The Clothing Crunch Arrives

Clothing Crunch. Photo credit: iluvrhinestones. C.C. License.Welcome to the clothing crunch. The beleaguered economy has worked its way into the nation's wardrobe.

Marks & Spencer is reportedly slashing advert costs by 20 percent next year as part of a major money-saving effort for the company. After reporting a 34 percent drop in profits, the nation's biggest clothing retailer will also reconsider the use of famous models, including Twiggy and Erin O'Connor, for campaigns.

This comes as budget-priced Primark reports a marked profit increase, up from £1.6 billion to £1.93 billion for the year to 13 September.

Primark has been voted the country's least ethical fashion retailer, according to "green" consumers. M&S beat Debenhams and Asda to grab the most ethical spot. With the economy shaky, are customers valuing budgets over ideals?

Meanwhile, sales of organic food had sunk by one-fifth as of August - the first time in a decade when the upward sales trend stopped. As British shoppers' bank accounts grow thin, it seems the luxury of buying based on health and ethical concerns is fading.

-Jill Hilbrenner

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