Affordable sustainable fashion is words that don’t seem to make sense together. With today’s trends, sustainable fashion seems Uber expensive. Why pay $100 for a sustainable shirt when you can get the same shirt for $25. It seems like a scam.
We have an idea of what sustainable fashion is, but sometimes it’s not always true. Sustainable fashion by default is affordable and here are three reasons why.
1.We are used to Fast Fashion prices
It is very difficult to justify buying something that seems so expensive when you can buy cheap, trendy clothing and then just replace them every year.
Many of us would rather buy something cheap and easy every year to look trendy, or in the IN crowd. It starts in High school when we are constantly growing out of clothing and want to look our best because we want to impress our classmates.
Once we graduate, we still seem hooked on fast fashion because it is simply there, familiar, and cheap. We get comfortable with the prices and the amount of clothing in our closets. It doesn’t always have to be this way
Therefore, when we see the real cost reflected in a product, we see it as an exorbitant cost because so many things are not accounted for in the cost of fast fashion. Companies get away with it because we feel like we can’t do anything.
Once we start becoming more comfortable with higher prices for truly sustainable clothing, will we start to see them as more affordable?
2.We are used to buying way more than we need.
That last sentence kinda seemed like an oxymoron. How could someone become comfortable with spending more on clothes possibly be more affordable than buying cheap fast fashion?
Simple: we have too much clothing
So many minimalist bloggers have popped up in the last five years it seems like a scam. I worked hard for my things. Why should I give them up?
It’s not necessarily about simply getting rid of things or finding some ideal level of perfection by living as minimally as possible.
It’s mostly about living our best lives with as little burden as possible.
We don’t have to throw away all our clothing and replace it with 5 super expensive articles of clothing we wear all day every day. It’s about realizing that we need to invest more in fewer articles of clothing.
I had 10 pairs of shoes (and that’s pretty moderate for some people I know) and I only ever wore 2. They all wore out constantly and I was left replacing them every year.
If I spent $30 per pair and had 10 pairs, I’d be spending about $300 every year. Vs. I could spend $200 on two pairs of shoes that go with everything and would last at least 5 years. $1,500 vs. $200? I’ll take the $200.
But we don’t even want to think about that kind of math most of the time because this pair of shoes is really cute, and I need it, and I can only afford $30 this month.
Until we take a good hard look at ourselves, the outrageous cost of fast fashion will seem more affordable than genuine affordable sustainable fashion.
3.Affordable sustainable fashion isn’t mainstream
There’s a fancy economic way to describe this, but basically: the more of something you make, the cheaper it is to make.
Most fast fashion prices are so low, not just because they use basically slave labor. It’s also about scalability. Ford didn’t invent the automobile. He invented the assembly line which dramatically cut down the cost of producing cars.
The same goes for affordable sustainable fashion. Many new companies end up on the higher end of the price point because they are on such a low scale of production.
You don’t have to treat your workers like garbage to still have an assembly line.
Affordable sustainable fashion will become more mainstream when we are able to make more. We will make more once companies see that it’s profitable to produce more. Companies will see the profitability once we, as consumers, demand products and sway the companies to invest more.
This isn’t a process that happens overnight, but gradually. Individuals interested in starting their own companies will dramatically speed up the process, as well as make major profits. I wrote a lot more about affordable fashion in my new book: Slower Style. If you click the link below you can get a 15% discount code. Every book comes with a discount code for the sustainable fashion business course as well as 20% off and free shipping at bottlethread.com.