thanks F21, but no thanks

January 6, 2012

a few weeks ago the PR people at forever 21 contacted me to invite me to the opening of their new downtown SF location. they were offering bloggers a discount incentive plus exposure for our blogs if we would come to the opening and choose a few favorite pieces to feature on the f21 blog. i declined the invitation for many, many reasons and thought you guys should know why.

the bottom line is that i don’t want to support a company that exploits people and the environment and is making millions by selling an irresponsibly and poorly made product and a disposable, mindless lifestyle. from countless knockoff and labor violation lawsuits to the bible verses on the bags, unending support of overseas missionaries, and perpetuation of a destructive consumerist culture, the cheap prices don’t justify their actions and are just not worth it.

I LOVE FASHION! i love getting dressed and looking and feeling good. there was a time where i could shop at h&m and f21 for a “quick fix” of something cute. but then i wore it, it felt shitty, it fell apart, and i learned more and more about the politics behind “fast fashion”. now i’ve realized that i don’t need more, i certainly don’t need it faster, and i most definitely don’t need it at the expense of others. refusing to support corporations like this one is just a small step towards a massive cultural shift that needs to happen! we ALL have a choice as consumers and it’s up to us to harness that power collectively to demand and make change- if we don’t buy it, they won’t make it!

i could go off onto a whole point-by-point rant about how much forever 21 sucks and why you shouldn’t shop there, but i’m just here to share information about things that i am passionate about. and this is one of them. so here are some resources if you want to know more about f21, so you can make an educated choice about how you spend your hard-earned $$$! see you at the thrift store!

  • julie over at the frisky does a really great job of breaking the problems with the mass-market fashion industry down in detail in this article.
  • business week offers a deep look into the “fast & loose” culture of forever 21, including the strange culture surrounding their design process; their extreme christianity; and their rapid expansion and explosive growth during the worst economic crisis this country has ever seen.
  • jezebel covers the knockoff situation and how 50+ designers have sued the company, all of which have been settled out of court.
  • there’s even a documentary, made in LA, that chronicles the three year battle of several latina immigrants that led a boycott against the company for unfair labor practices and unpaid wages.

image via sfgate


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5 Responses to thanks F21, but no thanks

  1. Kellie on January 6, 2012 at 9:01 am

    Just say no! Ebay, vintage… and when you must buy new, save up for something gorgeous and lovingly made by an independent designer. Responsible fashion is cool fashion.

    • rrrebecca on January 18, 2012 at 12:03 am

      yes! thanks liz, debi, kellie and all of you guys who responded so positively to this post. this is something we can make a difference on, so thank you for caring and spreading the word!!!

  2. liz on January 6, 2012 at 10:34 am

    Amen, sister!

  3. Debi Alley on January 6, 2012 at 11:56 pm

    tell it! and this is ONE of the many reasons I love you.

  4. J. on August 5, 2013 at 7:08 am

    I am so glad you posted this. I’m 15 and everyone I know shops at forever 21. It’s hard to get it through people’s thick skulls that their “great bargain” is harming others. Thanks again for spreading the word!

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