The Real Price of Ethical Fashion By Kate Hall
This article is written by Kate Hall from Ethically Kate
"$60 for a T-shirt?! That’s crazy. No way.”
You know what’s crazy? "If you aren't paying the price at the checkout - someone else is." words that ring so true from Velvet Heartbeat, the ethical creators of my bag!
The price of ethical fashion is something I’m asked about frequently, the conversations teetering along the lines of "Can I please have a recommendation for ethically made summer dresses that are affordable please?". I realise that means you’d like me to recommend a dress for $20, but that’s not going to happen.
You see, someone else isn’t just paying for your dress through money, they’re paying in worse ways we can only imagine. They’re working in inhuman environments, working intensive over time hours, treated inhumanely, sacrificing their physical and mental well being, and still barely able to feed their families - I don’t know about you, but I refuse to let someone else suffer for my clothes, it doesn’t sit well with me.
Instead, I figure out alternatives, consciously consume. I consider a garment for at least a month until I buy it, purchasing only if I really need it, meanwhile making do with clothes swapping with loved ones or spending more time in my wardrobe, creating new combinations. The upside of ethical fashion and spending that little bit more upfront, the pay off is invaluable. I'm more likely to invest time into cleaning, reading the care instructions, and keep it forever.
Let’s drop this idea that fashion is cheap - it’s not, it’s an investment. Someone has spent hours making it, shipping it, folding it, marketing it to get it under your nose, and although I realise a $200 skirt (made ethically) sounds like a big bite out of the wallet, by adjusting your frequency in purchasing less, and your clothing budget will actually stay the same, if not, it will actually drop! Take it from someone who started her ‘ethical fashion journey’ as a poor student, I wouldn't go back!