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    What if...

    ...fast fashion did not exist? 
    This is an interesting question to ask yourself. With fast fashion  I mean: big chain stores that produce trend-on clothes and sell them for low prices. What would happen if there was no H&M, no Zara or Bershka at all? Would this boost creativity or would it be anti-democratic if fashionable items were not available for low prices?

    I came up with this question in the summer last year, while I was visiting Iceland. I went shopping in Reykjavik and discovered the creativity of Icelanders, and their beautiful vintage shops and labels. I felt like I was in fashion heaven. Imagine: a street filled with original, independent stores, that sell the most desirable authentic pieces (the only thing that pinched my dreams were the high prices).

    Iceland is a very isolated island. There exists no H&M in this country; if there is fast fashion, the number of stores is limited. I think the lack of these stores is one of the reasons why Icelanders are so creative with fashion. If there is no H&M around the conrner, you will probably shop at the dozens of vintage stores nearby, right? A lot of Icelanders set up their own shop or label, and just try to do their own thing. (Maybe the creativity of young Icelanders is also related to the fact that there is not much to do on the island; in a country where it stays dark the whole winter, you'd have to find something to keep yourself busy.)

    At the same time, there is one big disadvantage (I mentioned it before): the extremely high prices. I do not have a lot of money to spend on clothes, so at home, a reasonable part of my wardrobe consists of chain store products. If I lived in Reykjavik, I know I would have had way less clothes. If I am honest, I would have to say that I actually quiete depend on those chain stores, and the way they translate runway trends to affordable pieces. It makes following fashion a lot easier for the average teenage girl, and thus helps democratizing the industry.

    On the other hand, independent stores will offer a wider range of clothing and stimulate normal people to get creative with less mainstream clothes. Because we don't want to look all the same, do we? (I witness a fashion face-off almost everyday, because nearly everyone buys their look at the same fast fashion stores.)

    Anyway, to summarize: although the lack of super fashion chain stores may result in a more varied offer in clothing, I do not want them to dissapear entirely. I depend too much on their low-priced trend-on pieces. But I would love to see more independent vintage stores and labels like they are in Reykjavik!


    1. mmmm.. I suppose it would be like in the 18th or 19th century. people with money would have better clothes made, better quality and better designs... people with lower income would still try to duplicate what the higher people in society wear. There would still be like a trend pattern I think.


      1. I agree. But the disadvantages of fast fashion, like the pollution and the exploitation of textile workers in third world countries would probably exist on a smaller scale then. That would be an important advantage.

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      Haley www.instyleforless.org


    thank you <3