Some brands’ predatory behavior a threat to small businesses

Photo courtesy of Aaziah Rhy owner of TLZ L’Femme

Everyone knows that anticipation of huge sales, major discounts and full online carts during black Friday and cyber Monday. With companies like Pretty Little Things, Fashion Nova, Nasty Gal and Shein having discounts up to 99% off, small business could be at risk. 

Fashion Nova, one of the leading sellers in the world of fast fashion, has been accused of sealing ideas from multiple small clothing businesses. Small Black business owner of TLZ, L’Femme, Aazhia Rhy, is one of the most recent scandals regarding Fashion Nova. Rhy’s claim that her dress idea was stolen for the Megan The Stallion collection with no credit or contract, and her company was directly affected and experienced a loss in sales since her design was used.  

“Very much inauthentic!” “Very much so fake!” Rhy wrote on Instagram. “Me and other designers that have also got their stuff stolen, we get the short end of the stick,” she said. “I have to say something, I have to speak up because you aren.t going to disrespect me and thing that s**t is okay.” 

With the new collaboration being released right before the holiday season and bringing in $1.2 million in less than 24 hours, all eyes were on the site. As days passed the company continued to have 80% off along with their typical 30% off sales, and smaller business are at risk of seeing no return during the holiday season. 

Companies are setting up for new collections and the new year, and many want to clear stock as soon as possible. Pretty Little Things broke its website once it took to Twitter to announce a 99% off sale. Clothing items and shoes as low as 50 cents filled so many carts but did not make it to shipping. 

“It kinda messes up the game for clothing companies that don’t have their own factories,” said Emmanuel Childs, owner of Maison de Mykial. “Not having the capability to output as much as fast fashion especially if you operate in the same realm, is frustrating.” 

The typical small business is run by a small team or even one person. When all effort and cost are exhausted during the year, many look forward to the holiday season to supplement sales. With the need to offer sales that draw in customers, owners see no profit — only promotion.

Because Gen Z is all about sustainability and supporting small and local business, many took to social media to make sure. Many larger accounts made posts that called for others to promote their small business. They also were spreading awareness about companies that use slave labor, underpay workers or even use extreme working conditions helped to bring attention to others.