This website is depressing

I thought this forum would be a great place to air grievances, help other people, network and guide younger people in the industry. But it seems to be 99% bitching about how horrible this industry is. If it’s so horrible then a) Find a way to create and change the environments around you and if you can’t then b) leave or start a new career. I’m shocked that THIS many people are existing in an industry that is horrible and doing nothing about it. I left my environments until I could find one I could actually affect change in. Stop existing and being part of something that is toxic that’s just complicity.


Well to be honest , I find it refreshing, fashion / retail is grinder of an industry. Its so small that you are afraid to really talk about how you feel/ how you are affected. Finally we have a place to do that. I totally get what you are saying, but maybe try to reframe your experience with the site as hey this is just information.


Depressing for some. Cathartic for others. Informative for sure.

Either way, it is apparent that fashion industry professionals NEED a place to discuss issues, freely.


But that’s the problem. We all should be talking about the industry in informative ways that can actually affect change IN THE WORK PLACE. I do. I refuse to go to work and be miserable all day.


Pretty much every conversation I have had with co workers has been discussed here, in this entire forum, including someone I interviewed with last week, was specifically discussed on one of the topics. This has been insightful and given me view points to think of as I move forward. Thanks so much to grandpoobah for this, the good and the bad.


The only way the toxic fashion companies will change is IF the owners and major stakeholders WANT it to change…let’s not forget many of them are either toxic themselves…I’m talking from Directors all the way up to the business owners. And for the people who are blessed to work within the industry at a company that either isn’t toxic or it’s at least “bearable,” those people aren’t going anywhere…ESPECIALLY the ones who are of the same community, related to or close friends with an influential person at the firm.


@grandpoobah I agree. This has been such a helpful and gratifying tool. I have felt so validated that others are having the same experiences as myself, even if they are not happy and ideal.


This forum has been the best thing to happen to the fashion industry.

Change comes from the top, the owners, the CEOs. Quite frankly they don’t care how they treat their employees because there’s always someone else that needs a job.

At least here we can voice our opinions, tell our fellow colleagues who to watch out for, and share salaries so we all can finally be on the same page.


I agree 100% with this. I’m an employee at a very low level in this industry (because I can’t move up in the hierarchy of jobs - after years and years of throwing myself at my boss with my accomplishments) where I am not influential enough to actually change the industry. I have absolutely NO say in what goes on, what real changes can actually be put into action, and I’m not on the boss-level where the changes take place. As hard as I work, and as much as I attempt to negotiate and get my raises and title changes and job responsibilities taking on hire roles, I cannot. The people above me will not let my voice be heard, which, just like this site - nobody will actually do a thing about all the horrible workplace situations to change them for the better. If I do end up in my boss’s ear with influential words that could truly impact the industry with real change, my words are heard, but it just goes in their head and out their ears. Honestly…

The whole industry is very toxic. I expected to be doing work I loved with people who similarly enjoy what they do, but once employed, that dream is gone. Unless you’re the boss, but so many of us are underneath others, and therefore miserable, and that is all we can get employed in. The bosses in 2020 are also very elderly, and unwilling to retire even when they’ve passed their prime. They may have gotten new fancy computers, technology, and specialized software, but they haven’t exactly modified their attitudes, ethics, and values for the new workforce.


Perhaps you find a different forum @Pennywise, that suits the gloss you seek? As a longtime fashion professional, I’ve seen the industry degrade year after year. By being open, hopefully we can affect change starting with where we all are at the moment and move it forward in the future. I’m thankful that this is here.


I worked in the industry for 30 years. I would be more than happy to share the positive experiences I had but those were in the early 90’s. I have worked for big and small companies. Some were better than others. But, yes, what a most horrific depressing career I had. I worked for…over 25 companies seeking a better situation. I alternated working full-time jobs for 2-4 years as well as freelance jobs. I worked with ALL the talent agencies. I taught at Parsons. For two years now I have been giging minimum wage/hospitality type jobs and have never been happier. Happy people, great bosses. I only know 3 friends that are still working in the Industry that found jobs that were OK. The people that have ok jobs are in Home Furnishings and not the Fashion Sector.


Personally this has been very helpful to me. It’s been cathartic to know that I am not alone, crazy, or overly sensitive. Most here are cogs in the wheel. In fashion there are a lot of cogs. The wheel has to change first as there will always be cogs who will take whatever treatment is thrown at them…in some cases literally. Ironically the pandemic may bring that change as fashion companies fight for survival, the wheel must reinvent itself.


It’s not depressing… it’s ppls reality. Fashion is not everything it’s cracked up to be. Are there some good jobs? Sure! Do someone ppl have wonderful experiences? Of course! But as time goes on the industry has changed and not for the better. Stores want fast, cheap clothes oh and buyers aren’t interested in anything remotely different which is why everything looks the same. They want to design things along with sales… who aren’t creative. Wages are flatlining and or going down. Add to it we are in the midst of the worst job market since the financial crash. So ummm yes the tone ppl are speaking in will not be sweet.


I get it. Much of what people post is negative. It’s cathartic. This isn’t a fan page for a band after all. When the industry turns around I can see more network possibility here. Right now our industry is numb and the owners are doing some real nasty stuff to keep afloat


You just reminded me about the time my VP had a tantrum in a design meeting because sales didn’t like their idea and threw a hanger across the room.


I’ve known some higher-ups like that too, and have no idea how they got so far :joy:

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It might be depressing but it helped me realize I don’t want to be a part of the fashion industry. I think I’ll always work on personal projects, but I’m transitioning to tech now.



I see your point, but i think its important to have this forum for people to voice their frustrations. I also think it can be enlightening that so many people feel the same way. if you ever needed validation that its time to find a new job, maybe the posts on this forum can lead to the kick in the butt someone needs.


Friendly reminder that there’s Tech jobs in Fashion / Apparel / CPG. We’re always looking for people with real experience and knowledge of business processes to work on tech projects (ERP, Integrations, PLM, etc).


While some might find this forum depressing, I am very grateful for it. It might seem like a small thing, but it is comforting just to know I am not alone. I can empathize with those who have shared their struggles, and I believe they have empathy for mine. I have gotten some very helpful information and support from much that I have read here. Because it is anonymous, I feel more free to share honestly, knowing that I will not be judged or face recrimination.