Thursday, 28 January 2016

Thoughts on value





Have you ever wondered why there is often such a big price difference between your average high street garment and a seemingly similar product from a sustainable brand?




People often say sustainable/eco fashion is too expensive, but is it? Or is fast fashion the costly one?

It depends how you measure it. Yes you can purchase a top for £15- £20 from a big high street brand, wear it a couple of times, throw it away, and as a consumer it hasn’t cost you much. However, it’s easy to forget that garment was made by a human being and the amount of labour and energy that goes into it staggering. For example, to turn a piece of cotton into a garment, first it must be planted, harvested, taken to a factory to be processed and spun into yarn. Then it’s taken to another factory, woven into cloth, sent to a dye mill, dyed and finished. Then it is sold to a manufacturer who must create an original design and pattern, test for fit and performance, cut and make the garment, ship and then market it, all before reaching the customer. People are involved for its whole journey, people who deserve a fair price for their labour. But unfortunately, to produce a garment with all of those processes involved and still sell it for a price we are willing to pay; someone along the line is missing out. 




The sad truth is what we class, as a reasonable, average price, is in fact, artificially low. These cheap prices shouldn’t be the norm; they are wrong, not the more ‘expensive’ eco brands. They are the ones causing costly damage to the earth and to the workers. For fashion to be sustainable it’s not meant to be fast, throw away and cheap. We’ve been trained to buy quantity over quality. Somewhere along the way we’ve lost sight of what is best for us and the environment.
This is where sustainable fashion comes in, as it tries to change perceptions of what is expensive and go back to valuing the right things. 

Sustainable fashion tends to be more expensive due to a number of factors:

Time – As a small brand it takes time to create new and original designs from scratch, develop a pattern and manufacture in a smaller environment.

Fair trade- It is cheaper to employ people abroad to make clothes, where minimum wages are a lot less than here in the UK. For example, an employer in China only has to pay their garment worker 60p an hour, whereas in the UK the minimum wage is £6.70. When buying from a sustainable clothing company that manufactures their clothes in the UK, you know the workers have been paid a fair wage for their labour.

Economies of sale- It’s cheaper to produce mass quantities of clothing if you are a large company. Small scale companies have to pay more to produce smaller quantities.


Quality – Finally, when buying from a sustainable brand, the garments have longer life spans and are well made.






To find out more about our thoughts on value, check out our youtube 



Sincerely Madia & Matilda

e::  info@madiamatilda.co.uk       w::  www.madiamatilda.co.uk/

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