Ever pick up a tunic from Forever 21 for $15 and wonder just exactly how it could cost so little? Art Box Diary turned us on to a little video called The Story of Stuff. Using a $5 radio from RadioShack we are taken on a journey around the world to discover just why this little radio is so cheap. It turns out to be a parable loosely based on an aphorism popularized by science fiction writer Robert Heinlein and economist Milton Friedn: "There Ain't No Such Thing As A Free Lunch." The concepts of TANSTAAFL refers to the opportunity costs of any given activity. In order to get one thing cheaply something else has to be given up. But what exactly is being given up hmmm if we aren't the ones paying the cost? That is the story of stuff in a nutshell.
What does this mean for fashionistas? Well we like to think its a perfect reason for buying luxury goods over fast fashion. But wait you can't a good pair of designer pants? Think again. We don't really need to own dozens of pairs of pants that fall apart season after season only to be replaced with the newest and trendiest cut. Just buy one great pair of basic pants and focus on getting the best price to value ratio you can. You will not only be cutting down on extraneous consumption but you will have a much better wardrobe for it.
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