Uniqlo and H&M Biting In Down Under
You may have heard that Sweden’s H&M and Japan’s Uniqlo are set to open stores in Australia this year. H&M (the world’s second biggest retailer behind Zara) and Uniqlo are both opening stores in Melbourne in the coming months with Sydney stores set to follow closely behind. We may jump for joy now at the thought of H&M collaborations (the brand is renowned for bringing in high-end designers such as Karl Lagerfeld, Mary Katrantzou and recently, Isabel Marant to create capsule collections) and the wallet-friendly price-tags of Uniqlo, but will we really be jumping for joy later?
The success of high-street retailers such as Zara and Topshop have left Australian fashion designers and brands scrambling to re-market, re-brand and generally just re-think their labels in order to keep up. It’s not just the prices they have to compete with but also the high-turnover of trends and styles that these giant retailers can distribute.
We’ve taken the liberty of putting together a short pro and con list of buying from these and other fast-fashion retailers.
One weeks pay will get you pretty far, i.e. the clothes are cheap.
Staying up-to-date with trends has never been easier.
The clothes aren’t high quality so they are likely to not make it past one season or even one go in the washing machine.
Sure that neon sheer lace top looks cool in Cosmo but does it really look good on you? Or with the rest of your wardrobe?
You may be supporting unethical manufacturing. Before you think buy something because it’s a bargain, think about who is really paying the price.
The Australian fashion industry is suffering as a result and every time you shop from a fast-fashion retailer (that let’s face it, does not need anymore money) you are contributing to the decline of an industry that supports local jobs and creativity.
Craftsmanship in garments is lost in mass production.
The main question you need to ask yourself is who would you rather support?
I know not everyone can afford to buy high-end designer garments however there are so many of great high end and affordable Australian labels. So celebrate your individuality by mixing it up and in the process you will still be able to support local creatives.
By Allanah Jansons