Discount and value retailers have transformed the clothing industry in recent years, reinventing the consumer perception of a bargain and squeezing supply margins.

The undeniable winners are the likes of Primark, Wal-Mart and Tesco, who are making a tidy profit selling jeans for GBP10 (US$15.7) and T-shirts at half the price - before the sales even begin.

For instance, Tesco online offers 58 tops and T-shirts for GBP10 and under, while Wal-Mart lists 59 pairs of jeans under the US$20 price tag in the US. There are too many other global retailers offering rock-bottom prices to even mention.

Primark says its profits are made in its volumes rather than within the supply chain, where it often shares South East Asian suppliers with other more upmarket retailers.

Therefore, the company would argue its suppliers are winning too, although the factories involved were fulfilling orders for other successful retailers before the discount phenomenom.

From personal experience, a new discount holiday outfit bought for less than GBP10 is often left in the hotel room though, while dresses rarely see more than two nights out.

While throwaway fashion meets the immediate needs of less wealthy consumers - particularly during a recession - buying goods with a short lifespan is never a good investment for shoppers. Furthermore, sending hardly-worn garments to landfill each year is unacceptable whilst global warming remains such a hot topic.

The growth of discount retailers has not only pinched market share from established high street retailers, but forced them to re-assess their own pricing strategy.

Discounters are likely to thrive post-recession, as consumers have gathered a thirst for bargains. But overall clothing price points should migrate upwards rather than downwards if it means better quality garments and a more sustainable supply chain.