SmartGlamour sells fashionable, affordable basics – but so do a lot of retailers – what’s the difference? And why the different cost? Why is it important to shop from fair trade, body positive, home grown small businesses?
Let’s take a look at a specific product.
The basic pencil skirt.
SmartGlamour offers the Allison Pencil Skirt in cotton/spandex and rayon/spandex jersey for $30.
Forever21 offers a similar pencil skirt in nylon/rayon/spandex jersey for $11.80
So why pay more money for a similar skirt?
Let’s first take a look at the size options. SmartGlamour offers sizes ranging from XXS-6X (a 00 to a 38)- and the price does not change, as it often does when sizes range into “plus sizes.” Forever 21 offers a small, medium, and large – which spans a 4 to a 12. Want to order this skirt in a plus size? You can’t. It’s not offered.
Aside from the size issue – it is fairly well known that Forever 21 (and many other mass market stores) copy their designs straight from other companies. Now – a pencil skirt is a pencil skirt is a pencil skirt – but Forever 21 specifically has confidentially settled over 50 law suits with designers and companies who have accused them of stealing their intellectual property. They tend to avoid copying from very large brands – and instead target smaller designers – because it will more easily go unnoticed. “..designer, Virginia Johnson, who saw a knock-off of one of her skirts for sale at Forever 21; when her lawyer contacted the company, “he learned that the company had a policy in place for just such scenarios. They would pay Johnson 10 percent of the $40,000 worth of skirts they said they had sold. When Johnson rejected that as too low, they offered $9,000, which she accepted. ‘I was surprised how matter-of-fact they were,’ she says.” “
If this weren’t enough of a reason – let’s take a look at the most inhumane fact of them all – the treatment of the workers who actually manufacture the clothing. After a labor law suit in 2001, US factories employed by Forever 21 – they moved a lot of their production to Asia – and we all know the negative working conditions attached to overseas factories. At the factories still left in the US – specifically California – their workers are paid to sew by piece – instead of by hour – and are reportedly making 12 cents per piece! At that rate – it would take 67 vests an hour to make minimum wage.
On top of all this is quality. Forever 21 garments, and garments from similar companies, fall apart quickly. The customer shrugs it off – as the piece only cost around ten dollars to buy in the first place – and so we throw it away and replace it. Think of all the waste that creates. No one takes pride in their clothing because their clothing is disposable.
At SmartGlamour – we create well made, hand crafted, garments that are still inexpensive – that are inclusive of every size – that come from original designs – and that put you, the customer, in control. You can customize anything to your liking. You create your clothes to fit your body and your life. And you still don’t break the bank. These are quality fashionable basics – and both their silhouettes and the way that they are made – will never go out of style.