ONLINE shopping is the norm for many of us, but if you don’t watch out it can easily become an addiction.

We can all buy something at midnight and if you are lucky it can be at your door, sometimes within less than 24 hours.

The problem is that customers (hello, me!) are at risk of filling their wardrobes full of “stuff”. It’s kind of like going into a fast food chain and piling your tray with food and leaving most of it uneaten.

I have never been a big shopper, having always preferred quality over quantity but when an ad for a cheapie fashion website popped up on my screen, I went through the choices available and baam! I became fluent in fast fashionese.

For $120 I had nine (yes NINE!) pieces of clothing winging their way to me. It wasn’t ball gown/cocktail party stuff — in fact, once delivered, four were just plain wrong in every way.

And you know what, I actually felt guilty about the waste. These four horrible ‘things’ sat there and were quickly dumped into the closest St Vinnie’s bin.

I had spent my money on crapola clothes that could have bought me one extra special, better quality, ethically-made, something or other.

But at that particular time (and I admit, a further two times after that) I was like a dopamine-fuelled addict. Why stop at one.

It really got me thinking. I wondered why I had done it and it boiled down to one, simple thing. The price of so much fashion is just ultra prohibitive.

I recently bought an Aussie dress that was originally $500 and was on a sale rack for $250. Not outrageously expensive in the greater scheme of ‘designer’ fashion, but hey, when there’s a mortgage, bills, going out and school fees et al, well, you know the drill.

Sure, it was just a crinkly cotton, floaty kind of situation but after just a few wears it is already looking like a rag. And someone was ‘meant’ to spend 500 bucks on it? That’s just ludicrous. And it isn’t even an established brand.

Of late, two longstanding Aussie designer names went into voluntary administration with 52 stand alone stores, 11 outlets and 140 concession stories between Marcs and David Lawrence.

Just yesterday — and while not Aussie brands but with a huge retail presence of 29 stores here — the underperforming Rhodes & Beckett and Herringbone have said hundreds of jobs are going to go. It’s this middle market of fashion that is doing it very tough.

Overall, Aussie designers are a really good bunch. They have their own signature style but competing on global and online stages is getting harder when all these fast turnaround cheapies are being churned out moments after a new ‘trend’ has hit the runway.

And then there are the likes of fashion commentator like me, sitting on the lounge, ipad in hand and credit card in the other.

While I have stopped (yes, I cut it off before it became full-blown) it did make me take extra note of what is really out there. Away from the ease of online.

Names like Zimmermann, Tome, Camilla, Toni Matecevski, Dion Lee, Strateas Carlucci, Camilla & Marc, by Johnny, Carla Zampatti, Rachel Gilbert, Alex Perry, Leona Edmiston, Romance was Born and Martin Grant (who has been based for many years in Paris) are still flying an Aussie fashion flag.

Having spoken to most of them in the past few months, they are all happy the way their businesses are going. But they are putting in the hard yards to get there.

And pricing is still an issue when they are competing with the online cheapies and the fast fashion chains.

What I have learnt through my digression is that quality wins over quantity every time and doesn’t take up as much room.

Source: Online Shopping

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