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Are you becoming increasingly conscious about where your consumer goods come from?

by on September 6, 2013 in Lead story, Retail, Retail News, Women for Women

Big Style Without Big Business

If you’re like a growing number of shoppers, you’re becoming increasingly conscious about where your consumer goods come from. It’s hard not to be concerned when you’re hearing about the terrible conditions for employees in major chain stores.

Shopping local is getting more popular by the day, and people are embracing many different strategies to get the things they need without giving money and support to companies they don’t like. If you like to stay on top of the latest fashion trends, you may wonder how you can shop well and look good at the same time. Depending on your personal style, there are a number of options available to you.

Shop Independent

The easiest option is to find independent designers and specialty shops in your city and patronize them. This is a great way to get slightly ahead of the trends – it has all the benefits of buying from big name designers in terms of hot fashion without looking like you just bought whatever happened to be on the runway this season. You’ll look incredibly chic and on-trend, and yet you won’t match everyone else who just bought the same dress and purse. Local designers are often more interested in creating an ongoing relationship with you and can do custom work for a lot less than you might expect. This is definitely the most expensive option, but it has the potential to be the most exciting.

Shop Carefully

If you don’t have the money to find custom couture in your locality, or there isn’t anybody whose style syncs with yours, you might try keeping up with stores that specialize in inventory liquidation. There are several popular chains like this, but you can also search out smaller, local stores that buy what other stores don’t need. Either way they get the goods by buying up what other stores have ordered and backed out on. This is great because these fashions are often both trendy and hugely popular, but because you’re getting them at a less fashionable address, you save a ton of money. These sorts of overstocks are a grey area in consumer spending because they represent items that were not sold for the profit they were intended to bring, and therefore are not supporting that capitalist system.

Shop Secondhand

If neither one of these options is for you, you probably already have a strongly independent fashion streak and you’re ready to try some more advanced style hunting. Thrift stores are a great place to find inspiration from a variety of eras and styles. Because the clothes are inexpensive, it’s easier to experiment without breaking the bank, and all of these clothes have already been removed from the capitalist market; not only are you not supporting the businesses that originally made those clothes, you’re supporting local charities that often do great work in your community. That’s definitely a win-win situation.

Everybody is looking for a way to be on-trend or even ahead of the latest styles. Putting additional restrictions on yourself like not shopping at major chains can be a challenge, but it can also be immensely rewarding for your community, your pocketbook, and your sense of adventure

photo credit: Anthony Citrano via photopin cc

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