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Zara vs. H&M vs. Uniqlo vs. SHEIN: Which Brand is the Best? (History, Quality, Design & Price)

Zara vs. H&M vs. Uniqlo vs. SHEIN: Which Brand is the Best? (History, Quality, Design & Price)

    Fast-fashion retailers are considered the bottom-feeders in the fashion world. Fast Fashion Fast fashion is the darling of the fashion retail today. They are highly praised for their styles are similar to the designer-inspired trends butwith cheap prices. Clothes became cheaper, trend cycles sped up, and shopping became a hobby. People engage with and buy from brands that share compelling visual content in authentic ways. Zara, H&M, Uniqlo and SHEIN are all global apparel shops and fall under the fast fashion category. But which is the Best fast-fashion brand? Is Uniqlo better than Zara? Is H&M good quality? In this competition guide, I will tell you their differences from History, Quality, Design and Price!


  • Zara Review

Zara Brand History and Origin

Zara is one of the world's most successful fashion retail brands. It's the largest company in the Inditex group, the world's largest apparel retailer. With its dramatic introduction of the concept of“fast fashion” retail since it was founded in 1975 in Spain, Zara aspires to create responsible passion for fashion amongst a broad spectrum of consumers, spread across different cultures and age groups.  Products include clothing, accessories, shoes, swimwear, beauty, and perfumes. The sub-brand Zara TRF offers trendier and sometimes edgier items to younger women and teenagers.


Zara Price: $6.90 - $440

Zara Designs

Zara's core values are found in four simple terms: beauty, clarity, functionality and sustainability.  Zara's leans the most fashion-forward, usually offering edgier looks, tighter fits, etc. They keep pace with latest fashion trends, but offer clothing collections that are a combination of high quality and yet, are affordable. The brand keeps a close watch on how fashion is changing and evolving every day across the world. Based on latest styles and trends, it creates new designs and puts them into stores in a week or two. In stark comparison, most other fashion brands would take close to six months to get new designs and collections into the market.

Rather than producing more quantities per style, Zara produces more styles, roughly 12,000 a year. Even if a style sells out very quickly, there are new styles waiting to take up the space. This means more choices and higher chance of getting it right with the consumer.


Zara Quality

Zara utilizes mostly synthetic fabrics for their products, many which contain plastic microfibers. Examples include polyester, nylon, and acrylic, but also some natural such as cotton, wool, silk and cashmere. It's important to keep in mind however, that they use the cheapest versions and methods to reduce production costs and increase their earnings. This results in a low-quality garment, that can display damage at as little as ten washes, even when following proper care protocol.

It's important to take into account that while the products themselves are not very high quality, the designs and wide array of product range offered make Zara a great option for shopping affordably. Even though people are aware of the low-quality production methods, the low prices are worth the loss of quality for the products.


Where to Buy Zara the Cheapest?

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  • H&M Review

H&M Brand History and Origin

H&M is a Swedish multinational clothing-retail company known for its fast-fashion clothing for men, women, teenagers, and children/babies. 

The company was founded in 1947 by Erling Persson with the very first shop established in Västerås, Sweden. The original name of the business was called “Hennes” , which is Swedish for “hers”, as the store at the time exclusively sold womenswear. It wasn’t until 1968 when Persson acquired the hunting apparel brand Mauritz Widforss that he changed the name of the company to Hennes & Mauritz to reflect the brand's inclusion of menswear into the product range. Soon after the merger and the official rebranding into the shortened H&M, the company’s expansion gradually began to expand outside of Sweden's borders.

Today the H&M Group offers fashion for everyone under the brands of H&M, COS, Monki, Weekday, Cheap Monday and & Other Stories, as well as fashion for the home at H&M Home


H&M Price: $2.99 -$349

H&M Designs

H&M is a leader in the "fast fashion" space, competing with Zara and Forever 21. Fast fashion relies on moving a large volume of merchandise from the designer table to the showroom floor in the shortest amount of time possible and at a reasonable price. 

If you're lusting after high-fashion designer clothing but can't quite afford the hefty price tag attached, shopping at H&M might get you a little closer to that designer wardrobe you crave for just a fraction of the price. H&M has collaborated with different high-fashion designers. Big names to have worked on exclusive lines for H&M so far include Stella McCartney, Roberto Cavalli, Jimmy Choo, Versace, Alexander Wang, Balmain, Kenzo, and Moschino. 

H&M Company has other brands in addition to the H&M brand, These brands, presently, are 5 in number which are based on different concepts. These brands are COS, a fashion brand focussed on minimalist style of clothing; & Other Stories, a fashion brand targeting high-quality women's fashion.


H&M Quality

H&M is known for making cheap trendy fashion. On close inspection, a lot of it doesn't look well-made and the fabrics aren't soft to the touch, but at $14.95 for a holiday dress, who cares? Aimed at young, fashion-conscious urban consumers, their products are trendy and they're cheap, bordering on disposable.That naturally has gained them some criticism from advocates of sustainable and ethical consumerism. Unlike Zara, H&M does not manufacture its products in-house but outsources its production to more than 900 independent suppliers around the world, mainly in Europe and Asia.


Where to Buy H&M the Cheapest?

  • Uniqlo Review

Uniqlo Brand History and Origin

In 1984, a clothing company called Ogori Shōji opened a shop in Hiroshima, Japan called 'Unique Clothing Warehouse'. It was decided that the brand would be registered under the contraction 'Uni-Clo’, from the 'Unique Clothing'part of the name. But in 1988, the staff in charge of registering the name misread the 'C' as a‘Q’, and it stuck. The name of the store was changed to Uniqlo, and ten years from the date of its first opening, there were over 100 of the popular casual clothing shops in Japan. 

And by outsourcing their manufacturing to foreign countries, like many major clothing labels, they were able to keep costs low. The combination of quality but low-cost apparel proved to be a hit with consumers who were, at the time, fighting to hang on to every penny. The affordable, basic designs are a hit with almost everyone, and partnerships with popular character licensors like Disney keep customers coming back for more.


Uniqlo Price: $5.90 -$149.90

Uniqlo Designs

Good everyday pieces is what Uniqlo is known for. Comfortable and easy-to-wear basics is Uniqlo's trump card and its gotten more mileage out of it because of the changes people have made in their clothing choices during the pandemic. Instead of trying to play catchup to runway looks, Uniqlo provides better made clohing, in more staple colors. 

To make for easy mix-and-matching, nearly 90% of the items currently listed on Uniqlo's websites are plain, with no pattern beyond a simple stripe. But Uniqlo also spices up its plain-vanilla fashion through licensed collaborations, most recently featuring artwork by Andy Warhol, Disney, street artist Keith Haring and the Louvre.

T-shirt is one of Uniqlo's bestsellers counting for half of the Tops product category. In the assortment mix, a significant emphasis is also made on lingerie and hosiery with more than 50% of the accessories in these two product categories. Concerning lingerie products, the brand used to focus on comfort-oriented underwear. 


Uniqlo Quality

This design driven clothing brand offers unique functional performance owing to in-house fabric and design innovation. Technology is a big component that is at the core of Uniqlo. It's used not to cut corners or speed up processes, but to improve the product for the customer. The company distinguishes itself from its price driven competitors by branding its signature innovations with names like HeatTech, LifeWear and AIRism

The brand is famous for its knitwear using high-quality materials: almost 70% of the knits are made out of natural fabrics. In comparison, Zara uses only 20% of natural fabrics for its knitwear. Overall, Uniqlo uses 30% of cotton in its collections and only 20% of polyester. For its fast-fashion competitors, polyester is usually the preferred material choice. This is a favourable decision regarding the impact of polyester on the planet. Despite a higher materials quality, Uniqlo is able to keep products at an affordable price. 


Where to Buy Uniqlo the Cheapest? (1.5-2% cashback)

  • SHEIN Review

SHEIN Brand History and Origin

Shein is a Chinese online fast fashion retailer. It was founded in 2008 by Chris Xu in Nanjing, China as SheInside and sold women's fashion. The company is known for its cheaply priced apparel which is made directly in China. In 2015, the brand officially changed its name to Shein. Now SHEIN is an international B2C fast fashion e-commerce company. The company mainly focuses on women's wear, but it also offers men's apparel, children's clothes, accessories, shoes, bags, homewear and other fashion items. SHEIN mainly targets Europe, America, Australia, and the Middle East along with other consumer markets. 

In 2020, Shein was the most talked about brand on TikTok and Youtube and the 4th most talked about brand on Instagram. Shein currently serves over 220 countries. 


SHEIN Price: $0.50 -$153

SHEIN Designs

SHEIN prides itself on offering on-trend styles catering to both young women and teens, that won't break the bank. SHEIN adheres to the concept that "everyone can enjoy the beauty of fashion". SHEIN is able to stay on top of the latest fashion trends from around the globe while rapidly bringing these styles to market. So whether you're searching for boho dresses and graphic tees or patterned blouses and chic swimwear, SHEIN is the ultimate one-stop-shop for the modern yet economical fashionista. It aims to promptly offer stylish  products at appealing prices to every user in the world.


SHEIN Quality

Shein produces all its clothes in cheaper, overseas factories to keep its costs at a minimum, this allows you to buy clothes at dirt-cheap price. You should not expect clothes you get through Shein to be top quality. They are inexpensive for a reason, but this does not mean they are a total rip-off. Sometimes, you end up with clothes that last for years. Other items lose their shape or color after a couple of trips through the washing machine. When looking for something on Shein, remember to pay close attention to reviews.


Where to Buy SHEIN the Cheapest? Extrabux cashback)

  • Conclusion

Zara vs. H&M vs. Uniqlo vs. SHEIN: which brand is the best?


Zara's leans the most fashion-forward, usually offering edgier looks, tighter fits, etc. They are made for the more streamlined European body. If you're on the slimmer side, this might be your place. Zara products will never be considered high quality within the fashion industry. However, they can be considered relatively 'good quality'  fast fashion products when compared to other similar retailers, such as for example H&M.


H&M is the oldest, has the largest number of physical stores, and has expanded from its budget roots to include seven other brands. H&M is known for making cheap trendy fashion. If you're lusting after high-fashion designer clothing but can't quite afford the hefty price tag attached, shopping at H&M might get you a little closer to that designer wardrobe you crave for just a fraction of the price. They also have a plus size line, maternity clothes, premium line.


Uniqlo prefers to offer fewer items but more colour options for each of them. When customers like a product, they might buy it in several colours. With its focus on quality over quantity and longevity instead of fast-fashion's quick expiration dates, Uniqlo makes good on its sustainability promise. The pricing strategy of Uniqlo is fascinating as Uniqlo's target market gathers people of all ages and both genders, belonging to all demographic backgrounds, and who want to get affordable, high-quality clothing. Therefore, prices are kept very low.


Shein is a Chinese fast-fashion retailer is exploding in popularity with American teens. It has a younger target compared with the other brands.  Shein has about 13.8 million followers on Instagram, where it typically reposts photos from influencers wearing its latest styles. The brand is known for its trendy items and rock-bottom prices, with women's tees priced as low as $6 and dresses for as little as $12. And with Shein, you get what you pay for: low-cost, trendy clothes that can be hit or miss when it comes to actual quality. I'd recommend Shein for those fun items you only plan to wear a handful of times, like a party dress or a graphic tee, but not for investment pieces, like a winter coat or jeans, that you want to get a lot of use out of.

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2021-10-08 18:4626848