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

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,

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

  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:

  2. I would buy something (clothes or anything else) if I need it, like it and can afford it. I can probably afford something around 60€ for a top, double that for dress or pants. Luckily there is also second hand. Whether is produced in China or not, or the material is recycled… is just a bonus I might enjoy then. It doesn't influence if I can afford the product or not.

  3. The issue is to find a sustainable/ethical brand with clothes I wanna wear. And buying more expensive doesn´t automatically mean that it´s better or Stst./eth., sadly. It´s like rocket science to find a "good" brand or shop. So I stopped shopping in common stores and buy most of my clothes second hand. I don´t care for trends. I buy from H&M as well but it´s very rare. This is my way to deal with it.

  4. I have not bought clothes from regular stores in several years. I have been shopping at thrift stores. And using our clothes for as long as possible, donating or selling clothes we do not wear anymore, and reusing clothes we cannot sell or donate.

  5. I would pay more to know that the workers who sewed the garment were paid fairly. I usually pass up clothes/items made in China because of the lack of ethics in the leaders of that nation. I am a frugal woman, I would pay $15-$20 for a t shirt. Don't care if it's organic or not.

  6. I would pay 20€ for a t-shirt made of cotton and made in china.
    I would pay 60€ for a well made tee from Europe.
    For a recycled tee I would pay about 25€.
    I am influenced by what material is used and always look on the "made in"-tag. Clothes from Bangladesh I have not purchased for years, mostly I buy clothes made somewhere in Europe. I like to supply them!

    Please, make a video about good quality and good fitting, ethically good brands!

  7. I'm currently replacing my entire wardrobe and have been buying mostly second hand stuff online. But, I've always wondered if buying second hand still ultimately perpetuates the cycle? I would love to buy only from ethical brands, but it's hard to tell which ones are truly ethical and they also don't have a lot of variety in their lines.

    At my current lifestyle I am willing to pay $50 for a plain t shirt if it feels well made and looks good, regardless of where it came from.

  8. Rn I am saving money for education, luce in Ukraine and $10-15 is a bit too much for a t-shirt for me
    My time shirts never coast more than $2 because I thrift.
    Can't imagine spending $10 on a t-shirt as of right now
    In the future I'll live in Europe and get good salary with which I'll be able to shop only ethical sustainable fashion but at the same time idt I'll ever stop thrifting. Besides that, I only buy something when old stuff is impossible to wear so I only shop few time a year, like every season or so
    Minimalism is a way to go, I believe

  9. Would definitely pay more for an ethically & sustainably produced garment and even made some searches. Unfortunately it is hard to find them in non-standard size + flattering design so for now, i mostly hunt second-hand

  10. I’m so glad I found your channel ^_^ ! and I feel sad for those girls who haven’t find it yet among the huge YT contents lol😅 .. Thanks a million for your tips and advice 😘

  11. Actually high price isn't everything. Even if you pay more, higher fashion industry do the same as like the fast fashion brands. The "made in Europe" writing should not make you feel that it is alright. I was such surprised when I saw a documentary about leather production of big brands. Even if the production is in Italy for example they don't give to their employees the right safety and working conditions. Unfortunately nothing is sure….

  12. I have one issues with the label Made in Europe. Recently was a kinda a scandal about Megan Markle's Rememberance day coat by Stella McCartney. The coat was made in Hungary, the poorest part of Hungary, if you see pictures about North-East Hungary you would not believe it that is part of Europe or the European Union.
    According to the worker there they work 14 hours, no lounge room, no breaks, disgusting washroom, they are not legally work there, mean no health or retirement tax payed after them. But the brand can say we made it in Europe, where a bunch of laws. So sadly the location of the manufacturing not necessarily means a lot.

  13. One thing I have noticed over the past few years as someone who has been really broke and had to rely on cheaper brands before, is that the clothes literally wear out so fast that there is no benefit to buying them cheaper by the time you have had to constantly replace them. You will spend as much replacing them now as you would just purchasing a decent piece. Even some of the "department" stores which charge alot more than forever 21 and some of the other brands mentioned are guilty of peddling mess that's barely stitched together and a $30-$50 price-tag. I have picked up jackets and cardigans in the store to examine them, and seen loose threads and loose buttons ON THE RACK IN THE STORE! I remember our Mom buying us Walmart kids clothes in the 90's and they were still cheaply made but they lasted longer than the ones I have been seeing at these kind of retailers recently. They were cheaply made but we weren't popping a seam or sewing on buttons within 3 weeks of purchase. if i buy a $15 coat that I have had to repair 3 times (and a person without sewing skills would probably replace all together or pay someone to repair) why don't i just buy a $45 dollar one that is actually going to last? People are starting to wise up to that. I stick more with thrift shops now bc I can find better made clothes that don't fall apart, EVEN in the case of alot of second hand pieces that are already older.

  14. In my case i m kinda screwed, i need maternity clothes. 18 weeks and looking like a balloooooon.
    I bough used, most of them. But what is missing just can't justify the money to spend on something i will wear 3 season in my life (maybe 3 kids, not sure) and the resale value is $5 each. And meanwhile Motherhood maternity is closing, Pea in the pod is bankrupt (and way to expensive, like $100 for a mat leggings, but still not ethical, but better quality).
    Sometimes the gap between Primark and Chanel is really not much, not mention i m 6 feet tall. And the only tall ladies store in town closed.

  15. Hi Justine, thank you for your videos. I have been a victim of Fast Fashion and I would like to be free. But I have no idea how to find an alternative in my country. I guess the first step would be to stop buying entirely and really use the clothes I have until they wear out and then just buy the piece that needs to be replaced. I think that it would be helpful to know a couple of brands that are sustainable, ethical and that have global presence (I am from Mexico, so we get a lot of US and European brands but not all). I would also love to see a video in which you explain which clothes need to be replaced more frequently and which ones can last longer (if you already have one, please share the link). I really want to change the way I shop. Fast Fashion sometimes makes us spend as much as a higher fashion brand because we buy so often! So instead of a $100 USD dress, we buy ten dresses at $10 USD!!! Or we have to buy a pair of jeans every 3 months because they tear so easily instead of buying a pair that will last 18 months. We definitely need your help!

  16. Can you please give us a list of fair fashion brands? Especially fair fashion brands that don’t cost a fortune. I don’t want to support fast fashion, but I’m on a budget.

  17. I hardly ever buy new clothes from stores, I rather go thrift shopping or sew them myself. But when shopping I don't in particular look for organic or recycled materials. What I do look for is if the material looks like good quality, if the brand is more known for good quality clothes and if the textile is made out of natural fibres. If the garments are labeled as organic, recycled etc. it's always a plus point in my eyes but they are not my first priority mainly due to price reasons. Nevertheless I find it very difficult to know whether I'm actually supporting a fast fashion unethical brand or not the very moment I shop because at least for me I simply don't know with a lot of brands. Are Esprit, Marc O Polo etc fast fashion?

  18. Salut Justine !

    Je ne porte pas de T-shirts alors, je répondrai pour un chemisier ou une blouse :
    – pour un chemisier en coton fait en Chine, je ne paierais pas plus de 10 euros. Je ne veux pas investir davantage dans la mesure où je ne peux jamais savoir à l'avance si le vêtement va survivre au troisième lavage.
    – pour un chemisier en coton biologique fait en Chine, je mettrais jusqu'à 20 euros.
    – pour un chemisier en coton biologique fait en Europe, je serais prête à payer de 60 à 80 euros.

    En vérité, si je pouvais être certaine que le vêtement a été produit dans le respect des travailleurs et de l'environnement, qu'il va durer au moins dix ans (voire quinze ou vingt) et que la marque ne se fait pas une marge obscène sur le dos des consommateurs bien intentionnés, j'investirais 200 euros sans problème.

    En attendant, j'achète presque tout de seconde main et j'apprends à coudre.

  19. I don't have a specific price I would pay for any of those. I think it depends on the company you buy from. If the brand is producing locally or in a place like China, I need transparency into working conditions and salaries. The solution to our problem is so simple but we're hardwired against it at this point. Spend more, have less. We don't need 10+ cotton t shirts that cost $8 each. Have 3 that cost $50 (or whatever the cost), are made well, you wash and take care of them, they wear well, age well.

  20. hello Justine! love your video!
    I personally do research, only buy stuff from brands that can ethically source their textiles, and also that the worker is getting taken care of. I also I'm trying to have a smaller wardrobe, Ive never liked the concept of clothes that dont work after 3 months, I love having clothes for 3-5-10+ years!

  21. I try to buy less in general, think twice before buying anything and get as much as possible 2nd hand or if needed new then hopefully ethically produced. …and then appreciate the hard work someone put into sewing the clothes by not throwing them away.
    Or I sew my own clothes, since I started sewing it is harder for me to buy fast fashion. No one here who sews would sell their handmade shirt for 3 €. You wouldn't even get the material for 3 €… unless you upcycle old stuff which is cool. But then labour…

  22. I shop for second hand fashion in charity shops. I live on the budget and this gives me chance to buy something special now and than. My last addition was handbag Angela Roi- ethical, cruelty free brand. When i shop i do check labels all the time. Actually it was veganism that brought me to label checking at the first place. Anyway i am much more aware now than few years ago and i wear much smaller selection of clothes now. Hate fast fashion!

  23. I've stopped buying new almost entirely. I will only buy new if I have looked for specific staple item — a fresh, clean, white shirt for instance — for a very long time and come up empty. I wear my clothes for many years. I have a beautiful, made in Canada where I live, mid calf length, like new condition, 100% wool coat that I got for $17 on a sale day at Value Village. I'm in my 60s so I remember a time when we weren't drowning in clothing. In high school, I would put an item on layaway in a local clothing store and make payments on it every week from my after school job until I'd paid it off. I still remember those items of clothing – a purple kilt, a camel coat, a fringed poncho… all these years later because I valued them. My gorgeous $17 coat gives me the same amount of pleasure because of the thrill of the hunt. If I start thrifting in a careless hand-over-fist way, and buy too much, the items have less meaning and pleasure connected. When I exercise control, and I'm picky, each item is a treasure. That, I think, is how we should shop – each item should be a treasure.

  24. I have to say that I don’t like to admit it but the origin of the clothing really does influence how much I am willing to spend. Some countries are associated with good or bad quality clothing and I’m not sure how I got here. I would honestly pay more for an item of European origin than that of Chinese origin.

  25. Doesn't matter the origin, I would (and I do so as much as I can) pay more for recicled/sustainable but also ethical (even though, as you said, it is harder to find). I actually plan buying a pair of pants that I like from Matter Prints even though that means resisting to buying other stuff that in the end I may not even need.
    Also I feel the need to say that it's not about Greta. It's about news and ecological catastrophies, documentaries and seing with my own eyes what people have done to the mountains and forests and rivers in my country. For me it's not a Greta effect but more a désespoir effect when looking around me.

  26. Do you know that several top end couture brands get their bead work and embroidery done in countries like India via cheap labour? These brands give out such work to smaller companies in Europe, who then come to such countries. But yes, it's not rampant like these fast fashion brands.

  27. Since I found out about thrifting more than 6 Years ago, I almost completely stopped buying new clothes.
    Once in a while I buy a new white T-Shirt from the brand Trigema (Germany). The company is located in Germany, the workers are Germans and the price is reasonable for that kind of quality….

  28. T-shirt made in China- $5. Organic t-shirt from Europe- $15. Recycled t-shirt made in China-$10. High school student from Canada, I unfortunately do buy fast fashion most of the time, but I try to create a minimalistic wardrobe

  29. Isn't the problem, really, that after a couple of decades of the avg cost of an item of clothing, falling, we've all jam-packed our closets with clothes. Too many clothes? The customer base has saturated closets! What more can we demand? In the U.S, our new water-saving clothes washers (which have WAY LONGER cycle times…so more electricity, btw), beat up our clothing at at an increased rate than former machines. So, there will be additional demand for clothing in the form of replacement clothing – esp knits! – increasing.

  30. Most of my clothes are second hand, there are plenty of options to choose from (charity shops, car boot sales, second hand and vintage stores, and Ebay). I love finding unusual things and giving them a new home. I always look at the material composition, cotton, silk, all wool types, I also like viscose 🙂 I buy handmade jewellery, locally made, that's my treat.

  31. I don't know how it is in other countries, but where I live – Israel – There are no "middle brands" that are even an option. It's a either variations on fast fashion that seem just as unethical, horrible quality clothes but with higher price tags attached(Castro, Zara..both used to be high quality with decent clothes before the fast fashion trends. EDIT: and Aldo, I hate them soooo much. 200$ for a pair of boots from the lowest quality leather I have ever seen, with soles that wore down to holes in just 3 months. I got shoes from 5 years ago that barely show any signs of wearing down that cost me the same. So infuriating!), things that look like they were ordered from Ali Express and put in a fancy store with good location (just too many to name + any cheap small store tends to do that and they appear and disappear like mushrooms), or "mom/grandma clothes" which are high quality, granted, but don't carry my size and I am sorry, but I'm 27 and I have many years before I am willing to dress like an old lady, with all due respect.
    It's slightly better with shoes, there are 2-3 chain stores that sell quality shoes, and they are small and have a pretty small variety. There are local designer clothes, yes, but they are both extremely expensive and look even more like "momgrandma" fashion in some unflattering way for some reason. Most just look like glorified expensive sacks to me with no style at all, or like evening clothes.
    Men have it so much easier here, with more middle options and less of the "fast fashion" stores.
    TBH what I find best is ordering online. I like Fashion Nova even though they're cheap because of their huge variation in styles (I'm quite picky in what I think flatters me, and it's not trendy now anyway) and they're one of the only brands I tried shopping in that have clothes for my size, their XS is always a perfect fir or so close I'm willing to live with it or can fix it myself, or Black Milk which look good on everyone, are pretty fair as far as I know and have beautiful unique designs.
    Thrift shops USED TO BE nice until all the hipsters began shopping there as a fashion statement and now they are either closed, carry exclusively actual vintage fashion , or are pricey so much it makes no sense already.
    Ali Express I find is a good solution because you cut a lot of the middle men , and they have the biggest variety of everything. Amazon, Ebay and other sites sellers tend to buy from there in bulk, get themselves a fancy site and sell the clothes 10-100 the price they paid for, its insane. You never know what quality you get when you order online so it makes sense to go to the source and just order from there. At least you know what to expect, and they DO have some amazing finds/

  32. I'm very glad for your honesty about these brands. I study fashion and am clearly very interested in it, but it is hard to find voices that are critical of the way fashion is produced and consumed today. Please keep making videos on this topic, it is SO important.

    1. I would not buy that at all.
    2. If I could find honest reviews on the garments quality to make sure the price tag matches my expectations on quiality and fit as well as being ethically produced I would pay about 60 euros for a plain t-shirt.
    3. If the fit and quality is good I might pay about 30 euros for that.

  33. I've been buying my clothes second-hand for about the last three years, and recycling clothes that I no longer wear. I choose carefully and enjoy the search for a bargain.

  34. For me the concept of Sustainability has to go beyond just the sourcing, manufacturing, transportation, and pricing. It has to cover durability, reusability and recycling as well. People are buying and throwing away far too much too quickly.
    I never really partook in fast fashion or brand names, and mostly purchased on sale items from Macys, Nordstrom etc that looked like high quality. For budget reasons, I limit myself to less than 8-10 dressy tops (includes blazers, shells etc) and 5 bottoms (slacks, jeans, skirts) per year to get through my work week. I get the most out of that batch for that year and then just pack up and put it under my bed whatever still looked good. Typically I have about half last well but I take a lot of pain to always wash on delicate and line dry. I am still using things from 2008 era strategically and getting lots of compliments plus investing in my career look. This method also makes it easy for me to keep shoes/accessories budget under control because I have to match fewer items.
    For indoor wear I dont buy it at all. I just use free t shirts and hoodies I pick up at tradeshows. Those last me years… basically Last few years I barely had any clothes to recycle or throw. Using an app that tracks your purchases really helps keep count and your money in the bank, not in the closet.
    However I did have to buy lots of kids clothes, mainly because they outgrow them sonfast and because the 2nd hand market on that hasnt been great.
    This Christmas we have a moratorium on “things” presents and instead doing “experiences”, especially those that include service.

  35. A t shirt from China (with seams that don't twist!) 16E
    Organic cotton t shirt europe (also no twisty seams) 25E
    Recycled cotton t shirt China (no twisty) 16E

  36. I’m always willing to pay more for natural fibers made in Europe or the US, and I really appreciate when brands are transparent about their production. Often I’ll find something I like on a retailer’s website and then conduct an internet search until I find the item second hand!

  37. I don't believe in "organic" so I wouldn't pay more for that. I would pay more for locally produced clothes. Honestly since I live on 500 euros a month and I'm very much engaged with environment protection my policy is to simply not buy new clothes (since I have enough to dress myself properly and have a personal style) or when I do, I buy second hand. If I was sure that the t-shirt is produced ethically and in an environmentally sustainable way and it's high quality in design/material/production, I would pay between 30 and 50 for all of them. I would prioritize local brands.

  38. If not at fast fashion factories, where would poor people in India or China work? It's not like I'm protecting bad working conditions. Don't get me wrong! But you don't see the full picture. Poor people in Bangladesh sleep on the ground, drink and wash themselves from polluted, poisoned with chemicals river! They don't name their children until 10 years old, because many of them don't make it until that age! So it's not a big deal for those people to work at the factory that may collapse. They even take more dangerous jobs like working at salvaged ships which are collapsing every day! What other options do they have? Sorting the garbage is dangerous too!

    Great Britain and France had colonies in poor countries for centuries! They took advantage of poor people in all kinds of ways! How do you know that luxury brands provide better working conditions?! Where's the proof?

    I think, Justine, you should open a better working conditions factory at Bangladesh. I'm sure you can raise lots of money for a good cause like that! Think about it: you can become a Mother Teresa of fashion!

  39. Justin! great video! very very thoughtful and informative. i really do hope that we will be more aware in the future of what we are buying in terms of ethics. in my opinion we should all stop bying clothes from gast gashion brands (zara, H&M, primark etc)

  40. I’ve always wondered if this has just been me, so I’ll share my relationship with fast fashion.

    I grew up in a pretty poor family. We very rarely bought new clothes. What we would do is every few months, we would do clothes swaps across different families (mine, my aunts, cousins, etc). And while it still felt nice to get “new” clothes, I found myself always feeling left out and unable to actually express myself and fit in with kids at school. I wanted so much to wear the clothes they were wearing and I spent a lot of time telling myself that when I grew up I would be able to wear the nice clothes everyone else had.

    But, when I grew up, I found out that the clothes I wanted so badly were all part of fast fashion. As someone who cares a lot about human rights and the environment, I found myself full of guilt. I still liked the clothes they sold, but at what cost would I buy them?

    I wanted to share this because I’m sure there are others who’ve had similar experiences and I want you to know that you’re valid. I’m an adult now but I still feel disappointed that I haven’t grown up to the ideals I had when I was younger. I feel guilty for having this disappointment because to be able to live these ideals would require fast fashion. But it’s okay to feel a kind of loss, it’s valid to not be able to do the things you wanted to. Thanks to channels like Justine’s, we can find better ways to get to those ideals we had without relying on fast fashion <3

  41. You’ve certainly raised my awareness of the deep problems with fast fashion. I need to educate myself more about ethical sources for clothing. Thank you!

  42. These answers popped up in my head.
    1. $20

    Always look at the tag
    If cotton sourced ethically willing to pay more.
    Always going for quality vs quantity. Clothes will last so much longer. I take care of them better. On long term its worth it.
    I also choose second hand clothing.

  43. I would pay more for well-fitting, long lasting clothes, that use natural materials (no plastics). I’d like to see the end of fast fashion. I feel duped by big companies

  44. Unfortunately it’s not just fast fashion that’s ruinous. What about Amazon with their little to no labeling on materials, sources. I like the convenience of Amazon but I wish there was more credibility to their vendors’ claims or Amazon could help us filter on sustainability measures for their products.

  45. I live in Paris and you know how many local shops and designers we have. There are options who are extremely good quality, that you can invest in and keep them for live. You have to avoid trends, and buy classic pieces. A t-shirt from such brands would be 40ish euros. A leather jacket around 400€. A skirt 70€. Boots around 200€. Pricey but the quality is there and you only buy one for a lifetime. I now buy pieces that will be in my wardrobe for years, until they break. Fashion in Paris is based on classic pieces and understated, so it goes hand in hand with a smaller, quality wardrobe. I used to be the type of person who bought pink bomber jackets for 15€ and silly things like that. Fast fashion, not only is it bad but also bad taste! What’s sad, is there already are so many options, but people who struggle with money cannot access them. When, for example, a single mother who is jobless and has 6 children can buy t-shirts for 4€ a piece, I understand why they do it. How would they be able to buy from ethical brands?

  46. People buying in fast fashion is busy every other weekend, always with the excuse that is only 5 euros. I think I spend way less only two times a year few elements to mix with older things and give it a new look. Most of my clothes are still perfect 4 or 5 years later.

  47. I think around £20 is reasonable for a plain t shirt made in Europe. Since watching your videos (and others) I am very particular about the material and the ethics behind the garments I buy. I do not want my money to be paying for tragedies and unliveable wages, and I would much rather have something well made for a long time than something fashionable for 5 minutes. Thank you for making these videos Justine x x

  48. Thank you for the information.
    Looks like the ELITE been for too long getting all easily.
    This is nothing for all the changes that is coming.You're a professional and wonderful.

  49. Simple t-shirt if quality is good and fits good, 30 eur would be my limit. I don't pay too much attention to origin or type of cotton. Maybe I should.

  50. I make my own clothes because I want to use natural sustainable fabrics at a cost I can afford. For example I have just paid £75 for wool fabric with which to make a coat. It was produced and dyed in the uk. It will last years.
    I would not buy tee shirts made in China. I buy organic cotton, or viscose, or linen and make everything to fit my
    One of a kind body.

  51. I see a lot of people commenting about thrift stores, which are my personal favorite only because I'm privileged enough to be studying in 1. Japan and now, 2. London. These places have amazing thrift stores/charity shops which are the only places I've come to shop at. However, my home country, Singapore, doesn't have the privilege of having these amazing stores set up (thrift stores) and because local brands are rare because of our economical and structural circumstances. It's a really advanced country over here; 100% tall buildings and city and all that, but I don't get to enjoy the luxury of thrift stores. I was wondering what your thoughts about people living in countries like these would be? Do you have any advice?

  52. I knew that Justine wouldn't let us down and cover this topic! So sorry I'm a bit late to the conversation.

    When this knowledge first came to light for me, I was a university student who couldn't afford newer clothing pieces anyway. It was sweatpants and hoodies all the way. Thrifting was always a great go-to for me, but lately, (as I'm now a career woman) I've invested in pricier, higher quality pieces where I know the clothes are being made (sometimes even by my own friends). If I can't do that, I usually initiate a style swap with another woman close to my size. Mind you, nothing's Chanel or high-end, but no amount of money can pay for good sense of style. Most of my color palette is neutral anyway so that I can exchange with anyone.

    No solution is absolutely perfect when others are involved. I can't source where my fabrics are being woven if I choose to sew a piece myself, but I don't want to contribute to the industry of fast fashion either.

  53. At the beginning of my fair fashion journey, I would buy fast fashion on clearance, but make a point to wear what I bought as much as I could. Now, much of what I own is either thrifted, gifted, or hand-me-downs. (Though I not all ethically made.)

    Would I pay more for conventional cotton if it meant fair wages for a worker in China? Yes – if I needed it. The same goes for organic cotton in China and Europe. I wouldn't buy something if it doesn't already fill a gap in my wardrobe. If at all possible, I'd rather buy something secondhand than contribute to the fashion cycle, even if a company is sustainable/ethical/transparent. Small steps to take in my journey toward a minimal, natural, lower-impact wardrobe.

    While I want to support brands that champion causes dear to my heart (like Dirty Librarian Chains and literacy), my main concern now is realistic consumption and use of the items brought into my life. (Several folks have already voiced these beliefs in their comments.)

    If anyone's looking for books on fast fashion, you may want to check out [from your library or borrow from a friend]:

    Wardrobe Crisis: How We Went from Sunday Best to Fast Fashion by Clare Press
    This is a Good Guide – for a Sustainable Lifestyle by Marieke Eyskoot
    Wear No Evil: How to Change the World with Your Wardrobe by Greta Eagan
    Magnifeco: Your Head-to-Toe Guide to Ethical Fashion and Non-toxic Beauty by Kate Black
    Style, Naturally: The Savvy Shopping Guide to Sustainable Fashion and Beauty by Summer Rayne Oakes
    *Anything by Safia Minney, though I started with Naked Fashion: The New Sustainable Fashion Revolution

    Reading now: The Conscious Closet: The Revolutionary Guide to Looking Good While Doing Good by Elizabeth L. Cline

    Interested in sustainability and fashion design? Try the Routledge Handbook of Sustainability and Fashion edited by Kate Fletcher

    Source: My experience and recommendations given to me – I'm a librarian at a public library in Massachusetts (and we have a school with a fashion program in the city)

  54. Thank you for covering this topic, Justine! The fall of the giants – both fast and luxury fashion – shows that greed has its consequences. I have to admit that I felt a bit of a happy rush when I saw the title of your video.

  55. I would pay anywhere from 40-150 dollars for any one item – top, bottoms, shoes, jewelry. I know things like coats would be more…btw I watched your video on defining personal style and I’ve never felt more put together! LOVE your channel!!

  56. I think, i'd like to rent kid's clothes. that's a system i'd enjoy using. getting a package every 3 months with a certain size of worn and good quality clothes and repaired and sending back the worn clothes up to then, maybe with the option of buying some of the clothes that became very loved. That is my biggest issue with clothing right now: I do not enjoy buying clothes and am already spending a ton of time on trying to living more sustainable and healthy. Its yet another chapter where i'd need to spend time researching brands.
    I try to buy used clothes for my kid mainly, but i seem to be pretty bad at it. sometimes the clothes are too worn or turn out too thin / the size doesn't match at all – so i go to h+m for my kid. I try to buy the conscious brand but sometimes it is a question of money, if i need to rebuy his whole wardrobe at least every year. I do not profit from handmedowns and moved – i do not have a circle of friends with taller kids. I make sure that our clothes go to people who really need them.
    I am always very, very happy when i find good quality used clothing though.

    For myself i rarely buy clothes. I have a specific style i really love. It gives me joy to hunt for this second hand. For an item i really like, i will pay, what the price is. but i will not get it, if it's not within my budget. I want good quality -if that comes form china or europe, i do not care and i would pay the same. I sometimes bought from chinese sellers and was… 100% disappointed in the quality of clothes. I learned my lesson and will only buy from trusted sellers.

  57. Let's be honest. If you had the option to pay directly to the seamstress in China or Nicaragua $350 for a dress in some kind of "Fair Trade" arrangement, you probably wouldn't do it. You can cut out the 'exploitative' middleman but that just makes you directly responsible for the seamstress's employment and livelihood.

  58. Hi everyone thank you for sharing your thoughts ! I’d like to comment , I’m based in the US, I can empathize for us girls (and guys) who have expenses on budget like our health, home, family etc , years back it was easy I guess to shop a bunch and keep in wardrobe good investment I hope the government and economy bounces back, and women can get equal pay so all women can be empowered to support sustainable beauty , I understand the price value for organic beauty since it’s costly to make it there for the price , thank you for caring

  59. I go 2nd hand or buy the one that fits my style either its F21 Zara H&M TopShop etc as long as it's my style, but I definitely wont buy anything that cost $100 or more.

  60. I love buying pre-owned luxury clothes, accessories and handbags online like The Real Real. I highly recommend them, Fashionphile and yoogie’s closet. What’s better than finding amazing deals for high quality? I’ve found $25 Rag&Bone shorts and jeans and $30 balenciaga pants.

  61. It seems to me that the reason that many people say that they "can't afford" a certain quality of clothing is because they are used to a certain approach to their own wardrobe. That approach does not include classic style quality clothing, well maintained and worn for many years. You really have to know what flatters you and what doesn't. When you know that, you are not subject to the changing winds of fashion, but are rooted steadfast in a certain knowledge of what you like, and what looks good on you. Then you can buy higher quality and fewer clothes.

  62. I watched a horrid investigative documentary about the treatment of workers in the Italian leather industry supplying designer handbags. Mafiosos running unsafe factories manned by low paid (or even unpaid) migrants and a complacent Italian beurocracy too lazy to ensure compliance with health and safety and workers rights. Some of the men lost their fingers in the machinery and/or got beaten up for demanding their pay. Made in Europe is no guarantee of ethics.

  63. I try to buy " Made in USA" brands for the most part and I love Etsy for finding designers who make their own clothing to sell.

  64. I shop second hand and I'd like to buy better quality thats not fast fashion but I don't know where and I can't afford to make mistakes.

  65. This is such an interesting and important topic! Thank you for addressing it in such a thoughtful and heartfelt way. About 20 years ago, I was going through a rough patch, and so started buying most of my clothes second-hand and that has turned into a habit now for most of my clothing needs outside of intimate wear. Lately I feel it's turned into a kind of f-you to rampant, needless capitalism. I tend to wear my clothes a lot, and nowadays I would be willing to spend more for certain high-quality, classic items. I still like thrifting and now I go to a second-hand shop that supports the local women's shelter. A lot of the local "rich" ladies donate their clothes here, so the store has a nice selection of higher end stuff. I have found some nice pieces there! However, I certainly know that "high end" does not necessarily mean "high quality!" I live in a small town in Georgia, (in the States), just FYI. We have a couple of pretty expensive (in my view) small boutiques here, but otherwise, it's a few mall-type chain stores–and Wal-Mart (gag).

  66. I would pay more for well made, high quality clothing from sustainable resources and fair deals for the garment workers. However, I’m unwilling to pay over $40 for a T-shirt, or $100 for a dress. The other issue is that most of the brands fitting that model are not selling in my area, meaning I pay a ton for unsustainable global shipping and import tax. I live in Thailand. I’d love to learn about some awesome local brands selling cotton blend clothes in sizes other than small.

  67. As the US financial war with China continues, we will see additional declines in this market. Consumers will have to go back to paying more for goods….like we did prior to the late 1990s. I for one, welcome it because it will mean China will be taking a hit. We buy too much at lower quality than we used to. Manufacturing has to come back to the first world and it will be hard to get there because we need LABOR. Labor is a twofold issue: we have plenty of it already but many have been taught that labor is of little value (not just financially). Instead they take out huge subsidized loans for college debt that they have trouble re-paying. There is an idea that the first world is too good to labor and must import labor with very dire consequences since this does not pay a wage needed to support anyone long term at this time. We then subsidize the labor and demand a living wage for the laborers on the backs of the consumer (and the “rich”) which adds to the overall cost of the product. But we say we don’t want to pay the cost! And so on and so forth. Consumer attitudes need to change. We cannot support this model at all. The bottom line is that we must all learn to live within our means first, reject the idea of subsidies for the cost of living or education and promote the idea of work. We need values, not cheap goods and an open boarder.

  68. Might be it‘s wrong, but for me the more important question is how many pieces of clothes i prefer to buy per year? (Prices are more dependable on a middle income in a country.) In general, i prefer 2-3 pieces per year, so i prefer quality. So if i have 30 pieces, i change my clothes completely within 10 years. (Of course, in different countries the level of the quality that people could allow themselves would different, and the same could be said about the quantity of pieces. But how many pieces of clothes someone is ready, want to buy, is better. So relative characteristics look more accurate. So i‘m not sure that the price is enough)

  69. I dont think its a sign that fast fashion is decreasing yet, far from that because there is to take into consideration all of the fast fashion e-market wich had a crazy increase over the last decade

  70. I choose to only buy clothes made by Canadian companies who manufacture their clothes in Canada. I have also bought clothes from the Netherlands. I'm happy to pay the higher prices associated with supporting Canadian being paid a fair wage to produce the clothes I wear. My daughter does buy some stuff from large retailers but even she can see the difference in the quality of them vs. the stuff made in Canada (where we live).

  71. It is a terrible shame and the money is going to these criminals allowing slavery in these factories. Disgraceful..but there are so many ignorant shoppers out there not understanding what is going on or even want to learn where this world is going. This is so tragic that these clothes have to be made outside of America. My mom was a seamstress and worked in a was very tiring but unlike those in Vietnam, Bangladesh , etc. Some of these people buying these clothes don't care, but if they were to see these slave shops they would be sick. Thank you Justine for enlightening us to a lot of this. It is all about greed an how rich these filthy people have become.

  72. I don't buy t-shirts, so I'm not sure what it should cost. But when I consider jeans or a great dress, I would expect the item from Europe to be the most expensive because of the higher wages, etc by those workers. In my shopping I don't buy polyester or acrylic, and recycled cotton would pique my interest. The question is would I trust that the recycled or organic cotton from China is truly that and not mostly shredded poly blend being disguised? I'm less likely to believe and therefore pay for that, but would certainly pay for 100% (as I know that by touch).

    As for what I'd pay for said jeans/ dress – ~$30/ item is my budget limit, so I'd likely be getting the item from a secondhand source as I'm sure it would cost upwards of $90 to do right and well, IMO.

  73. I don't think Primark will have as big of a problem as you think. Given how low (comparatively) wages are in the UK and the number of unemployed there are, there will always be a demand for cheap clothes.

    On the other end of the ethical argument. Something promising that has been happening recently is the uptake in independent designers and tailors again that are selling through social media.

    And I make all my own clothes so I don't really know how much. But at a guess I would say about £30 ($40 ish?) for trousers or a top and about £20 for a t-shirt or £30 for a dress shirt. I do have a blazer I brought a few years back for £120.

    And I don't buy recycled as at the end of the day, the cost of recycling doesn't really offset the cost of new enough to be worth the loss in quality.

  74. Around 40euros for ethical and sustainable T-shirt. The thing is I can afford that but I can't afford bigger things like coat from local designer, at least not right now when I am on maternity leave and work part time. See here in Czech Republic even fast fashion stores like Zara or Mango are unatainable for lot of people and viewed as somewhat luxury as our salaries are not as high as in other European countries and these stores sell for even higher prices here.
    I try to shop in Thrift Stores and I have always enjoyed vintage very much, it's just more time consuming so sometimes I give up and buy fast fashion if I need something quickly (baby clothes) then at least I look at the origin of the piece and also consider how much wear I'll get out of it…

  75. It’s got NOTHING to do with the end of fast fashion or people leaning towards sustainable fashion, it’s because of brands like Miss Guided and Pretty Little thing and Fashion Nova are shutting them down.

    List of ethical brands and sustainable brands to check out:
    Independent Fox
    People Tree
    Nps solovair
    Joseph Cheaney shoes
    Dip and Doze
    Living Crafts

  76. I would pay much more for new clothing made in the Europe / US than in China. Clothing should make you feel good, not guilty! And for second-hand clothing, I adore ThredUp!

  77. I’ve started to sew my own clothing. I am moving my wardrobe from purchased items to those I make. There is a pride in wearing your own clothes, and you can tailor them to fit you perfectly. It means less clothes but better quality. I also know that I’m able to finish each piece in a way that I know will last.

  78. hi justine, where i can take a look at your collection? i mean something which is not istagram or Facebook etc.thx for your lessons. bye

  79. Hello, signed in a few weeks ago and am loving it! I'm from Brazil and I study Visual Arts at college. Last year I worked as a saleswoman at a store of a brazilian clothing brand. I believe it is a delicated case because Brazil is such a big unequal country, so the clothes are made and sold here. I worked standing on my feet at the store on hollyday season 8-10 hours a day and received a total (with sales commision) of 950 reais, or about 200 american dollars for the 21 days of work. If that was my condition, at the store, where people can see you, imagine the workers that do more heavy jobs…. Sad, and even so, there are lots of people here that want the end for workers rights! Imagine how it would be!

  80. Hi Justine, thank you for this video…. I will describe what I would pay no matter where have been done as far as the quality is good enough which is for me sometimes also hard to find out…. Because many t-shirts I had got a little hols in the fabric after a second wash (in the same place always) in the tommy area and sometimes I think they had been made in a way to have this defect in order to makes me buy new ones. Is this strange fact happens to somebody else or is just me?
    So for a good quality cotton T-shirt I would pay 30 – 40 euros.
    For a good organic cotton T-shirt I would pay 40 – 60 euros.
    For the recycled cotton t-shit, I'm not sure, maybe you can educate us a bit more about it… Is it worth less or more like the other t-shirts?…. xx

  81. I do look on a clothing label if I am buying. It is dismaying to see how much comes from China. It gives lift to see on the made in Canada, USA or Europe. I would pay the in between price.

  82. Thank you for bringing this to light! I buy nearly all of my clothing second hand, and have taught my kids to do the same. Here in the US, we have so much excess that I have a really hard time justifying buying something new.

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