Everything is not what it seems. Especially at the mall. When you walk into each store you get a different shopping experience. From the price tags to the service of sales people, each store gives off specific feelings that stick with each customer until the next time they take a trip to the mall. Whether its Balenciaga, with its intimidating employees and luxurious merchandise, or PacSun with it's discombobulated displays and groovy music. We were on the hunt to find to see if stores actually follow their code of conduct or if their employees are even aware of it. In Anthropologie the employee was very straight forward and didn’t stutter when informing us of their distributors, but American Apparel was on the contrary; when we approached the sales person she attempted to show us a dressing room and informed us of the current sale, when we finally asked if she knew their factory worker’s hours, she hesitated and said, “I don’t know, 9-5?”
Now we gathered that there are many different kinds of employees; the ones that answer your questions, lie to your face or the ones who could simply care less. We encountered all of those while trying to find the truth behind the sales rack. Now what do you do when you're done with your purchases? Most people donate their clothes to charity or certain thrift stores. We explored Goodwill and purchased very usable items of clothing with an attractive price tag (four items for under 12 dollars). Although Goodwill has great intentions, and you feel geat for donating, you're actually doing something harmful to the environment and other people overseas. I know donated clothing is a great factor for disaster relief and it serves a purpose for many peple here at home as well, but 90 percent of the clothes we donate get "dumped" in countries like Haiti, Cambodia and across the Continent of Africa. The clothes that get placed in those countries are totally arbitrary. As we learned in the film, "True Cost," the clothing is a burden to the citizens of Haiti and other place. Ever since the wave of cheap clothing from the USA, sewing jobs dwindled. This led to families in debt and foodless tables. We know that this is not the intention of Goodwill and other charities. It's a symptom of the fact that the Goodwill store we visited in Honolulu receives donations from over 300 people on a daily basis. That's more than they can distribute locally. The root of the issue is the fact that there is so much clothing to begin with.
As a group we learned that there are different shopping and fashion environments. Throughout this trip, we became more aware of our clothing choices and how the overall environment of a store affects our feelings in our shopping experience. For example, snobby employees made us feel intimidated and annoyed, whereas open and friendly employees made us feel comfortable and happy. What we took away was a new found respect for sweatshop-free brands and a craving for fixing our clothing intead of continuously donating it.