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Shame on you, Forever 21. Put people before profits!

Forever 21

In case you needed another reason to skip the fast fashion, Daily Kos has shared some shameful news about Forever 21’s latest money-saving tactics.

Forever 21 announced  last week that it was going to be shifting all of its full time store associates to part time to help cut back on costs. That might sound like a small change – just a few less hours per week, right? – but going from full time to part time also means that those employees are losing their benefits.

Forever 21 Benefit Cuts Hit Employees Hard

Daily Kos posted a copy of the letter that Forever 21 sent to all of their full time employees. You can click here to read it. On top of cutting their hours, employees are losing:

  • medical benefits
  • dental benefits
  • vision benefits
  • FSA benefits – a program where you pay in pre-tax to an account that you can use for medical expenses. This is another one that sounds small, but I can tell you from experience that it makes a big difference when large medical expenses pop up.
  • disability insurance
  • paid time off

The company is “generously” going to pay employees for any unused paid time off, a small consolation for someone who has just lost thousands of dollars in annual pay and benefits.

The real kicker to this story is that Forever 21 was never in financial trouble. These cuts are clearly a case of corporate greed. They have more than quadrupled their net worth – from $1 billion annually to $4.5 billion – in just a few years, and that was before these deep cuts that affect some of their lowest-paid workers.

It’s shameful, and the best way to tell Forever 21 that you don’t agree with this move is to stop giving them your money.

Forever 21 Alternatives

It’s kind of a bummer though, right? Forever 21 has cute clothes! I know. I have a few things from Forever 21 in my closet, I’ll confess. But! You can still stock your wardrobe with cute clothing without shopping there. Here are some affordable alternatives:

  • Synergy Organic Clothing makes beautiful skirts, dresses, tops, and accessories.
  • If you’re looking for a lower price point, try Velvet Leaf.
  • Shop vintage! You can look for vintage finds on Etsy or at your local thrift store. Need some thrifting tips? Maria has you covered!
  • Make your own. You can buy patterns and sew some of your own clothes, or you can alter pieces that you find at the thrift store or that are already in your closet. Check out these ideas to refashion your wardrobe!
  • H&M – If you’re determined to shop at a fast fashion department store, H&M is a much better choice. They’re integrating organic cotton into their line, and they give full-time benefits to their workers. Even part time H&M workers can get medical benefits along with some other benefits.

What about you guys? Does this news make you want to ditch Forever 21? Where do you find ethical pieces for your wardrobe?

Image Credit: Creative Commons photo by Rajiv Patel

Written by Becky Striepe

My name is Becky Striepe (rhymes with “sleepy”), and I am a crafts and food writer from Atlanta, Georgia with a passion for making our planet a healthier, happier, and more compassionate place to live. My mission is to make vegan food and crafts accessible to everyone!. If you like my work, you can also find me on Twitter, Facebook, and .

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