Everyone knows the feeling of going to a store to replace a favorite standby, whether it is a specific snack or clothing item, only to find that it has been replaced, or that another aspect of that item is forever changed.
More recently, one customer of Old Navy says she has noticed that the fabrics being used by many clothing retailers are getting thinner and cheaper while being rebranded as an improvement or higher-quality product. TikTok user Ally Rooker (@allyrooker) says her bike shorts from Old Navy which she bought eight years before the retailer introduced its Power Soft line are far superior.
“Please tell me someone else has noticed how every clothing brand right now is making their clothes thinner and worse quality, but they come up with a new name for the thinner, cheaper fabric that makes us think it’s innovative?” she says in the video. “It’s really just cheaper. The worst offender of this is Old Navy. I’m doing my laundry. I have these bike shorts that I have had for eight years—they’re really old—from Old Navy. They’re so thick, I can wear these multiple times, they don’t smell. They’re still in such great condition. I’ve probably washed these 1,000 times in the last eight years. They don’t make them like this anymore.”
@allyrooker random laundry folding thoughts #fastfashion #clothingquality #oldnavy #fashion #capitalism ♬ original sound – Ally Rooker
She compares her older bike shorts to the newer Power Soft line, showing that they have gotten thinner.
“Now every piece of their athletic wear is this Power Soft,” she says. “It’s so thin and it is soft, I will give them that, but I don’t like wearing them. They are not forgiving. They show everything, every dimple, they’re so thin. But it’s called Power Soft, so I’m supposed to think it’s a new innovative technology. it’s just cheaper.”
The Daily Dot has reached out to @allyrooker and Old Navy via email regarding the video.
Several viewers commented that they had noticed a similar decline in quality from other clothing retailers.
“Omg yes. It’s horrible,” one commenter wrote. “I have some cotton gap clothes of my mom’s from the 2000s, and it’s still good quality. But the new stuff frays and fades.”
“Yes!!!! And the crazy thing is I would happily pay more for better quality and repurchase if the style still existed years later,” another user said.
“American eagle! i just bought cargo pants and on the tag it said it’s some special dye and to wash ‘sparingly’?” one viewer echoed. “So you were too lazy to set the dye.”
Others noted that the decline in quality is not limited to clothes and that other fabric goods like sheets and towels just do not have the same longevity that they used to.
“Everything is worse now!” one commenter wrote. “My grandma has cotton bed sheets from her wedding and mine need to be thrown away every other year.”
“Yes, I’ve noticed this with bedsheets too,” another commented. “I used to be able to get cheap decent sheets that were bamboo or cotton for like $20.”
“Everything. Clothes, cars, electronics and appliances,” one viewer added. “My mom bought a $3000 fridge and it broke within a month. Had to fight to get it replaced.”
Update 1:49pm CT, Oct. 31: In a follow-up, Rooker says that “the greed of capitalism is ruining everything.” She says “everything we buy,” and “every experience we pay for” is “sh*tty” and “awful.”
And she’s not the only consumer who feels that way. In another video, @jpall20 similarly complains about the quality of everything in the U.S. “Obviously the quality of life—that goes without saying,” she says. “But also the quality of all goods and services and activities.” She specifically points to how shrinkflation has impacted the quality of items in the grocery store.
“There is truly nothing that is an enjoyable experience anymore. Leaving the house is a dystopian nightmare,” she says.
Given how viral these two videos went, and what viewers are saying in the comments section, it’s safe to say many agree with with Rooker and @jpall20.