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Zara ahead.
Last week, its parent company Inditex posted a 63 per cent jump in quarterly net profit. Zara is now the world's biggest fashion brand in terms of revenue, worn by working women everywhere - as well as by the likes of Samantha Cameron, Tess Daly and Princess Letizia of Spain.

Zara's amazing production routine means that you can buy trends from catwalks, the street or anywhere else within 2 weeks of it being seen by the Zara scouts. Having something that fast means that when you buy now, you're buying for the next season.
But is Zara turning their fast fashion into fast fashion? Is everything they're creating now more about profit than quality, resulting in throwaway fashion?
Zara has never been seen as one to follow what others on the high street are up to, and generally follow their own path, but recently, as Liz Jones has commented, their fabrics are not what they used to be, and neither are their prices. While some would argue that spending less on something in Zara than you used to is a good thing, it's really not when you consider the quality.

I've just been on a trip to New York, and I really don't believe the rumours that it's good shopping. Yes, you can pay £4,000 for designer at Saks, but why go to NYC when you can go to Selfridges - it's not exactly cheaper anymore with this recession.
I visited the Zara on 5th Avenue, and it had different products to the UK because Zara tends to be selective about their products and where it will sell, but they weren't anything special. Granted I was more interested in the clothing in Zara than Macy's, I still didn't buy anything. I had made a pact with myself not to buy anything jersey or anything that seemed to be a cheap, nasty fabric. Unfortunately, this meant a quick shop in Zara - even items I thought were cotton turned out to be manufactured fabrics. Since when did everything have to be a cheap fabric? I really didn't expect Zara to follow on the throwaway fashion bandwagon, but it seems they have for the sake of lowering their prices and increasing profits.

It seems the next step for high street brands is to step out of the cheap, nasty fabrics for a cheap nasty price, and stand out as something new, simply by offering natural fabrics for a price that's a little bit higher. I have a shirt from Zara that I'd bought maybe 5 or 6 years ago, made from cotton, and it's still intact. I probably couldn't say the same about the products they're offering now.

By the way, don't buy sandals by American brands, they make your feet look weird. Just to let you know.

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