For the first time in history, a pair of jeans can cost you less than the price of a sandwich – you can buy them from the same shop too.
In a culture of supermarket fashion, we’ve become so far detached geographically (and mentally) from the people who make our clothes that we forget how much it actually costs to craft them.
As an insight, let’s list all the stages of making and selling a pair of jeans. Consider all the people involved at each stage of production, as well as shipping to and from several different locations for each development stage:
1. Developing design ideas, conducting market research
2. Designing the end product, creating samples
3. Planting, growing, harvesting the cotton plant
4. Sorting, ginning, sampling, combing and carding the cotton fibre
5. Dyeing the fibre using hundreds of gallons of water and environmentally toxic dyes, applying easy-care finishes
6. Spinning the yarn and weaving or knitting it into denim fabric, transporting it to the next processing location
7. Cutting the pattern pieces and constructing the garment
8. Sewing buttons, zips, pockets and any other embellishment or detailing
9. Conducting quality control tests
10. Packaging and shipping, sending and merchandising to retail stores and outlets
Do you still think it’s acceptable to pay £5 for a pair of Primark jeans?
GO ECO Fashion trends come and go, but one that couldn’t, and shouldn’t die down anytime soon is ethical fashion. To shop ethically has an array of meanings, but generally speaking, ethics means doing the right thing.
Through the clothing we purchase, and more importantly the clothing we don’t purchase, we can make a difference to people and the world we live in. TIME TO MAKE A CHANGE To make the fashion world a more ethical place means making changes to our own shopping behavioural patterns. Pressure from the consumer – you and me – can make a huge difference to how the industry operates.
From writing letters to our favourite glossy fashion magazines about eco issues, following and supporting ethical fashion bloggers, to boycotting the worst offenders in sweatshop labour and searching for fair trade or organic alternatives; we live in an economy based on supply and demand. So if we as consumers demand change, brands will eventually start to take note.
The cycle of extreme waste, environmental destruction, animal cruelty and human exploitation will only continue as long as customers keep buying into cheap, poor quality clothing. FINAL THOUGHT Fast fashion is all about rapid change that focuses 100% on design aesthetic, and 0% on the lasting impact of the product. So let’s slow fashion down and choose the right trend to buy into this season: green is most definitely the new black.