When we talk about fast fashion, it's unavoidable to hear people say that we need to change our mindsets and shopping habits. But this isn't a responsibility that lies only at the consumer's feet, but also with anyone who sells clothing. This includes retailers, small independent brands, charities, second hand shops etc.
This is not a drill and it's not a bargain!
Companies need to look at how they acquire their customers. When I first started building BHUBESi's website, there was a ton of options for different templates with different features. The theme we went with promised to increase conversions and at first look, it seemed awesome! Who doesn't want more sales?
Whilst building the site, I soon realised that I don't want to push people into impulse buying an item, just because the website says someone else has it in their basket. Or because there is (seemingly) a sale on. There are so many little tricks that web shops use, to encourage you to buy something you might not want or need.
These are some of the tactics used to increase sales that websites use:
X items sold in the last X hours = "This must be popular, since other people are buying it. I should buy it too!"
Hurry! only X amount left in stock = "OMG, I need to act fast before it sells out!"
Order within the next X hours/mins and get it before X = "I really shouldn't be considering this for too long. If I buy it now I'll get it tomorrow. Otherwise, I have to wait a whole day more."
X real time visitors on the site = "This is a really popular site. I should trust it too since other people are trusting it."
Spend X amount and get free shipping = "I really should find one more item, so I can qualify for free shipping. Even if I don't want or need it."
(and the classic) - X% off = Yes! Bargain! Must buy now!
All these tactics are not meant to encourage conscious shopping. Even lots of brands advocating for a change, even brands with eco friendly production methods and materials, still put on sales to shift old stock. Of course we all want to sell or we'll be out of business, but maybe the focus should be on what people need longer term, rather than the latest fashion that only lasts one season.
I cannot find one good reason for a sale, other than for companies to shift stock they cannot other get rid off and encouraging the consumer's bargain mindset. Instead of marking it down, maybe look at how these items can be used differently. Maybe repurposed, donated etc.