As the market becomes more and more saturated, products are becoming mass produced and less unique.
Although there are many issues, such as workers rights and materials used, the bottom line is that quality is being traded for cheapness and at a strikingly high cost. Many high label brands are producing quality items, only to have similar brands mimic them with the stripped down, cheaper versions. The underlying problem with this is not only that typically these products are made in unjust ways, but that supporting this, contributes to the overflowing landfills that are detrimental to our well being. There’s a spanish saying; lo barato sale caro literally translated to “the cheap is more expensive.”
This saying simply captures exactly what is happening to the shopping behaviours of many people all over the world. Cheap products with an extremely short lifespans are being produced and bought. Days later, they either break, get worn out or stop working correctly, thus forcing you to buy a new product. Essentially, we’re buying products at a cheaper cost, only to turn around and spend the same amount of money again when it breaks, hence the saying.
But, what about when we end up buying the perfect item? You know, those jackets that zip just perfectly, or those shoes that last you through countless city tours. The clothes you put on that actually make you feel good, and the products that actually work again and again. Buying quality products is a multifaceted choice that will always save you the frustration and you know, result in the products actually serving their purpose. Although, considering the markets are oversaturated with cheap product after cheap product, it can get extremely hard to sift through everything, not to mention overwhelming.
So, here’s a few tips that will make 10 times happier with your purchases, and a lot less annoyed about the fact that lo barato sale caro.
Probably 90% of our mothers would agree that when it comes to clothing, you’ll know a good piece when you see one. I mean, they were the ones who grew up with the good quality high-waisted Levi’s, or the proper knit sweaters (no surprise that all the thrift shops we’re gawking over are filled with these).
So, when it comes to identifying quality in your clothing, you have to think like your mother (..well a mother that sews at least). What comes with a sewing based mind? Well, if you’ve ever tried to sew anything, you’ll quickly realize the difference in quality. Firstly, take a look at the material. Ask yourself: is it good quality? Check the tag and see how many other materials are mixed in, especially synthetic.
Secondly – check to the patterns. If you’re looking at a striped garment, pay attention if the extra care was given to make the stripes meet up at the seam. If not, chances are it’s not made well. Typically, if your patterns are matching and your cut should be on the right track. How to tell if your cut is right is to pay attention to how it fits. If you hold a maxi skirt up on a hanger and it flows beautifully, and then you try it on for size and realize that it pulls it weird places, there is one of two problems. One: the design is not correct. The designer did not allocate enough room for someones body parts, like shoulders or a booty. Or, two: they cheaped out. Using the minimal amount of material typically indicates that these clothes are cheaply made.
Another indication is the small details, such as thread and buttons. Isn’t it a pain when your buttons fall off? Then, you need to search for the exact thread to replace them – if you’re lucky and still have the button. Using cheap thread, or not including an extra button on the washing tag is a sign that the company didn’t have the budget for this, and therefore probably producing at a cheaper rate.
Same goes for zippers. If you’ve ever been in a textile store, you’ll see rows and rows of just zippers. Why? Because the quality ranges grately. So, a bad quality zipper is a good indicator that paying $300.00 for that jacket may not be the smartest idea.
Now, the amount of products on the market ranges an immense amount. So, let’s just break it down to materialistic products without services attached to them – you know, those actual things you use in your everyday life. Like a water-bottle, phone case or toothbrush. Since you use them everyday, they definitely take a lot of wear and tear. You’re going to want to have them last, but how do you tell that they’re going to last when you’re about to make the purchase?
Sometimes packaging can be misleading, along with the sales employee working for a commission on every sale. So, instead – it’s important to think outside the box. Check reviews of the product online, see if people enjoyed it or if they had a bad experience with it. If you have some knowledge about the industry the product is in, check what terminology they use. If you’re on the hunt for a natural toothpaste, don’t buy something that says “made with mostly natural ingredients.” Marketers can be misleading from time to time, only emphasising things that you’d like to hear, but may not be entirely true about the product. If you’re investing in a product that has a higher price point, it’s even more important to do some research about keywords and reviews beforehand.
If we go back to the example of our mom’s Levi’s jeans, we’ll also realize that we are slowly moving away from generations with an impeccable brand loyalty, due to market saturation. Although, with that being said, you can also turn the the other side of the coin and argue that point completely.
When it comes consumer goods that have many substitutes, such as fashion or beauty have a decreasing brand loyalty from their consumers. For example, Levi’s used to be made with denim that was 5cm think, and now it is replaced with stretchy-cotton based denim, but still the same price point. Although, that’s the direction fashion is going. We’re not able to mix materials and fabrics to make our clothes a lot more comfy.
So, why do people still shop at Levi’s with this price point? Not to mention their market penetration strategies, they also offer a 2 year warranty on all their clothes. This is a great indicator, that although the brand is changing with the times and adapting to the market, they still keep their consumer loyalty because they know that their products are good. Brands that have annoying return policies and short lived warranties prove that they know their products are not good, and are brands you want to stay away from.
Here, at the WTFactory, we are driven on design and focused on function, meaning that we offer quality products that aren’t misleading. Quality is our go-to, so we use real materials such as Horween leather, real marble, and Walnut Wood (check our keywords!).
No hassle. No questions. Seriously.