Who Pays The Price For Your Clothing? The Cons Of Fast Fashion

Who Pays The Price For Your Clothing? The Cons Of Fast Fashion

Discover the effect your shopping habits have on the world and what you can do to change them.

As I was walking through Neiman Marcus the other day searching for items that were comparable to Forever 21 for my previous article (here), I was thinking about the concept of "fast fashion" and its positive and negative attributes. It certainly allows the mainstream consumer to participate in current fashion trends without spending thousands at a designer or department store. However, I've found the drawbacks to fast fashion heavily outweigh the advantages. So, while Forever 21 may have cheaper alternatives, it's worth looking into what you are actually paying for while you're there.

A fast fashion garment has a short product life cycle, meaning that factory workers in economically disadvantaged situations work in poor conditions to create a product that is considered disposable. The quality of fast fashion garments isn't even comparable to that of designer garments or quality clothes that are priced slightly higher than fast fashion–something almost every fashion student should be familiar with if they've watched their favorite F21 top unravel just a month or two after purchasing it.

Although places like Forever 21, H&M and Zara used to be my go-to stores, where $50 could go a long way, now I'm looking for more ways to enjoy fashion and slowly expand my wardrobe without breaking the bank or contributing to fast fashion.

So far, I've made an effort to be conscious and thoughtful in my purchases, as well as shopping around vintage and consignment stores to give clothing and accessories a shot at a second life, so it doesn't end up in a landfill before its time. If you have any tips on avoiding fast fashion while still looking stylish on a college budget, feel free to leave them in the comments below, they would be much appreciated.

Your job as a responsible consumer is to educate yourself and know the details of what you are consuming, and then decide if it falls in line with your moral beliefs. Personally, I don't believe others should be put at a disadvantage just so that I can buy cute clothes for dirt cheap. To figure out what you value and be knowledgeable about your choice, I recommend watching The True Cost, a documentary about the impact the clothing industry has on our world, to understand your choice a little better.

Cover Image Credit: Spa Medical

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20 Small Tattoos With Big Meanings

Tattoos with meaning you can't deny.

It's tough to find perfect tattoos with meaning. You probably want something permanent on your body to mean something deeply, but how do you choose a tattoo that will still be significant in 5, 10, 15, or 50 years? Over time, tattoos have lost much of their stigma and many people consider them a form of art, but it's still possible to get a tattoo you regret. So here are 20 tattoos where you can't go wrong. Here are 20 small tattoos with big meanings. (But don't blame me if you still have to deal with questions that everyone with a tattoo is tired of hearing!).

SEE RELATED: "Please Stop Asking What My Tattoos Mean"

1. A semi-colon indicates a pause in a sentence but does not end. Sometimes it seems like you may have stopped, but you choose to continue on.

2. "A smooth sea never made a skilled sailor."

3. Top symbol: unclosed delta symbol which represents open to change. Bottom symbol: strategy.

4. "There are nights when the wolves are silent and only the moon howls."

5. Viking symbol meaning "create your own reality."

6.Greek symbol of Inguz: where there's a will, there's a way.

7. Psalm 18:33 "He makes my feet like the feet of a deer; he causes me to stand on the heights."

8. 'Ohm' tattoo that represents 4 different states of consciousness and a world of illusion: waking (jagrat), dreaming (swapna), deep sleep (sushupti), transcendental state (turiya) and world of illusion (maya)

9. Alchemy: symbolizes copper, means love, balance, feminine beauty and artistic creativity.

10. The Greek word “Meraki” means to do something with soul, passion, love and creativity or to put yourself in to whatever you do.

11. Malin (Skövde, Sweden) – you have to face setbacks to be able to go forward.

12. Symbol meaning "thief" from the Hobbit. It was the rune Gandalf etched into Bilbo's door so the dwarves could find his house.

13. “Lux in tenebris” means “light in darkness.”

14. Anchor Tattoo: symbolizing strength & stability, something (or someone) who holds you in place, and provides you the strength to hold on no matter how rough things get.

15."Ad Maiora” is translated literally as “Towards greater things.” It is a formula of greeting used to wish more success in life, career or love.

16. A glyphs means “explore.” It was meant as a reminder for me to never stop exploring.

17. "Aut inveniam viam aut faciam," meaning roughly, "Either I shall find a way, or I will make one."

18. Lotus Flower. It grows in muddy water, and it is this environment that gives forth the flower’s first and most literal meaning: rising and blooming above the murk to achieve enlightenment.

19. The zen (or ensō) circle to me represents enlightenment, the universe & the strength we all have inside of us.

20. Two meanings. The moon affirms life. It looks as if it is constantly changing. Can reminds us of the inconsistency of life. It is also symbolizes the continuous circular nature of time and even karma.

SEE ALSO: Sorry That You're Offended, But I Won't Apologize For My Tattoos

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I Wear Makeup For My Damn Self, So You Can Stop Asking Why I'm Wearing It

May we all kill the notion that I spend hours of my time doing my makeup for anyone but myself.


As an avid makeup enthusiast, I cannot tell you how many full faces of makeup I have worn out in public or even just in my own home, only to be asked: "What are you wearing so much makeup for?" The question has always irked me and made me feel as if my makeup is only a way to show off and not worthy of being appreciated within itself. Makeup is something I do for fun and I'm tired of being made to feel bad for wearing it without a reason to.

I discovered my passion for makeup in early 2017. I had known before that I enjoyed experimenting with what few makeup products I owned, but it wasn't until I stumbled upon a few makeup vloggers on Youtube that I realized that I wanted to do more than just mess around with cheap eyeliner and remain an amateur. Watching so many talented people share their craft with the world and create amazing looks, paired with the influx of new products that resulted from a changing community, made me realize that I wanted to take makeup more seriously. It started as a hobby, something I enjoyed doing for a special occasion. But as I experimented more, discovered new tricks and continuously learned more and more, my love for it grew and it turned into something more than something I dabbled in...it became a passion.

Makeup, for me, is a release.

I've been artistically inclined since I was young, but mediums like drawing or painting tend to wear me out and quickly become frustrating due to how involved they can be. A painting or drawing can be anything you want and I have always preferred being able to take something already done and make it my own than to pull out something original. I find that I am strongest when I am building and molding something to my own tastes.

I am a fan of immediate results, and drawing or painting just isn't enough for me. The quick satisfaction of completing a makeup look is the kind of instant gratification that I enjoy. Makeup is very rarely frustrating or annoying. There are certain steps to a makeup routine and I enjoy the structure of it; I can try new looks and push myself, but still know what the next step is. I can expand on something already developed by a community and that allows me to express my creativity without starting at block one. Structured routines give me guidelines to follow or disregard as I please, and that is where I thrive. The endless possibilities are what truly pull me in--this community and those within it are always experimenting and feeding off each other to push limits and explore new trends.

As you can probably tell, I love makeup a lot. I love doing it on myself, I love doing it on others, and I love it in any other capacity I can get it. It takes a lot of practice and time (SO. MUCH. TIME.) to perfect the way I do it and I'm proud of that. It's a stress reliever and a confidence booster all in one. I take pride in it.

So, if you ever see me and decide to ask "who are you wearing all that makeup for?" Let me save some time and give you the answer: my damn self.

Cover Image Credit:

Alexis Mills

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