‘Forever 21’ turns out not to be forever’

Known for on-trend items sold at really low price

Alexa Gray , C.K McClatchy High School

Forever 21 is one of the biggest fast-fashion brands but since 2015 its success has declined sharply. The store was hugely popular in the early 2000s but now it apparently isn’t fulfilling what consumers want.

Customers complain the stores are messy and some of their items are questionable. Customers can easily go to similar retailers like Fashion Nova and avoid the mess of the stores.

Observers say the retail industry is changing and Forever 21 hasn’t adapted. They claim the chain has lost customers because people often turn to online stores first and spend their money there instead of at traditional physical store.

Online retailers offer trendy fast fashions similar to Forever 21 at low costs but they are a lot more convenient for shoppers. They are accessible from everywhere and have user friendly websites while visitor to Forever 21’s website say it mirrors its messy stores.

Forever 21 was hit hard by the immense success of online retailers and couldn’t change fast enough when it needed to. It didn’t change the designs that weren’t popular and not selling and they didn’t offer a better online shopping experience to visitors.

Forever 21 is known for producing the most on-trend items and selling them at a really low price. The Los Angeles Times reported that their prices are kept low from using low quality materials and sweatshops.

According to the Los Angeles Times, even in Los Angeles, workers make clothes in less than ideal conditions and are paid below minimum wage. It should be illegal in the United States, but Forever 21 managed to find loopholes in laws.

In my opinion the company sacrifices the well being and fair treatment of workers in order to keep their prices as low as they are.

It isn’t surprising that Forever 21 announced bankruptcy because so many other once popular stores have closed or are struggling–stores like Toys R Us, Payless Shoe Source, Gap, Top Shop and Sears all struggled and couldn’t compete with online stores.

“I personally don’t have any strong feelings towards the bankruptcy. I don’t shop there often and when I did, I felt like their products were cheaply made.

“However I will be hitting up any bankruptcy sale,” said McClatchy junior Lily Foster.

Accorrding to the Los Angeles Times, Forever 21 also loses money from their unethical practices. The TImes reported that they have been sued by many workers who never received their full pay.

See https://www.latimes.com/projects/la-fi-forever-21-factory-workers/

Forever 21 were also recently sued by Ariana Grande who claimed they were using a look-a-like model to make it seem like she was endorsing them.

See https://www.nytimes.com/2019/09/03/arts/music/ariana-grande-forever-21.html.

Junior Nikkie Lee said “The bankruptcy doesn’t really impact me because I don’t shop there that much anymore. I used to shop there a lot because it was really cheap but obviously its low prices are because of low quality, unethical resources, and sweatshops. I think it’s good that another fast fashion company is being stopped because fast fashion is generally bad for the environment. I stopped shopping there and started shopping at thrift stores to be more eco friendly.”

Lee said she realized that Forever 21 is not the best company to support and has looked to other shops to find affordable clothes.

Junior Lily Brown also turned away from Forever 21 because of their practices. “As they were a shop designed to quickly follow trends, it doesn’t surprise me that they came out of business as trends shifted away from the sort of fashion they made,” she said.

“Their business practices and ethics simply not good and so I stopped shopping there in eighth grade. I think their bankruptcy is a sign that the market is shifting more towards long lasting sustainable fashion.”

Forever 21 has faced rejection from its target audience because there is more awareness of exactly how their products are made and where they come from.

Younger people are becoming more aware of the dangers of fast fashion, which include unfair treatment of workers and unsustainable sourcing. A lot of them have turned away from fast fashion and are instead going to thrift stores to find affordable clothes. Forever 21 is the latest victim of this trend.