Life&Style’s Madeleine Bourne shares her views on Boohoo’s new discount code, offering a dress, bag and shoes for cheap, but contributing to a much more expensive environmental impact

English & Creative Writing student | Writer for Redbrick & The Tab | Host of The Request Show at BurnFM | Absolutely awful at writing remotely interesting bios
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Forget your ham & cheese Tesco sarnie, Walkers prawn cocktails and bottle of Oasis: there’s a newer, more stylish meal deal on the student radar at the moment. Incredibly purse-friendly, with a varied range- some might say this is a clothes shopping revolution… but you might just find it leaves an unpleasant taste.

Boohoo, everyone’s favourite fast-fashion go to, has released a Meal Deal section of the website, purely for us cash-strapped students. Pick your starter (shoes, obviously) add your main course (a dress or jumpsuit) and end with dessert- which is of course a brand spanking new bag, naturally. The best part? It’ll cost you just £30. Edible it may not be, but bank account-friendly it is. And with magazine giants such as Cosmopolitan, Glamour and OK! giving the thumbs up to the student discount code to beat all other student discount codes, you’d imagine there should be no hesitating about which website to head to next time you want a fancy night out outfit.

Pick your starter (shoes, obviously) add your main course (a dress or jumpsuit) and end with dessert- which is of course a brand spanking new bag

Simple to navigate, head to the ‘Meal Deal’ section of Boohoo’s website, pick your options from a range of choices- skimpy and bodycon, to casual and slip-on-before-your-lecture-without-a-thought- then make sure to add the code ‘MEALDEAL’ to your basket. This whole situation could not be easier; it’s as if the process is so quick, you don’t have a chance to think through the ethics of such a purse-friendly transaction.

Wait, what?

That unpleasant taste is indeed the lasting impact of Boohoo’s fashion footprint, imprinting irreversible changes on global warming after luring students into purchasing the ‘Meal Deal’.

To begin, Boohoo’s little lunchtime offering has us students hook, line and sinker: you’ll have a browse on your lunch break for just a dress, because that’s really all you needed, and what actually ends up in your basket is said dress plus an extra pair of shoes you kind of liked the look of, and a bag to add to your growing collection of rubbish in the wardrobe that you actually didn’t need – purely just because it was a ‘cheap’ deal. Throw into the mix the fact that the dress you originally were planning on buying was a typical Boohoo-esque £8, and you’ve more or less been conned. Consumerism working its devious magic.

And just as a sandwich, crisps and drink from your local Tesco Express takes under 10 minutes to wolf down, so is the lifespan of your clothing dwindling with this deal. Scrolling through the Meal Deal’s selection, the garments might be varied in style, colour and suitability for different occasions, the images make it clear this clothing isn’t exactly top-notch quality. Lazily cut, easily creased and not made of the most durable stuff, one look at the material properties of the clothing hints towards the very real possibility of having to throw away said dress after a couple of wears due to bobbles and holes in the seams.

Boohoo’s Meal Deal exacerbates everything that is environmentally-unfriendly for the sake of a student-friendly, Boohoo bank account-friendly marketing ploy

But this might just be what Boohoo want you to do. The very nature of the name ‘Meal Deal’ suggests a one-time wear. And if they can get students lured in to pay £30 every time they want a cheapo dress (whose retailing price is usually under a tenner), the company are quids in. While there may indeed still be some quality to Boohoo’s production process, it’s in their prerogative to make clothes as cheaply and lazily as possible, because that way people will come running back for more the next time they have a night out – and if you’re a student, that will be a good few times a month. Boohoo might be quids in; we might be saving our pennies and indulging in the latest fashions – but the environment isn’t exactly loving this student discount code.

Fast-fashion is incredibly bad for the environment; we all know it. Cheaply producing millions upon millions of dresses, trousers, tops, jumpers, accessories, shoes and more every single day to meet the demand; consumers having to dump their cheaply-made, poorly-made clothing in landfill because the dress couldn’t handle the handful of wears; throwing some perfectly good items away just because they don’t fit with this season’s trends. Boohoo’s Meal Deal exacerbates everything that is environmentally-unfriendly for the sake of a student-friendly, bank account-friendly marketing ploy.

There is no denying that Boohoo’s Meal Deal is extremely well-suited to the cash-strapped student. Purchasing a one-time special outfit that you can utilise in various ways for various occasions is not much to be guilty of, particularly when we are already mounting up a rather large student debt and don’t have the disposable incomes to splash out. But it’s worth remembering that the impact of the fast-fashion industry is not always a positive one, and if you’re tempted by such a deal – even though you don’t really need those extra shoes or another bag – you should think twice about purchasing. Consider your wants and needs, and just like when you’re deciding if you should buy that extra chocolate bar with your lunch in Tesco, make sure you weigh up whether Boohoo’s starter, main and dessert are especially worth it.