If you have been following along for a while you know that one of my personal goals is to avoid fast fashion. If you aren’t familiar with the term please check out my original post If I’m not Looking it’s Not Real: Fast Fashion for a more in-depth look. Otherwise the brief definition is that fast fashion is poorly made clothing, accessories, or shoes that are sold cheaply by exploiting laborers.
Not only does it basically come down to a form of modern day slavery it also has environmental consequences. I’m just now become more educated on the subject and trying to be a more ethical consumer. That being said I recently ran into a pitfall of fast fashion and I just had to share! It is basically the perfect example of why it is a waste of time and money to shop fast fashion, not withstanding the ethical consequences.
Around November I decided that I needed a new wallet. Now, this was before I started learning about how products were able to be made cheaply (downgrade on quality and sweatshop labor) and I remember at first I was checking Etsy for some cute ones but in my head I couldn’t help thinking, “Ehhhh! They’re so expensive!” I had yet to purchase one when my husband and I stopped at Spencer’s to do some Christmas shopping for his brothers. That’s when I saw it… an adorable The Nightmare Before Christmas wallet.
This wallet to be exact.
I was super pumped! First off I love the movie The Nightmare Before Christmas! I think we can all agree on that. Second, I dug the design. It was a little different then what you normally see with its sort of watercolor splash art design going on so that appealed to me. Thirdly, it was only like, twenty bucks! SOLD!
I bought this wallet and skipped merrily off into wallet owning bliss. Blissful I stayed until about four weeks later when I started noticing my wallet was slowly bursting at the seams.
So what, I thought, a little wear and tear is no big deal.
Then about four weeks after that the trim literally came of the edges.
Irritating sure, but hey the wallet was still useable and I did only pay twenty bucks for it.
Fast-forward to two days ago when I opened my wallet and this happened….
DO YOU SEE THIS?! IT IS LITERALLY IN TWO PIECES! Do you know how embarrassing it is to go to pay for something and have your wallet break into two pieces right on the counter? Pretty fucking embarrassing.
I got this wallet three months ago and it’s completely busted and it’s not like I’m chucking it around or something! I take out of my purse, make my purchase and then put it back into my purse. End of story.
Now that I’m a more educated consumer I can see that I feel hook line and sinker for a fast fashion trap. I saw an item I liked and bought because it seemed like a good deal. Then three months later it broke. Now if I didn’t know how this little system worked where do you think I’d be right now? You got it. I’d bitch a bit to my friends about my crappy wallet and then I’d go right back out and by another wallet and find myself in the same situation a few months down the road.
The cycle would just repeat itself! Meanwhile these fast fashion companies are making bank. They’re severely underpaying their poor sweatshop employees, buying the cheapest materials possible, and then forces their employees to work insane hours to make ridiculous production goals in order to pay everyone but themselves below bare minimum. Then they keep the rest to themselves with that added bonus that you’ll be back shortly because they know their product is going be ruined in a pretty short amount of time.
To add to that where does my now destroyed wallet go? In the trash. I’m not crafty! I can’t make something new out of it. I can’t recycle it. It’s completely busted so I can’t give it to a resale store or pawn it of on a friend. All I can do is throw it in the trash and admit that not only did I use my money to support a bunch of dickheads but now I’m contributing to our planets growing waste problem. Talk about a fail.
However hopefully some good can come from this! One I have a story to share that will hopefully remind everyone about times where this has happened to them with their fast fashion choices and together we can make more ethical choices 🙂
Two it helped me to find a place to find a new wallet where I can buy guilt free! I went back to Etsy and looked around for some wallets and I found a pretty badass one! I discovered the shop HOLDFASThandbags and ordered this super adorable Skull & Rose wallet.
The shop is located in California and is run by Miss Randi. She designs, drafts the patterns, sources the material, cuts the fabrics, sews them, photographs them, and ships them to your door. Basically she’s a one-woman show! She has excellent reviews so I feel confident these babies are built to last, keeping things eco-friendly, and I have no worries that I’m exploiting slave labor! The perfect purchase!
Including shipping and handling I spent $65. 30 on this wallet and I will have to wait about a month for it to get to me (it takes about 2-3 weeks to make plus shipping time) but honestly that’s not that bad at all! I’m getting a handmade quality item so it’s going to be more expensive but that’s a good thing. It’s a good thing because it means I am paying a fair price for the work she is putting into making this item and I’m covering the costs for better materials to make a quality product. This way it won’t be breaking in three months!
As soon as my wallet comes in I will be doing a first impressions post so stay tuned for that! Until then I hope you comment below with any of your fast fashion fails! I know I’m not the only one!!!!