Hello everyone. I am Lizzy’s husband, Andy. I thought it was high time for me to write an article for my wife’s blog.
Since I retired from public service and became disabled recently, I decided to get involved with helping at my wife’s store. Honestly, 3 years ago when she started this venture, I didn’t know the difference between a top or a tunic, but I learned fast. I also learned differences in clothing. Such as, but not limited to, brands, material make up, quality and care just to name a few. I have come to a conclusion, quality is a BIG characteristic when it comes to clothing. As with clothing, just like any other product you purchase as a consumer the old saying still holds true “you get what you pay for”.
I enjoy sitting back and listening to comments of customers that come into the store. I for one think it is very therapeutic with my disability to interact with them. In fact, both my wife and I thoroughly enjoy interacting with them. Also it is one of the many benefits of my wife not being an absent business owner.
One of the many comments that I hear from customers, either old or new, is the quality of the clothing we carry. My wife prides herself in carrying quality ethically made clothing. Ethically made you ask? I will get to that later in the blog. She still, however, manages to purchase clothing lines that fit most budgets and still hold their quality workmanship. I hear her say often: “quality vs quantity” and she never enters the realm of “fast fashion”. What is “fast fashion”?, I had to look this up for myself.
An article written by Audrey Stanton, a Freelance Content Manager and Creator with a Focus in Sustainable Fashion in a Newsletter called “The Good Trade” defines “fast fashion” as:
“cheap, trendy clothing, that samples ideas from the catwalk or celebrity culture and turns them into garments in high street stores at breakneck speed. “
So, in reading this and other interesting articles on this “fast fashion” craze, in summary, this clothing, shoes, accessories are made rapidly with low quality materials in order to bring inexpensive clothing to the public. Ok… sounds good? Here are the problems. Inexpensive? You may be paying $40-$45, maybe lower, for a piece of clothing. However, because this clothing is made rapidly, (mass produced) cheaply and with low quality materials, the merchant is purchasing these for probably $3.95-$5.00, sometimes lower per piece and marking them up at least 10 times. Rapid-Mass Producing? So, they are making so many of the same item, people will start seeing themselves coming and going. I know what you’re saying, the merchant needs to make money but, you’re paying for a piece of clothing that when you wash it 4 or maybe 5 times will fall apart. I guess the choice is yours, buy a quantity of clothes or quality clothes, the choice is yours.
I also learned that retailers that carry “fast fashion” are not concerned too much about the Fair Trade Act, which is dedicated to monitoring ethical and sustainable practices of manufactures of many different products that are produced everywhere. Some of these practices are, but not limited to are: free labor compared to paid labor, child labor, working conditions (sweat shops) etc.
This is just the tip of the iceberg and there is so much to learn as a merchant other than, buy, price, put out for sale, sell or put out for reduced sale if it doesn’t sell. I know for a fact that my wife cares about her customers and the clothing she sells to them. That is why before her clothing gets a Lizzy’s price tag, she researches where and how the clothing was made. Most importantly, was it ethically and quality made. Stop in and feel the difference and don’t be afraid to ask questions, regardless where you shop. Always ask where and who is making what you purchase. Don’t forget just as myself, we learn something new every day.