Let's Trade: Forever 21

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Before I started learning more about thoughtful consumerism, Forever 21 was my jam. $4 tank top? Sure! $2 for 6 sets of earrings? Why not! Clearly though my love of Forever 21 came to a screeching halt when I learned about their long list of labor abuses both internationally and domestically.  I first became aware of labor abuse after hearing a speaker at a human trafficking conference share on the subject. She was an investigator with the California Department of Labor and I remember feeling shocked learning that labor abuse was happening literally right above me while I was shopping in the garment district in downtown L.A. After her talk I asked "So where shouldn't we shop?"  which I now know is a basically impossible question to answer. After a few helpful and politically correct answers she lowered her voice and said  "all I can tell you is that I'm getting really tired of seeing Forever 21 tags on the floors of sweatshops in L.A. It's always Forever 21". And really I wasn't surprised. Don't you ever wonder how they're making that stuff SO cheap?  Well the super sad answer is that it's by abusing people. And we won't even talk about how they have bible verses printed on the bottom of their bags because that just makes me wanna punch someone in the face. For God so loved the world...but apparently Forever 21 does not. So before I get carried away (HA!) let's talk about the good news shall we?! You can still find your favorite uber trendy pieces at stores that are committed to treating the people who make the items fairly! A word of warning: remember that Forever 21 can be so cheap because of how things are being produced so their crazy crazy low prices can make the thoughtful version seem outrageously expensive. I would argue that the fair trade, ethically sourced price is actually much closer to what the item should cost and it's going to last A LOT longer. Undoing our addiction to throw away fashion is really a topic that needs to be addressed separately but please know that I get it. It is really difficult to think differently and even though I write this blog it's something I continually struggle with. Heck, I struggled with it just being on the Forever 21 website putting this post together! I know that putting Forever 21 on blast breaks some type of fashion lover code of honor so please feel free to comment below (or email me if you're really pissed) and let's continue the conversation as a community.

The item on the right is the thoughtfully made one. 

Dress:  Annie Greenabelle Cleo Dress - I know you planned on wearing this with tights and a turtleneck right?

Rings: A Peace Treaty Sidra Rings - major price difference but also guaranteed to not turn your finger green. I want almost everything in their store.

Scarf: FashionABLE Etanesh Scarf 

Bag: O My Bag Little Frankie

Earrings: Hovey Lee Athena IV - so cute