Written by Casey Milano
The British high street: world renowned and adored by celebrities and royalty alike. It’s loved for its vibrancy, diversity and bustling atmosphere. Our high street has evolved over the last 30 years or so – and we, as a generation of women juggling work, children and busy social lives, have evolved with it.
Never before have we had so much choice – from the big labels on Oxford Street and beyond to the budget-friendly names like H&M and New Look, we, everyday British women (and fashionistas), have access to the latest trends on our doorsteps, or at least via a short drive or bus journey.
Yes, the high street has revolutionised the women’s wardrobe. And although sometimes we might not appreciate it, the high street has changed the way we dress and how much we choose to pay for it. But with more and more people doing their shopping online, the high street has seen a huge drop in sales and, in turn, this has started to make retailers wonder the future of the high street itself.
The idea of the high street dying makes me especially sad. Shopping has always been one of my favourite pastimes – and perhaps the cause of my mild shopping addiction. I don’t know about you, but actually going into a store and feeling the fabrics, trying the clothes on (admit it – how often does that ‘amazing’ dress in the sale look more house-of-horror than House of Holland once you try it on at home?) and finding those hidden gems at the back of rail? You just can’t get that online.
With the high street catering to every budget, style and occasion, I’d argue it supports the feminist movement by giving women the choice, freedom and endless possibilities to express themselves in any way they wish (did you ever think that your shopping habit could be seen as an act of feminism?!). In all seriousness, though, we need the high street – not just for the economy and the millions of jobs that the retail industry provides, but for you; for me; for every women that expresses themselves through fashion; for every women that loves the choice and diversity that the high street provides.
So next weekend go out and show your local high street some love! You rely on it as much as it relies on you. And, you know, it’s cold, so you might as well stock up on new knitwear anyway… for feminism’s sake.