Teen Fashion and Crappy Quality: Do They Have to Go Together?

It seems that whenever a brand becomes highly popular with mainstream teenagers, the company starts to lower its quality standards, using inferior fabrics and shoddier workmanship.   The company then floods the market with these poorer quality products, while keeping the price point at its previous level.  (I am not going to name specific companies, but I am sure you know or suspect some of them.)

This is not right.  It is unfair to teens (I hate the implicit assumption that the kids will not notice the poor quality) and it is unfair to the people who pay for their fashions (whether it is the kids themselves or their parents).

I understand that the corporations want to strike while the iron is hot, and maximize profits before the inevitable fall from the heights of popularity, but sometimes these companies end up going out of business because they lose their long term core customers, who are disappointed and never return.  (Been there, done that, will no longer buy the t-shirt…..)

I think a better solution would be for companies who experience the surge of teen popularity to manufacture a line specifically targeted to teens, and keep the original eponymous products at a high standard.  This way, teens who purchase the original products are exposed to a good quality item and may become life-long customers of the brand.  Some teens will buy the ‘teen version’ to satisfy their need to be part of the current fad.   There is one company I can think of (no names!) that has been around for a century or so; that has long been known for the quality of their products; which has a subsidiary company (very popular indeed) which is aimed at the teen market.  Kudos to them!

In general though, it seems that brands which experience sudden teen popularity fade very quickly. They don't remain in business for a long time.  This doesn’t make good business sense to me.

But I am not a manufacturer.  And I am not trained to put ‘short dime’ profits ahead of ‘long dollars’ (company sustainability that is based on quality and ethics).  I believe that ethical companies can do it right and no one has to lose out.