– FAST FASHION –
a short guide on shopping awareness in the UAE
Fast fashion, like fast food, is just what their names suggest – quick to disintegrate, unhealthy, potentially harmful and low in quality. The life span of cheap clothing usually does not last for long nor offer the quality standards we are looking for. While 70dhs tops and dresses are considered incredibly affordable, they might come at a cost: the life of workers/ the environment. Ignorance is bliss but it’s not an excuse.
When news about incidents such as the Rana Plaza building in Bangladesh was exposed “On April 24th 2013, 1134 people were killed and hundreds were injured when the Rana Plaza building in Savar, Bangladesh collapsed.” (2013, Rana Plaza Arrangement), many consumers decided it was time for a change. Lower consumerism and consumption as well as boycotting sweatshops (that hire workers and underage children for less than the minimum wage) are only some of the things we are able to do at will.
It’s important to get educated on what goes on behind the scenes of high end or daily-wear brands we seem to favor and support so much. It’s time to emerge and stand for the people behind the clothes we wear!
To talk more about my personal experience with some of these brands, I can say that I just feel so disappointed with my purchases – they look good but that’s only before you take them home. Something about the lighting and display might trick you into thinking you’re making the best of choices. Once you buy them and wear them out twice, that’s it; you start considering throwing them out.
I received several gifts purchased from Victoria’s Secret and the only thing I could think of was how cheap that stuff looked. My other experience is with Forever 21, I mean, they always stock up on amazing and affordable pieces that also happen to be in style. And although I take good care of my clothes, the pieces I had from Forever 21 would quickly change color, fall apart or lose their buttons. That’s quick fashion for you. I know we are fascinated with things that look pretty/ have a certain popularity but it shouldn’t come at the cost of other people’s lives.
I made a short list of brands to keep an eye out (available in the UAE):
Brands to currently avoid:
Brands that are currently improving:
Brands that have been labeled as ethical:
On another note: please visit these sources (references) for more information, I have done some research based on some of these sites: Bangladesh Accord, Fashionista, Joojoo Azad, Marie Claire, The Guardian and Business Insider. And while still far from being an ethical shopper, I’m still learning and therefore would like to influence others to do the same. Keep researching and learning ways to avoid sweatshops. If you have questions about how companies run things, you can always send the PR an email – most would be more than happy to answer your queries and clear up any confusion. Finally, if you are curious about brands in general, you can use the websites Shop Ethical and Ethical Consumer to learn more about them.
Disclaimer: The below link may have disturbing content to some viewers. Please watch at your own risk. This is not a sponsored post – all opinions are my own. Featured image is by Daria Nepriakhina