“There have been upwards of twenty cases of online shopping in my Devlin 008 night class,” says a concerned geoscience student. “I’m worried for the sake of their grades and pockets. I wish we had a resource center I could refer them to for this.”
With prices as low as $10 for a Forever 21 blouse, it has become impossible to ignore the urge to continually add to the wardrobe. A few sleep-inducing lecture classes per week contribute to this ongoing obsession. As most Boston College students know, it’s a challenge to maintain interest in a natural science core class, regardless of the subject. Some kids prefer to pop in their earphones and blatantly watch Netflix. A few diehard rock lovers pay attention the entire time. The rest of us prefer to scour the internet for trendy dresses and good deals. It’s a hobby, it’s a distraction, and sometimes it can be a problem. We can’t stop, we probably won’t, but perhaps we should.
My own dorm closet and dresser are overflowing with clothing I bought on a whim in college. Most of it doesn’t result from boredom in class as much as it does from my retail therapy excursions with friends to the Newbury Street Forever 21. I leave with a bag of clothing I like but don’t love, feeling guilty for spending any money at all on clothing that won’t last. The time is arriving for us chronic shoppers to cease this throwing away of money and be open to its better uses.
Consider how minimally the factory workers making the cheap clothing must get paid for the company to make a profit. A Los Angeles factory worker said she was paid 12 cents a piece to sew vests that sell for $13.80. At that rate it would take 67 vests per hour to receive the minimum wage of $8.
Think about all the great things you can do with the money you just threw away on a whim. What about a trip to Shake Shack with the friends? A regular burger is about as much as some cheap camisole. You also get the thrill of walking the scenic route there and burning off a fraction of the burger. Exercise, nourishment and a night out on The Street: what a great package deal! So what is the moral of this story? Next time we consider buying more unneeded clothes on a whim, get a ShackBurger instead.