Is sustainable fashion more expensive or is it less expensive?
By Samson Ogunshe / June 20, 2021
What exactly is sustainable fashion?
Let's start by defining what we mean by "sustainable fashion."
Sustainable fashion focuses on producing clothing that does not jeopardize the planet's health or the well-being of employees. It's a method of producing apparel that has as little detrimental influence on the environment as possible. Each stage of the process, from obtaining raw materials to reaching the stores, is evaluated to reduce the environmental impact.
The fashion industry harms people in so many ways, which is why this new movement has formed.These eco-friendly firms exclusively use recycled or sustainable fabrics, don't mass-produce products, don't abuse their workers, and often have recycling programs so you can return your old clothes back to be remade into new ones.
Why is sustainable fashion so expensive?
So, why is sustainable fashion more expensive than regular high-street stores? The following are the primary reasons:
Workers Should Be Paid a Living Wage
Companies prefer to outsource jobs to poor countries, as you undoubtedly already know (mainly in the east). Wages in countries such as Bangladesh, Indonesia, and Sri Lanka are already much lower, but companies take advantage of and exploit workers' rights in order to maximize profits.
In most cases, they do not pay them a living wage and force them to work long hours and in hazardous conditions. These workers cannot afford to lose even this small amount of money because it is their sole source of income.
However, ethical and sustainable brands pay them a fair wage and treat them fairly. They are also assisting communities in developing as a result of this.
Clothes That Will Last A Long Time
A phrase called "cost per wear" describes how much something costs based on how many times it will be worn. I'm sure the majority of you who are reading this have bought something cheap and only worn it once or twice.
On the other hand, if you spend a little more money on something, the quality will be much greater and it will last you for many years. Using this logic, purchasing a costly garment will prove to be less expensive in the long run.
Many of us have been duped into believing that fast fashion is the most cost-effective option. The few who think long-term understand that this is untrue, and that buying less but better is the best way to go.
When compared to quick fashion brands, sustainable brands are much smaller. People are used to shopping at Misguided, Forever 21, and Urban Outfitters, therefore they have a smaller niche.
In addition, some brands produce on-demand rather than in large quantities. Everything is handmade by talented locals in some situations, such as People Tree. In our situation, we buy from both local and international sources, and most things are bought individually or in bulk. Not to add that, as a result of mass production, the quality and attention to detail that goes into making garments has dwindled. Fast fashion has advanced to the point where we now have 52 seasons in a year, rather than the traditional four. That's a lot of time when you consider the time it takes to get from designing a garment to manufacturing it.
Is sustainable fashion affordable?
Is this anything you've heard before: “I want to support sustainable fashion, but I can't afford a jacket that costs €40.”?
Sustainable fashion is too expensive, according to a common complaint in the sustainable community. When compared to fast fashion brands, it may appear that spending so much money on clothes is a waste of money. But we're here to tell you that you don't have to spend a fortune to look fashionable and environmentally friendly. All it takes is a mental shift and the discovery of the right brands for you.
Our approach to making sustainable fashion more accessible
With the sustainability bandwagon becoming increasingly crowded, it can be difficult to know where to start. That is why we are presenting our vision in plain English:
This isn't how things used to be. In reality, it was only in the previous 20 years that customers got infatuated with fast fashion. “What if we went back to selling items before fast fashion?” we wondered. With excellent quality but at a reasonable price. After speaking with our target demographic, we discovered a common complaint: vintage clothing is more expensive than quick fashion.
We are appealing to a different set of customers that love, live and breathe vintage clothes and also want to buy on a budget. We think that by selling our clothes at a similar or lower price than fast fashion, we will be able to bridge the gap and make sustainable clothing the fashion of the future.