The 'Chanel Supermarket' (PFW Fall-Winter 2014/15)

In life, some decisions are harder than others. Today’s economy warrants a new attitude to shopping. Whether you are buying a new cocktail dress, gym gear or doing the weekly groceries, we are all looking for the best bargain. Sale signs delight our eyes and guide our feet through decorated aisles of temptation. We all work hard for our money, so the question we ask ourselves, "Is it better to invest in good items that will withstand the test of time, or cheap items that can be replaced quickly?"

Why is cheap so cheap?

Cheap prices are often the consequence of the unethical exploitation of cheap labour markets and extremely weak environmental legislation. Sadly, these cost cutting methods carry on to the integrity of the finished products.  Some say, “I can’t tell the difference?” Wear it enough and I assure you, you will! Wash a low-quality top a few times and it starts to fall apart at the seams, while a high-quality garment can be laundered a hundred times and still look new.

Cheap shoes hurt your feet, cheap wine makes you sick and cheap accessories will fall apart. With respect to such items, we tend to not care for them as much as something that cost us an ‘arm or a leg’. This only adds oil to the fire. The cost of replacing, mending or altering these purchases, not to mention the valuable closet space they take up, is more expensive than the seductive sale sign suggests. The cheap stuff is only cheap for the manufactures. For the people and the environment, it often seems we are getting more then what we bargained for.

 Rihanna, Cara Delevingne & Joan Smalls shopping up a storm (Chanel PFW Fall-Winter 2014/15)

Rihanna, Cara Delevingne & Joan Smalls shopping up a storm (Chanel PFW Fall-Winter 2014/15)

Quality over quantity

We all know buying expensive clothes will not buy style, you have to earn that, but which option presents the better value for your money? At LJS we believe that quality over quantity is something that is not only wise economically, but it's also eco-friendly. Purchasing the cheaper option is always tempting as delayed gratification is a challenge for most people. Rather than making small purchases often, we should try to make more expensive purchases occasionally. Delay your satisfaction and let it build up like an orgasm waiting to happen. Over time you will build a little discipline and a wardrobe to be proud of. If you don't love it, don't buy it.

Is quality worth the wait?

A dress that is made with pleasure is a pleasure to wear. It’s that human touch and connection to the garment that is missing from factory production. Quality means the manufacturing is more expensive. So with handmade or personalised items, you pay for the labour of love. Of course LJS does not recommend that you make a blood oath to never buy “cheap” clothing items again, but as a general rule, aim to become more aware when you're shopping next. Think about the people, the process and the place it came from. You deserve a well-crafted, properly fitted garment that is ethically produced, and your budget is only an excuse if you let it be. 

So save yourself the heartbreak that a bargain might bring. Where possible, by quality goods that you are proud of, because over time they often prove to be more economical than those low-cost substitutes!

Written by Tee Noah (Contributor)
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