A while ago, when I had to make an unexpected move out of my rental home and eventually into the home I own, I was confronted with a mountain of fast fashion regret. I had piles of barely worn clothes from Forever 21, H&M, Delias, and Gabriel Brothers (which regularly gets overstock from Urban Outfitters, American Apparel, etc.) that seemed hardly worth my time, trouble, and soon-to-be very limited closet space. Instead, I sorted out the garbage, the stuff worthy of donating, and the few pieces worth selling to Avalon (the local Buffalo Exchange type store), and made myself vow to avoid the lure of cheap but short-lived fast fashion thrills.
I rationalized that there were many reasons to make this change. The quality is often lacking in the fabrics, the seaming, the longevity of the silhouettes, etc. The labor practices are dubious at best and downright inhumane at worst. And the stores are so ubiquitous that the pieces are usually instantly recognizable to other fast fashion shoppers.
Still, I occasionally allowed myself to indulge. When I had a gift card or when I found something really interesting, but too trendy to be worth a more significant financial commitment I would turn to fast fashion in a pinch. And I have a few pieces that continue to serve me well. A coat from Zara. A few necklaces from Forever 21. A couple of easy dresses from H&M. I am not opposed to these stores, per se. I just needed to cut down on the volume in my life and in my closet. The fastest way was to cut myself off from these places that encourage gluttonous hording through their reasonable price points.
Until this past weekend I was doing well. It had been almost a year since my self-imposed fast fashion ban. It became surprisingly easy to avoid shopping these stores since I rarely go to malls.
That ended at least in terms of accessory shopping, after deciding I needed to up the level of ridiculous in my everyday outfits. I opted to incorporate Blair Waldorf style headbands into my repertoire after admiring them from afar for a while.
For such a silly, trendy item, I needed to get an inexpensive fast fashion fix. Headbands aren't the place to invest in fine, natural fabrics and high quality. I was surprised by the range of choices available in the store and on the Forever 21 website. Head pieces were in stock for those who wished to only moderately adopt an undeniably silly trend, featuring a tiny barrette-sized bow and for the very bold who, naysayers be damned, happily channel Izzy Blow in their day to day life.