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Why is sustainable fashion so expensive?

With all this talk about SHEIN paying workers a minuscule 3 pence per garment - and with Black Friday and the Christmas shopping period coming up - we thought now was as good a time as any to talk about the importance of investing in clothing.

We have always been strong advocates of slow fashion, and considering purchases before you commit, but with the current cost of living crisis, and a cold winter on the way, we 100% get the urge to stick with the cheap and (not so) cheerful.

Although it can be SO tempting, and can often feel like everyone is doing it, it is important to think about the bigger picture.

So, we’re giving you a few reasons why investing in your clothing is so important, to help you fight your urge to impulse buy!

The real cost of fast fashion

Although it can almost seem silly to not make the most of a clothing bargain, ordering that £5 top might not be as cheap as it sounds. Yes, you’ve spent a fiver and got yourself a new outfit for the night - but will it last you all the nights to come?

More often than not, you get what you pay for.

The bargains you spot in high street shops and online fashion retailers, are generally a sign of low quality and garments tend to wear out, break, or fall apart ridiculously quickly.

Fast fashion brands have a tendency to cut corners, use cheaper and lower quality fabrics, and even put less stitches in…so they can sell their garments at such low prices.

All this does is encourage you to buy another top when the one you’ve just bought falls apart, and another one after that, and… you get the picture.

Fast fashion has changed the way we value clothing, and we’re sure you would think twice or turn your nose up at a top costing £50.

Yet, if the more expensive top is well-made from high quality fabrics, it will likely last you more than ten times longer than the £5 top, ultimately saving you money in the long run.

invest in more than just clothing

Something to keep in mind when shopping - be it for clothing, or anything at all - is that when you spend money, you are casting a vote for the kind of world you want to live in.

Money often speaks louder than words, and pretty much everything else really, so where you spend it is super important.

If you want to live in a world with no high-street shops, no local boutiques, and no independent makers, by all means feel free to spend your money with the fast fashion giants.

But if you can cast your vote for, and buy from smaller, independent businesses - ideally with sustainable values - we can pretty much guarantee your money is going towards better things than these huge corporations which use their millions to exploit workers.

Clothing from smaller, independent brands, is often more expensive, in order to cover the costs of fabric, materials, fair labour, oh and maybe a touch of profit too - when you tot it up, it really is crazy to think that a top can cost a fiver.

We can also guarantee that independent business owners will be very, very grateful for your orders and do a little happy dance for each one!

Make it more YOU

Ever had that struggle of being a size 10 in one shop, a size 8 in another, a 12 in another, and a bloomin’ M in another?? Who are you kidding, we KNOW you have.

With smaller, independent clothing brands, you are more likely to find a fit that is right for you. They will often provide size guides on their websites, and may even have the option for you to enter your own measurements for made-to-order items.

Even if they don’t have these options, they are often way more responsive in answering questions and offering a helping hand, and will likely consider specific requests if you ask nicely!

At Wild Strings, if you see a garment you love, but you’d like it a little longer, or with shorter sleeves, or in a different fabric, simply drop us a message and we’ll create a version that is perfect for you.

If ever you’re unsure about sizing, please do get in touch for advice, or send us your measurements so that we can make a piece bespoke to you!

Because really, if you don’t feel confident and comfortable in your clothes, then why are you wearing them?

Someone, somewhere is paying the price

Going back to that £5 top - and how when you tot up all the factors - it’s actually pretty impossible… It isn’t actually impossible, it’s just that someone else is paying for that in some way.

Sadly, low prices usually mean that someone at the bottom of the supply chain is being exploited.

Specifically, workers at SHEIN were found to have been paid an outrageous 3p per garment for their work, on top of being given no lunch breaks, frequently working 7 days a week, and being expected to churn out a whopping 500 garments per day.

But it’s not just SHEIN who are doing this. Stories like this are all too common across the fast fashion industry, and it needs to stop.

Next time you consider your next bargain buy, please, please, please, pause and take a minute to think about the bigger picture, and who this is affecting.

And if you can, spend your pennies with independent fashion brands who have your best interests (and the planet’s!) at heart.

If you want to browse some sustainable fashion, and support a small business while you do it, check out our shop here.


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