From a girl that has been in love with fashion since an early age but can’t afford high fashion yet, Forever 21 was my go-to store for the latest trends to a price I could pay (or get my mom to pay).
For people involved in any way in the fashion industry (manufacturers, suppliers, wholesalers, buyers, retailers, etc) the birth of online stores and the impact it was going to have on the long term over the retail industry was not more than a study case. It was almost prognosticated but no one really believed stores of the magnitude of Forever 21 could fall because of the internet.
“Not all people prefer to buy from the internet”, “no one will beat Forever 21 prices”, “the small retailers are the ones that are going to suffer” and many more were the statements I used to hear in my fashion courses.
But it happened, sooner than expected.
How is that possible? Let’s talk about the new trends on the fashion industry that took down Forever 21:
The fashion industry is one of the most polluting industries in the world and stores like Forever 21 are the ones that contribute the most.
The problem? The clothes are so cheap that we don’t think twice before buying, much less before throwing them away. I invite you to visit any thrift store and you’ll see the amount of Forever 21 pieces people get rid off!
Millennials and Centennials are much more concerned about taking care of the environment which are precisely the target customer Forever 21 is looking to sell their clothes. Basic math, 2+2=4
If you are purchasing a piece of clothing that has traveled the world to get to your hands, and you are paying 2 dollars for that piece, how much is the person that made it was paid?
And we are putting aside the fact that most of the factories are not suitable for people to work there.
New online stores AKA Fashion Nova, have found the way to be faster and cheaper than Forever 21 and don’t need to invest on huge stores as F21 does.
Quantity Over Quality
We are concerned about individuality. We prefer a more unique look rather than be dressed the same as everyone you walk by on the street.
If you are a F21 customer you know that this situation has happened to you before.
On top of that, no matter how cheap you purchased something, if it’s going to get damaged after the first time you use it you feel you are throwing away your money.
King of Replicas
One thing is to get inspiration from high fashion designers, another way different is to replicate what others had put their money and time into.
Forever 21 has been sued many times of replicating designers. These styles were exactly the same, just without the logo. Not fair!
My personal experience…
I used to be a huge consumer of Forever 21, whoever has been following me since the beginning knows I used to post A LOT of outfits wearing Forever 21.
After educating myself about the impact fast fashion retailers have over the designers I follow and the industry in general, I started to think it twice before buying from them.
Many times I would feel really bad purchasing an outfit from them knowing it was damaging so much people, all while they kept producing more and more without even “trying” to be a more sustainable company.
Also the stores were always overpacked, which made them overwhelming for me.
After all, I don’t wish harm to this business but the fact that the company is filling bankrupcy is a clear view that we are getting smarter as consumers and that we are just demanding what is fair to demand from a company like Forever 21.
No affordable clothing deserves my world: