Whether you are looking for a new pair of socks to buy or an entirely new wardrobe, where you choose to go matters. The store you decide to shop at is a vote for a business, this can be a big chain store like Forever 21 or a local, small business. Depending on where you choose to shop, you could be unintentionally supporting negative business practices. It is an unfortunate truth that many popular shops conveniently found in malls across the country sustain themselves at the expense of human rights and the environment. Big chain fashion stores often practice fast fashion, producing goods quickly and of low quality to perpetuate trends. Production often happens outside of the United States at the expense of workers being paid low incomes and given poor working conditions. Along with fast fashion is waste as a byproduct of manufacturing. They offer products at an enticing price but at a high hidden cost. You can help fight these practices by the way you shop.
Choosing a local business means your dollar is going into the community rather than a destructive chain store. Here in Rochester, there is a small boutique that is really making waves in providing consumers the fashion they want without the ethical concerns. The Op Shop is a locally owned business located at 89 Charlotte St, Rochester, NY 14607 open Thursday to Sunday from 11:00am to 6:00pm. The products offered change constantly as the Op Shop actually is made up of many fashion curators who either have collections made up of second hand pieces or handmake their pieces. The Op Shop takes trendy and makes it available to shoppers without the expense of destroying the environment or taking advantage of workers. On the Op Shop’s website it claims, “our collective passion lie in providing sustainable items”.
So maybe next time you are looking for something check out this innovative business and vote to support a mindful, small business.
Written by Anamaria Flores, class of 2021