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Blog: Shopping the Aussie way

After moving to London from Melbourne in Australia, I am finding the high street shopping culture quite an eye-opener.
An average Saturday afternoon in Primark on Oxford Street reminds me of our once-a-year Boxing Day department store Sales – crowds that spill out of the doors, people carrying huge shopping baskets brimming with inexpensive bargains, and queues for the cash desks that wind across the shopfloor.

It is quite a contrast to the scene I have left behind, where independent boutique stores are popping up everywhere and are proving increasingly popular among fashion-savvy shoppers. The more obscure the store name, the harder to find it is (many are hidden down alleys or in basements) and the greater the obscurity of the designers on offer, the better the store performs.

Consumers enjoy seeking out something individual and obscure, to ensure that no-one will turn up to an event in the same outfit. Local fashion designers have become revered mini-celebrities. Their names are well known by inner-city dwellers and their collections coveted.

Both styles of shopping have their merits. The high street offers the thrill of the chase, the boutiques a sense of discovery. What do you prefer? Answers via the button below.

Readers' comments (2)

  • you've answered your own Q.........Primark, Oxford St IS UK fashion at the mo............unfortunately, the brains of the UK populace are all mudged up with trans fats and processed foods.They truly believe that they look fantastic clad in an assortment of acrilan / polyester...they believe (because Grazia said so) that a £14.99 poly frock copied from Balenciaga (for example) is as good as the original......and in a size 22.

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  • Sadly for us all the phenomenon of buy today and throw away tomorrow has now become deeply embedded in the UK consumers psyche.
    The very fact that one may be seen in exactly the same outfit as someone else is what drives the UK young fashion market, the whole thing fuelled by some kind of tribal instinct to look exactly the same as everybody else.
    Unfortunately this consumer cares little that the product they have just purchased may condem some unfortunate factory worker in China, India or Bangladesh to a life of abject poverty.

    When will our consumers wake up to the fact that this is simple exploitation both of them and the poor souls who make this stuff.

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