Everyone is loving these $30 jeans
I FIRMLY believe that when you find a good fashion buy it's your duty to the sisterhood to broadcast that discovery far and wide.
I loathe those women who, when complimented on an item of clothing, give a smug smile and don't share the brand, leaving you jonesing for the intel like an utter loser.
If anyone ever compliments me on anything I own, I almost march them personally to the shop to show them where it can be purchased. I believe this sort of transparency makes the fashion world go 'round.
And so I feel it's a community service to share my latest discovery.
I heard three separate people banging on about how good Target jeans are over the course of 48 hours.
It was also popping up on social media.
Because I suffer acute FOMO (fear of missing out), I thought it worth my while checking out this buzz-worthy denim for myself.
So I got a pair of their $30 Sophie skinny ankle jeans ($35 if the distressed version is more your style), and slapped them on my body. I was prepared to be underwhelmed.
But I'll be damned if these people aren't right. These are actually damn fine jeans (and no, haters, Target is not paying me or my employers for this story. Take your nay-saying elsewhere).
First, they are that good level of stretchy. Too stretchy and they don't give you shape. Not stretchy enough and you feel like your legs are trapped in two straitjackets.
Secondly, they are a nice cut around the waist. Too low and you are constantly pulling them up and too high and you feel like you're trying to be 'on trend' but you're desperately failing. These are just right.
Last but not least, the crop is on point. It's flattering around the ankle and works with both boots and sneakers.
The woman responsible for the design (Karen Brickell, Target Australia's Head of Design - Womenswear) says she has had plenty of people personally thank her for creating the Sophie jeans.
"I am constantly amazed and quietly proud about the quality, the cut and the price - it's a winning combination," she says.
Like all good discoveries, I started to wonder if these $30 jeans are too good to be true.
Because let's face it, two alarm bells tend to go off when things come at relatively low price point.
You have to wonder whether the item will last. If something is cheap and cheerful it can often disintegrate or fade in a couple of washes. That leads to false economy (ie: if you spent five times as much on a pair jeans but they have a lifespan that is 10 times longer, then the more expensive pair is actually a better buy) and from an environmental aspect, fast fashion can often quickly make its way to landfill, which is far from ideal.
I can't attest to the longevity of the jeans as I've only just started wearing them, but trawling the comments on the Target website, it seems they don't fall apart after two washes which is nice.
One reviewer writes: "This is the 3rd pair of Sophie Jeans I have bought, they are consistent in fit, so comfortable and stay in shape. Amazing value for money."
The other issue with a fashion bargain like this is the fear that the item is ethically and sustainably dubious. Images of sweat shops and environmentally rotten practices tend to creep in.
The 2018 Ethical Fashion Report by Baptist World Aid gave Target a score of B in this year's rankings.
Worryingly, they scored a D+ for "worker empowerment" which doesn't paint the situation in their overseas factories in a particularly positive light.
A Target spokeswoman told news.com.au the store is trying to improve this score.
"Target is committed to improving the working conditions of people who are employed in our suppliers' factories and while we have made progress, this space is forever evolving and we are always looking for ways to improve," she said in a statement.
"We continue to support worker empowerment through partnering with industry groups such as ACT (Action, Collaboration, Transformation) and by being a signatory of the Bangladesh Accord," she said.
"Through our own ethical sourcing code that suppliers must adhere to, we conduct regular audits in our supplier factories and work closely with them to ensure they meet the requirements to provide all workers a safe working environment, as well as providing a grievance hotline for all factory workers."