Critics attack PrettyLittleThing for 8p sale

Last week, online shopping giant, PrettyLittleThing (PLT) sent shock waves through the fashion industry by announcing a 99% off Black Friday sale that saw dresses on sale for as little as 8p.

Unsurprisingly, lines sold out within minutes and many shoppers were left disappointed. However, others raised concern at the clothing brand’s questionable commitment to fast fashion. 

Shoppers were left stunned on Friday when the online shop slashed prices on all its items to a fraction of the original. Most pieces were on sale for less than 10p, far eclipsing the likes of most high street sales. Fashion fanatics surely made the most of it, with one purchasing £600 worth of clothes for just £6. 

Others were reportedly “fuming” after arriving at the sale only a few minutes late to find many items sold out. In response, PLT added yet more items to it’s 99% off drop with a spokesperson saying the brand saw “record numbers on the website.”

So, it seems that PLT have truly embraced the Black Friday spirit and they are not alone. With the event growing in size and extravagancy every year, more and more brands are hopping on the bargain bandwagon, hoping to make the most of the public’s desire to stock up on Christmas presents and find an unmissable deal. News outlets, such as The Mirror, have even begun to offer live updates as to where to find the best sales. PLT’s never before seen price slash is surely the result of growing competitiveness surrounding the last weekend of November. 

Some have criticised the brand for promoting fast fashion – the rapid production of cheap items of clothing, often for a one-time wear basis. Kerry Bannigan, founder of the Conscious Fashion Campaign, told The Guardian that the sale “plays a role in the destruction of ecosystems and increased pollution.” Most fast fashion items are made entirely of synthetic fabrics, such as polyester, which are manufactured from fossil fuels. This is why the fashion industry contributes to 10% of the global CO2 emissions every year. 

However, PLT cannot be accused of complete environmental unawareness. They have recently launched “Recycled by PrettyLittleThing” in an attempt to combat unsustainability. The brand’s website claims to “rework unwanted, worn out materials and give them a second chance,” producing garments made entirely out of recycled fabric.

Other’s wonder how the brand can possibly be making profit off the sale of 5p items, and nod to the recent controversy surrounding PLT’s parent brand Boohoo. The clothing outlet was found to obtain most of their stock from exploitative Leicestershire factories, where workers were reportedly paid less than £3.50 an hour. There are worries that PLT’s huge Black Friday sale is only fuelling this exploitation.

A spokesperson for the brand refused to comment on the criticism surrounding the sale but added that the brand “wanted to offer something competitive and understand people may be spending less in what is usually the festive shopping period.” Certainly, the Black Friday event as a whole comes as a relief to consumers and businesses alike, who have faced financial strife during the coronavirus pandemic. 

PrettyLittleThing’s Black Friday sale surprised everyone, excited some and disappointed others. Equally extravagant price cuts will inevitably follow in the coming years as brands battle for the public’s attention in an increasingly consumeristic world. This extremely popular weekend is not going anywhere anytime soon. 

Image Credit: Metro