Finding the perfect set of clothes can be pretty overwhelming. As you enter (insert the name of any store you frequent), it’s easy to get lost in all of the colorful options surrounding you within the maze that is the store layout and the long lines that make you think twice about what you’re buying. Within all of this lies one single trick question: are you really familiar with the production process behind the clothes you’re wearing right now?
No, really. Do you really know? Well, I certainly don’t. I just bought two coats from ZARA without much thought about the store’s ethics. As I walked out of the door, I can assure you that I was pretty happy considering how well my clothes fit my personal style. My size is extra small and I usually have to take a lot of time when considering an investment. I often think about the ratio of quality to cost and how badly I need the product (I intentionaly typed it that way). Honestly, I can’t afford quality clothes after a certain price point! I’m only in my early 20s and I mean, wearing clothes is pretty important!
You’re probably nodding your head in agreement, thinking same. Great! Well, I was on my way to the car and couldn’t help but raise a few questions after reading the clothing tags. And by a few, I mean A LOT. Are there sweatshops in Morocco? I Googled it and found this. Turns out, news had spread that the clothing brand had supposedly suffered backlash after reports of unfair labor. And I must warn you, the following list of questions is not meant for the faint-hearted:
Is there really a brand out there with a clean history? One that’s affordable and isn’t one of several options to choose from at a mall? How much money is reasonable enough to spend on clothing? Does the money I spend guarantee that the employees who make my clothes get treated fairly say, if I shopped at Nordstrom instead? Am I paying to promote an unsafe work environment? How much of the stuff online is true? What if there are competitors in the fashion retail industry who are out to ruin someone else’s reputation? How much thought does the average consumer put into this and do they really care? Do YOU really care? These thoughts rattled my mind as I drove home leaving me feeling overwhelmed.
What’s stopping you from returning them? You might ask. I admit, I love the clothes that I bought and I still plan to keep them. But will I shop at ZARA again? Yes, though I won’t be as enthusiastic about it. Will I feel good about it? No! However, I will definitely reconsider my options the next time I shop for clothes and I really need to do more research before doing so. I can imagine Justine Leconte shaking her head in disapproval. Am I the only one who thinks about this? Am I stuck in a perpetual cycle!? Please comment to answer a question (or two). Let’s get enlightened together, shall we?