Why is the high street struggling? How do you find your high street shopping experience? Does the prospect of shopping inspire you or fill you with dread?
I keep reading these reports about the struggling high street and it made me think about my own shopping experiences, where I often feel it’s difficult to find anything interesting. Items that would be of good quality and stand the test of time and trends. Items that would actually fit me well and look good and fresh as well as work with different outfits, making them versatile.
What do large high street retailers offer?
This made me ponder on what the large high street retailers actually offer their customers. Is there anything new and inspiring? Are there any quality classics that would last? It feels like all the shops are just offering a slightly different take on the same trend. Like everything is just the same old with constantly decreasing quality and fit in ever increasing fast fashion cycles.
Is it e-commerce that is making the large high street retailers struggle or is the issue more complex than that? Have they just not moved on with the times? Are we actually starting to see a change in the way we view fashion? Do customers want something better than what is on offer?
The large retailers make the headlines but they are not the only ones struggling
It’s not only the large fashion retailers that are feeling the difficult times, many independents seem to be struggling as well. And many local high streets are doing all they can to keep the independents and the high streets going. Many towns have started groups to support each other and promote business. I think this is great and shows initiative and effort to keep our high streets alive.
There are many different kinds of independent shops and boutiques needing our love on the high streets across Britain. And I think we should show them our love and shop local where we can.
Do you prefer small independent boutiques over large fast fashion retailers?
I love looking around in small independent fashion boutiques and see what they have on offer and how it differs from those large retailers. What often strikes me is that wherever you are in the country mostly the fashion boutiques all stock the same brands.
So if you as a customer prefer shopping in boutiques what is it that you are looking for and what do you value? Is it the specific brands? Is it the wish to find something different? Are you looking for quality? Does it matter to you where the garments are made? Does sustainability matter to you? Would you like to find some more unusual or less known brands offering something different alongside the well-known boutique brands? What do you see as value for your money?
How does the culture of fast fashion impact your shopping experience?
Disappointingly, the UK government didn’t feel the need to take any of the suggestions onboard.
You might wonder why I’m including a link to the issues around fast fashion in a post that is talking about your high street shopping experience? The answer – these issues are very much linked.
This trend of throw away fast fashion is not only an issue because of its environmental and human cost, but also because it is one of the reasons why we struggle to find good quality, well fitting clothes that would last and stand the test of time and trends. Because the quality of the fabrics and the work around the fit of the garment have had to make way for cheaper prices, greater profits and faster fashion cycles.
Can we change anything?
But how do we change this? Can we as consumers change our buying habits and force retailers to change their approach? Can we help the high street become relevant again through our buying habits and messages we send out? Or will the high streets as we know them just die out? Can we start buying from brands that are more sustainable and ethical? Brands that have an ethos and some values.
We strongly believe there needs to be a change in the industry itself. This is why we create British made slow fashion. Designed and made to last.
Only you can decide where your priorities are when it comes to fashion and your shopping preferences. But it may be worth your while to take a minute to think about what you are buying and where from. Whether it be large retailers or small boutiques, choose retailers and look for brands that match your views. Sometimes, looking a bit further afield can also be the game changer in your shopping experience and turn it from something that fills you with dread to something more inspiring.