December 23, 2019

Unethical fashion: Fast fashion

I thought this would be a timely blog post this week, given that we are currently being drowned with sales and email offers and STUFFSTUFFSTUFF the second we walk into any major retailer. (Also, I've been watching the Netflix series Broken and the make-up episode really made me wonder about all the holiday displays in any store that sells make-up, bath, or body products.)

My initial thoughts on consumerism about Christmastime were completely shaped by our experience last year.

Then, a few Black Friday emails hooked me this year, I'm ashamed to say.

I got this sweater dress from Shein.

I saw it on a blog. It looked super cozy in a blogger's picture and I like options like this for holiday get-togethers because it's comfortable for sitting on the floor, etc. So I decided what the heck... It was $15 with the discount offered and that included the shipping. I never got a confirmation email so I was actually a little worried it just wouldn't show up.
But it did, like two weeks later, so that was fine.

It had a really gross plastic-y smell and wasn't nearly as cozy as I'd assumed it'd be. I thought it was a little itchy and Scott was like Because it's wool and I'm like oh-em-gee, it's not wool, trust me. It was definitely 100% acrylic according to the tag. Scott said it looked like wool. A wool sweater dress isn't selling for $15. I just told him it was really cheap so I figured I'd try it because I'd never ordered from them before. He seemed really confused about why I didn't seem to like it. He usually has no comment or concern or even knowledge of random things I buy, but he happened to be in the room when I opened it.

I think I just felt a little sick over the "fast fashion" aspect of it. It's not trendy, but it's definitely cheap, cheap, cheap. I've had plenty of sweater dresses like this over the years and I often wear them to death so I don't spend a ton on them. But as we were standing there having this conversation, Wells ran by and I said This was definitely made in China...probably by someone his age, pointing at Wells. And Scott helpfully pointed out, No, this was made by machines for sure. And I said Probably right across the street from the Nike factory. He agreed.


All this to say I probably won't order from them again. It's just...I don't know. I believe in buying quality and buying less. But I'm also in a SAHM season of life in which I don't need super nice clothing? Not that I broke the bank as an elementary school teacher, buying good clothes. But at least then I could've justified it more.
I just seemed to need a lot of volume for that job, clothing-wise, so I would often shop J.Crew clearance or Old Navy dresses.
There's just nothing about spending $$$ on a dress that is appealing right now.

But I washed this in the sink and the smell went away and it got a bit softer. It said it was machine washable but I didn't want to stick it in the dryer. That's where cheap clothes go to die.

So I suppose I'll get my $15 out of it after all.


  1. I've been learning I'd rather pay a little more for better quality things. cheap cheap cheap used to work for me when I was younger. Not anymore.

  2. I have a hard time with this, too. One way around it for me is consignment. Maybe that is wrong but I feel better. We have too much in this country and we would be happier with less stuff but ethically and well made. My husband has helped me strive for quality over quantity.


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