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Goodbye High Street...

Updated: Dec 11, 2020

The latest in a sadly increasing list of High Street brands to go into administration is the iconic Topshop, which bowed out of the race on 30 November 2020. This threatens all of the other brands owned by the Arcadia group, including Topman, Miss Selfridge, Wallis, Outfit, Dorothy Perkins, Evans and Burton. This also threatens 13 000 jobs, not ideal at any time but least of all during a pandemic. Unfortunately they follow a long line of "heart of the high street" brands to close down over the past few years.

The New Face of Fashion:

I must admit, I am an advocate for the high street. Theses "trusted" brand names are trusted because they have stringent quality control and are aware that if the clothes don't fit then they don't sell. I remember my days of browsing Topshop after work everyday just to feel the vibe of the place! The rise of the online-retailer is what is eating the hight street. However it only took one purchase to make me realise why some online stores were so cheap. The sizing was not consistent over different styles, the fabric and finish was cheap, straps broke or seams ripped. I have also altered clothing for clients from certain online stores and was not overly impressed with the make. The fit wasn't great and thread was mismatched. Maybe I am old-school, maybe I am even out of line. I buy clothes maybe once a year as I often make my own, and I freelance for the suppliers of these big stores so I may be biased, but I do think there needs to be some form of regulation for online retailers. Also I appeal to anyone that if an item of clothing isn't right, please take the time and return it. I know many people like myself, do not like to leave a bad review therefore leave none at all, but I would at least return the item or email the supplier my concerns so they have incentive to improve.


Some say the big brands which have crashed were relishing the lime-light for too long and took their eyes off the ball. They did not move with the times and with shopping habits. That may be true; it is difficult to move fast when you have set ways of doing things and when there are so many directors to seek approval from. Smaller companies can be more fleet-footed and trend focused but because of this, maybe it is the consumer who is now too spoilt for choice? I think what used to be trends are now fads. Trends would filter down from the catwalk and couture shows then a few months later would be interpreted by high street brands as the new 'hot" colour or silhouette. The trend seems now (for the youth market at least) is that something will be "in fashion" for a couple of weeks, then items are binned or sent to the charity shop and the new fad will hit. That's the new nature of young fashion, but I hope that the trend of sustainably sourced clothing made with care will continue to rise and spread.

Vote with Your Money:

To coin a phrase from the brilliant Holly Tucker,"vote with your money". It is the consumer who has the power. Brands need you to buy and continue buying their product. I believe that most of us have learnt during this pandemic to shop wise. Let's help online retailers to progress and become better. Encourage what works and help improve what doesn't. The High Street has been changing for years but so have our habits. It was in the late 90's that I first heard the phrase "cocooning", describing a coming trend of working from home and for lounge-wear or athleisure. I am not sure that the trend forecasters predicted just how prominent online retail would be. Who doesn't like ordering your clothing (or food!) from your home and having it delivered to your door. This is not a new shopping preference but is one we can help improve. Vote with your money, always support local if you can, be kind and uphold standards.

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