The pros and cons of shopping for clothes locally in Egypt

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The pros and cons of shopping for clothes locally in Egypt

Photo credit: Mona Bassel

Thanks to the growing awareness of the negative impacts of fast fashion, more and more young Egyptians are starting to forgo international clothing brands instead of their local counterparts and even thrift stores.

New local clothing stores are popping up in Egypt every day, but what are the pros and cons of shopping locally?

Pro: You will be helping a small business

In general, ethical buying is about giving your money to hard-working individuals rather than the already wealthy CEOs of large corporations. More often than not, buying from a large chain store does not benefit the workers who made them, who are usually very poorly paid and forced to work in terrible conditions.

This concept of shopping for small businesses doesn’t just apply to clothing; consider buying groceries at the neighborhood market rather than large supermarket chains, for example. The owner of the local market (baqqal) will appreciate a sale because it will help her put food on the table and pay for her children’s education. Every little store in any Egyptian neighborhood exists to help a family survive.

Disadvantage: You will pay a little more …

Let’s face it, a small clothing brand can’t compete with H&M when it comes to price, especially if the clothes are of good quality. H&M has large factories and a whole team dedicated to maximizing profitability, when a new store cannot afford such luxury.

A good strategy is to focus on quality rather than quantity; Instead of buying multiple pieces and paying a fortune, go for trendy pieces that you can fit into multiple outfits. It is even better if the garment is sold for a good cause, as in the case of Doodle factory; the merchandise may be expensive, but she tries to help children in need.

Pro:… but you will be unique

Photo credit: Doodle Factory

Starting a new outfit only to find someone wearing the same outfit takes away their joy in an instant. Even if that doesn’t happen, hearing someone say “I have the same shirt!” makes it seem less special.

This is more likely to happen with chain stores that sell thousands and thousands of identical pieces, but it won’t happen with smaller brands because they have limited stock – and if so, that means just that you taste good!

Disadvantage: you might not find your size

Small clothing brands don’t always have the ability to offer a wide range of sizes, or even when they do, some sizes may run out faster than others. In particular, many ignore larger sizes, which is a problem in the fashion industry in general.

It can be frustrating, especially if you’ve already planned an outfit for the room in your head, but it never hurts to contact the brand owners and ask them to keep you in mind when they restock. .

Pro: You will get better quality

Photo credit: Fufa

Smaller-scale clothing manufacturing helps provide better overall quality control, especially for small business owners who aspire to make a name for themselves in such a competitive market. They are more likely to invest in better fabrics and craftsmanship because they can’t afford bad reviews.

Many chain stores focus more on fast fashion and mass production and end up using the cheapest materials possible, which is why they are sometimes able to offer low prices. If the price seems too good to be true, it could end up wearing down by the end of the season. Whatever the destination of purchase, it is important to learn about fabrics beforehand to ensure that a purchase is worth making.

Disadvantage: you will have to buy online

As the world in general turns to e-commerce, most local brands in Egypt rely on online presence because they cannot afford to rent physical space.

The problem is, you don’t have the ability to try on outfits or check their quality before purchasing them, which is why it is essential to check their size charts and make sure they have a fit policy. flexible return. If it’s not a legitimate business, you won’t have a legal leg to rely on if the product isn’t as advertised.

Pro: You’ll make someone’s day

Photo credit: Om Mohsen

Small business owners tend to keep track of every sale, and it is important to encourage young Egyptian entrepreneurs. Take for example handbag saleswoman Om Mohsen, who would be delighted if she made a sale, unlike Aldo’s employee who has no personal attachment to the products being sold.

When shopping locally, you are bound to make the store owner smile and help their business live another day. In fact, this could be the most important reason of all to start buying locally.

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