Pri-Marni; Disposable fashion

Sunday, May 23, 2010

A new phenomenon is upon us; disposable fashion. Fashion of the moment bought at a low price, worn a few times, and thrown away because it was so cheaply made to begin with.

Those that like to shop, and have been to some parts of Europe, will be aware of a shop called Primark that has surged in popularity in the last few years. My friends and I affectionately call Primark ‘PRI-MARNI’ (Primark Armani). Primark is an Irish clothing retailer, operating in Ireland, UK, the Netherlands, Germany, Spain, Portugal and Belgium.

Primark is best known for selling cheap clothes at practically giveaway prices. The reason for such low cost has been questioned by undercover reporters researching cheap labour in India and illegal immigrant labour in the UK. However, Primark claim low prices are due to no revenue cost in advertising; word of mouth is enough for the clothing retailer.

Last year, on a visit to the UK, in the midst of the ‘economic downturn’ I went to a shopping centre in the north of England. I stopped via my previously favourite stores to have a browse; River Island, ZARA, Topshop, etc. I did find however most shops practically void of customers. Then on my way out, a quick stop via Primark and all my questions were answered, shoppers have taken to disposable fashion in a big, big way. The changing rooms were heaving with customers trying on popular clothes quicker than Clark Kent changes into his superman outfit, and queues of people at the checkouts with baskets of apparel. This was mid week; I dare not imagine what it would be like of a weekend?

How cheap are we talking? T shirts for £1. Gold flat shoes for £3. Combats for £4. Second hand prices for brand spanking new!!! I had a quick look online for Primark’s current Spring 2010 collection, and have noticed a recent price increase, but still easy on the purse. Check out this cute outfit above from the collection. Printed playsuit £13 with a Chanel-esque plastic chain strap bag, £6.

As a result, the UK has seen unwanted clothes being dumped in landfill increase by 30 per cent, which has been named the “Primark effect”. With the UK government urging shoppers to take cast offs to charity shops.

More on that story here

But who can blame the general public for choosing the disposable fashion option? Hey I am no saint; if I lived in the UK I’m sure I’d be buying a few clothing items from Primark too, but I’d be sure to give clothes to charity once I’m done with them.

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