For the month of January, we are addressing an issue that can often be a barrier to consumers implementing a sustainable fashion lifestyle: cost. Products from clean companies typically sell at a higher price point, especially when compared to fast fashion prices that “benefit” from supply chains that produce clothing as quickly and cheaply as possible. Ensuring an ethical supply chain, however, is expensive: paying fair wages and providing healthy working conditions, incorporating post-consumer upcycling systems, and implementing sustainable manufacturing technologies are all examples of why these products can be a higher investment.
Not only does the relative price difference between these two types of companies make choosing the more expensive option less appealing, fast fashion is also reshaping consumers’ purchasing habits. Stores like Zara and H&M put out anywhere from 12 to 24 new lines each year. That means opportunities to buy brand new clothes from the latest trends is rapidly increasing.
As consumption increases, consumer waste increases. In fact, it was estimated in 2016 that one American throws away 80 pounds of clothes each year. The United Nations Environment Programme figures the equivalent of one garbage truck full of clothes is burned or dumped in a landfill every second.
So how can we transition our wardrobe to one that aligns with the slow fashion movement without breaking the bank? Each week in January we are going to focus on a different way we can be mindful of our purchasing habits and maintain an ethical lifestyle while on a budget. We can’t wait to share our tips and recommendations with you!