collectively, but there are still a lot of people for whom the only option if they need a new pair of trousers is to buy the 10 pound ones…

  63. I’ve found the ‘Good On You’ app really eye-opening when it comes to understanding different brands’ ethics, especially for brands that I thought were better than the likes of Primark.

    I remember, back twenty years ago, thinking that £30 was cheap for a top, but now people seem to consider cheap as being lower than £10.

  64. can you give some brands that are in the middle, not fast fashion, not luxury? I would consider reasonable to pay 80€ for a pair of jeans for example.

  65. Recycled cotton: I wouldn't go for it. I think that cotton takes only few months to break down in a landfill, so I guess that the whole process of recycling (you driving your car to the recycling container, a truck taking it to the factory, the energy in the factory to process it, etc) it would actually polute more than just let it be. An organic cotton tshirt I think it even breaks down faster, but all eventually do, so I wouldn't get out of my comfort zone to go find an organic one (which costs more just because it's organic). That's my guess.

    An option I would pay more for is a FAIR TRADE piece, and to ensure the people involved in the manufacturing etc (designers, sewers, sellers,…) are paid and treated well. I think this is the main caveat I have with fast fashion (but any brand may actually do it): it relies on companies outsourcing production to developing countries and pushing them to do more for a lower price. A friend of mine used to work in that for a well known Spanish brand. Her tasks were mainly calling factory managers in China (during her office hours, which most of the time was late night in China) to demand a reduction in few cents for X piece, etc.

  66. Videos like this are part of why I enjoy your channel. I love how you have real substance in your videos! To answer your question, we are on a pretty tight budget, so I rarely pay more than forty dollars for an article of clothing, in fact, I usually pay nearly half that amount. The way I accomplish this is by buying a lot of second-hand clothing. I shop at thrift stores and ThredUp, sometimes altering the pieces myself. Again, thank you for getting this information out there for all of us. Blessings to you and yours!

  67. I would love to see the end of fast fashion. I'm not going to say I have never purchased anything from places like H&M because I definitely did, before I learned the awful practices of fast fashion companies (Major luxury brands are no exception really, they have their dirty little secrets too).

    There are so many options for people to get affordable and good quality clothing. With some skill such as sewing, garments can last for years and years with mending here and there. If consumers thought about having something custom made for them from a local seamstress, it would last a lot longer, fit better, get a garment that is both unique & the style you want, and support local artisans.

    And if you can't afford to hire a seamstress, everyone can learn to sew and draft patterns for free, literally google or youtube it!

  68. Not sure young people are fans of Barney's even if they had the money. It's a stuffy name. With a BIG issue of racial profiling, therefore isolating some customers. Plus paying out settlements. Not surprised they are closing with that reputation.

  69. I'll pay up to $50 for a basic t-shirt I'll wear a hundred times if I know the worker got paid a fair wage. My mom worked in the garment industry in NYC designing children's clothing, from the 70s to the 90s, and she saw firsthand how hard seamstresses work, how much skill that labor requires, and how the rise of fast fashion destroyed those workers' wages. I'm not interested in exploiting garment workers.

  70. Truthfully I have been concerned with only buying clothes that I know will last me a good long while, and that, if donated, will continue to get good wear. There are so many clothes that I have slightly grown out of, or have gotten second hand, that are in great condition but don't fit properly. I wish there were more tailors in my area so I could get them fitted! I also have issues with brands that cater to plus size women – they are so few and far between, and are generally much pricier than brands that cater to "regular" clothing sizes, and so I don't have a good grasp on how ethical they are. Brands like Torrid, Lane Bryant, Cacique, etc. can sell a cotton/poly dress for $90, but I have no idea where that money is going to.

  71. I’ve pretty much not bought new clothes (other than socks, underwear and pjs) for 3 years now. I have switched to pre owned, charity shops for clothes – at least 99.5% of what I buy. I love the thrill of the thrift. Finding a gem of an item amongst the rows of polyester. Finally finding exactly what I was looking after looking for weeks or sometimes months of searching is the best feeling. I’m in my 30’s now but have been regularly buying secondhand clothes since I was in my teens (it was much less common and definitely not a cool or trendy thing to do back then).

    If I had to buy something specific now and had no option to buy new (because I can’t find it pre owned), I would definitely look at more ethical, smaller businesses first. However I wouldn’t completely avoid all of the fast fashion brands if it was the only place to buy the specific item I needed. I rarely buy things new. If for example I buy 2 items per year from a fast fashion brand and every thing else pre owned then I won’t feel too guilty about it. I know people who go out almost every week and buy loads of new clothes from places like primark, H&M Etc. I see videos on YouTube where they are always doing clothing hauls from these shops. I still feel my overall impact is very low so I don’t stress too much about it. If all these cheap shops disappeared overnight then we would all have to shop in alternative places. If the prices get higher then we would all buy less and have to think more about what we do buy. Just like people did in the past. I also think it would bring back people learning how to sew so they could alter or make clothes. I personally love to sew but don’t do it very much as it’s more expensive, time consuming and I don’t think I can make things looks as nice as pre made. I used to sew a lot for my daughter when she was small as baby and toddler clothes are easy to make. They take up less fabric so perfect for up cycling adult clothing into toddler sizes.

  72. Yes I would pay more for a tshirt. Firstly for better quality! Even expensive tees seem like you need two layers these days to be opaque. Regardless of manufacturing location, I would pay more if it was made ethically. Although cotton production has its own environmental issues, I would pay more if it was made from recycled or environmentally farmed material.

  73. I don't think Topshop and Forever 21 going bankrupt is a sign of the end of fast fashion. They are being outpaced by online retailers like Fashionnova, Prettylittlething etc. These online retailers offer more choice, more sizes and cheap (often free) next day delivery. They can't keep up!

  74. Good riddance! I can’t afford designers and they don’t design for my size anyway. I find the buffer in between!

  75. Justine, you're gorgeous. True French beauty with brains and good morals. 😊 Because of you I've started to re-evaluate where I shop and what I buy in terms of fabric and quality.

  76. I'm in the US. TL; DR: I would be most influenced by ethical production (regardless of place of manufacture), then by place of manufacture, and least of all by organic labels.

    To me, "Organic" doesn't mean much. At least with food and in the US, the process to be named organic still allows for a lot of the things that those who the Organic label is targeting would object to (certain pesticides, etc). Things can be environmentally-friendly and still not classify/register as organic. The location the garment is made in would impact my willingness to pay more based on environmental factors; something made in North America tends to be more environmental-friendly if for nothing else than the shorter distance it needs to travel and the regulations in place. However, I'd be most inclined to pay more for a garment if it was ethically produced, transported, and sold, regardless of location of manufacture. You can ethically produce things in 3rd world countries, and to be fair it's cheaper to ethically produce things there than in a developed country. Providing a living wage to someone, regardless of where they're living, is important to me.

  77. I don’t even shop bc tbh I even think fast fashion clothes are expensive, the only time I go shopping is right before schools starts and Christmas
    My mom constantly gets mad at me for not knowing my size in anything but it’s only bc I don’t go shopping & a lot of my clothes I do get from my mom and sister

  78. This may not be the case in Europe, but thinking of how in many countries are living in precarious work conditions, it is quite logical that younger people be the target of these brands. Many articles mention that millennials are the generation with the lowest income, despite their high educational level. Naturally this generation wants to dress well and with style, but it cannot afford jeans of more than 10 pounds and thus the cycle is perpetuated

  79. I would pay more for something from organic or sustainable materials and specially if made locally! For now ir seems like secondhand is the way to go and choosing to buy one item instead of buying 10 crapy pieces. I can not afford expensive clothes but prefer second hand instead, so as you said there is plenty of options in between, is just a matter lf trying it out.

  80. I always opt for second-hand clothing, but if I had to buy something new, I would pay more for something that is ethically made, sustainably sourced, is a natural fiber that will not shed micro plastics into the water, is well-made and durable, and can be recycled or composted at the end of its life. In the T-shirt example, I would pay up to $50-$60 US for a basic t shirt that met all of these standards

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