When I envisioned starting my own fashion magazine, I had three things in mind: to offer people a platform to voice their own opinions about fashion, a database of outfit options, and most importantly, I wanted to bring attention to local fashion brands and businesses in communities around the world.
We are so caught up with mass-produced brands that we forget the value of buying locally. I have no more patience for coating my rings with clear nail-polish to avoid cheap jewelry metal from staining my skin, or seeing five consecutive girls with the same blanket scarf walk past me.
When you buy local you can feel the love and care put into each piece, as opposed to mass manufactured products predominantly made under unethical conditions. Corporate environments are more vertically integrated, which means that there is a mechanical, emotionally un-invested approach to production and consumption. Giant retailers keep prices down through economies of scale. In other words, they commission work from cheap laborers, they produce them, and sell them for marked up prices.
I know what you are thinking. Boutiques are SO much more expensive than wholesale brands. Logically speaking, in mass produced stores, there is so much product laid out in front of you. If you are like me, you grab twenty different items and end up buying twelve, which sooner or later magically produce holes or loose threads after the first wear. However, whenever I have bought items from a boutique, I have spent the same amount for six quality pieces, which last me a lot longer. Also, if you take the time to look and spend wisely on pieces that will last you a lifetime. Believe it or not, boutiques have sales too!
Beyond economics, fashion is a fundamentally social experience. It influences how we see ourselves, and how we want other people to see us. In a sense, you are what you wear, and in some cases, unique style can save people’s confidence. To avoid looking like everyone else, try looking somewhere else—and you might find that place is not too far away.
Dearest readers, you have two options. Choose wisely.