How My Textiles Class is Changing the Way I Shop

By Casey Nyhus

When we were children, we didn’t have to worry about shopping for our own clothes. We didn’t have to worry about the quality, quantity, aesthetic, and functionality of our clothing because that was only a concern that our parents had. Our young teen years begin the start of the desire to shop to be able to express our individuality and personal style for ourselves.

Stores like Forever 21 and H&M, among other fast fashion retailers, tend to be appealing to young people of this age because of their affordability and trend-focused merchandise. It’s way too easy for teens who don’t know much about shopping to get into the habit of shopping at stores like these without paying attention to the quality and functionality of the clothing they purchase.  I know that I was affected by this trend of unsustainable shopping when I was younger, and it wasn’t until late in high school and college when I started to worry about the quality of my clothing.

This quarter, I’m currently enrolled in a textiles class in which we learn about the fibers that different types and calibers of clothing are made out of. Learning about the quality of these fibers has really opened my eyes to the way my clothing is produced and how much it costs to do so. Each week, we have to bring in clothing pieces that are made out of different fabrics to analyze the fibers and then discuss what they would be used for in the industry.

Learning about textiles and doing these activities has made me curious about whether the cost of my clothing reflects it’s actual quality. Now, when i shop, I stop to determine whether what i’m actually paying for is worth the markup i know it now has.

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6 comments

  1. Casey,
    I took textiles fall term of this year and this article definitely related a lot to how I felt as well! Doing all the activities in class and learning about all the different fabrics and how they were made, definitely changed the way I shop. I can relate a lot to this article and I really enjoyed reading it!

  2. Great article! I used to love shopping at HM and Forever 21, but just to realize their products do not last long. I noticed HM and Forever 21 attract customers by low prices and the variety of designs. For that reasons, their materials are not durable. Eco-friendly is perhaps not HM and Forever 21 main concern. This later can hurts their sale since environmental movements are getting more recognition that many brand like Stella McCartney is bringing in Vegan Leather.

  3. This article opened my eyes to do some research on the brands of clothing I like. It’s true that some clothing might have a good price but not good quality. There’s also times where it’s the other way around, like high priced clothing with bad quality. Just because it is a good name brand doesn’t mean it always has good quality. Getting an actual feel for the fabrics and looking what there made of can really help through the buying process.

  4. Textile definitely plays a major part in fashion, it is true that teens shop a lot at fast fashion stores like Forever 21 and H&M because they don’t have much money and they are not conscious on how unsustainable it is. I used to shop at these fast fashion shops a lot as well when I was in high school and I am a lot more conscious about the quality of the clothes I am buying today. This article is a simple and straightforward for people to understand textile when shopping in the store.

  5. This was a great article!! Recently , I have been thinking more about where I should purchase certain items of clothing. I do love H&M, but I constantly notice that their jeans fade very fast. It is easy to get wrapped up in fashionable clothes that are very affordable. However, quality is just as important. I am going to continually think about that when I shop from now on.

  6. This is a great article. Thinking about the quality of the clothes you purchase is very important. Recently, I have become more aware of the quality of clothing I buy. For instance, I notice that H&M jeans fade very quickly after washing them multiple times. It can be easy to fall for clothes that are affordable and trendy. However, they will not last very long. Textile in clothing is something that everyone should think about when shopping.

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