The price of sustainable fashion seems to always frown one’s forehead and raise some questions. We are so used to the very low prices of fast fashion pieces that sustainable fashion and the higher price we need to pay for it seems to be unaffordable for many.
However, if we take into consideration what is sustainable, and in this case made to last, we might actually realise that in the long run slow fashion is actually the more affordable one. Still not convinced? Hear me out.
Why is fast fashion so cheap
You probably heard it already. Nothing’s free. If you’re getting a piece of clothing (that’s not second hand) very cheap, someone else on something else the other side of the world is paying.
Fast fashion vs. people
Garment workers creating clothes for the world’s biggest fast fashion retailers are often underpaid and working in terrible conditions.
The exploitation of garment workers in countries like Bangladesh or China is no secret. But the unjust treatment of garment workers is happening in countries like the UK and the USA too. So knowing what’s happening why are we still allowing it?
After the events from Rana Plaza in Bangladesh in 2013, the world got exposed to the conditions garment workers are working in. The organizations like Fashion Revolution started bringing to our eyes on a daily basis what’s happening and what we can do about it.
And even though some amazing campaigns were launched and changes been made, there are still brands closing their eyes, turning their heads, and allowing people to make their clothes in unimaginable conditions for very little money.
So next time when a T-shirt or a dress costs less than an hourly wage in your country, ask yourself how much someone got paid for making it.
Fast fashion vs. planet
Another secret price we pay when purchasing fast fashion is our planet.
If we are buying in bulk, soon we will run out of space in the wardrobe. But are we ever thinking about what happens to our clothes after we no longer want them? There are certain fabrics that are very polluting or release micro plastics into the ocean. Some others can take years to decompose in the landfill.
What’s more, we might not realise, but most of our returned items end up in the landfill. It is estimated that 5 billion pounds of returned items go to waste every year. It sounds crazy, doesn’t it? However, it is a sad reality. So it is often worth ordering only what you really want and need to help save the Earth.
If you’d like to dive deeper into why our planet needs us to quit fast fashion, have a look at this post.
What goes into the price of sustainable fashion?
Labor, fabrics and sustainability are the three main pillars that we can focus on.
Paying someone a fair living wage will make the price of a garment go up. But that’s the price we should be willing to pay for our clothes to be made in fair conditions.
Sustainable and natural fabrics often cost more than their unsustainable cousins. They often demand more time and no chemicals are being used in the process of their growth. They also often demand more work to harvest, and producers need to receive a fair wage as well.
Last but not least, the overall sustainability of the garment will have a factor on the pricing. Where and how the garments were made? What is the quality of the garment? Were they made to last? Do we need to purchase any certifications proving so? - These are only some questions sustainable fashion brand owners need to answer before releasing the final product to you.
How to make the most of sustainable fashion without breaking the bank
There are a few steps you can take to make your lifestyle and wardrobe more sustainable. From ditching trend-influenced shopping to limiting what’s in your wardrobe - the transition doesn’t need to be scary!
You might come across some difficulties on your way, so check out what sustainable fashion mistakes to avoid.
And if you’re ready to make a switch, take a look at a few tips:
Implement a minimalist lifestyle
First and foremost, the key to a sustainable lifestyle is minimalism. As I’ve mentioned before, it’s better to invest in less, but better quality.
And don’t get me wrong, it doesn’t mean you have to get rid of absolutely everything. No. Have a think and consider if there are things that you want or need. And with the things you want, in the words of master organiser Marie Kondo, ask yourself “Does it spark joy?”
Minimalism is not easy to adapt to, especially in the consumerism driven world we live in. However, step by step is the best method here.
What is trendy anyways? Instead of focusing on the predictions which are getting weirder and weirder every year, and fade sooner than later, invest in timeless pieces.
Build your wardrobe in a way that you can use it any time of the year, and won’t feel ashamed in a year or two that your favourite piece of clothing is not “trendy” anymore.
Build a high-quality wardrobe
Apart from being timeless, build your wardrobe to last. Focus on durable fabrics and always think about quality first.
This way you will create a timeless, high-quality clothing base. And you will save up on repurchasing the same or similar item over again.
Shop second hand
We all know the most sustainable clothes are the ones that are already in our wardrobe. What comes second are the ones coming from someone else’s wardrobe.
A great way of building a sustainable closet is to purchase second hand. You can find a lot of amazing pieces often for a very cheap price. This includes going to physical thrift shops, but also swapping clothes with your friends, going to vintage kilo sales or browsing apps like Depop.
Shopping ethical and sustainable brands
And even though using what we already have in the wardrobe and topping it up with vintage gems is amazing, sometimes it’s great to invest in a new timeless piece of quality clothing.
And that’s where ethical and sustainable brands, just like mine, step in.
Our mission is to provide high quality and ethically made garments using natural fabrics. Eco friendly and made to last.
You might wonder why our prices are slightly higher than you’re used to. But I hope this blog post explains why the difference in price between sustainable fashion and fast fashion exists. And if you’d like to browse through our timeless pieces have a look at our shop. We promise, they are made to last you a lifetime.