Actually, I’m working on an “answer” to this, but first, I’d like your input/feedback/ideas.
Do you think sustainable/ethical/eco-friendly fashion is TOO expensive for what it is? Or just too expensive compared to mass brands? For example, do you think Zady’s sustainable wool blazer is priced correctly given its characteristics? or do you still think it’s priced too high?*
How much of a premium are you willing to pay for sustainable/ethical clothing? if any?
I’m putting together a post for “sustainable fashion at any budget” but I’d like to know from you guys what your general clothing/fashion budget is for a month or a year, so I can get a reasonable range.
There are so many issues around “sustainable” fashion that are worth discussing that we just don’t.
The expense is one: How does one afford to buy exclusively ethical clothing/shoes/accessories? It’s all so expensive. Is it “worth it” to spend $50 on a white t-shirt that’s made of organic cotton and fits perfectly? or is it NEVER worth it to spend so much on a t-shirt? (haha! you know how I feel about that one…)
My initial reaction to this is simply to say that we should just buy less, and focus on fewer items that can serve multiple needs, but first, it’s not that simple, and I think it’s also a matter of value: are we getting enough VALUE out of our clothing (ethical or not) to justify the higher cost? Do we automatically get more value/better quality clothes when we spend more money?? That is something that’s really hard to quantify, and I think it will largely be subjective, but I’d love to hear your thoughts.
Another issue that I’ve been thinking a lot about is the style of a lot of sustainable clothing. Thankfully, I think we’re past the point where eco-friendly clothing is primarily associated with hippies, ugly, and referred to as “granola”, although if you go by what you see only at Whole Foods or whatever, you might not know otherwise. (not that it’s all terrible, but it does all adhere to a certain style, let’s be honest.) But lately it also seems that many of the smaller, ethical designers design for a specific body type and aesthetic: gamine & minimal, leaving out plus-sizes and women who enjoy more traditionally feminine styles (not the oversized styles that are so prevalent now).
I’m just opening that up here, although I want to discuss it more later. After we address the “affordability” issue 😉
*I know that shopping secondhand is a wonderful way to make sustainable style more affordable, and indeed secondhand shopping is more sustainable than shopping new, but for my purposes now, I’d like to focus on the affordability of buying new, inherently sustainable items rather than secondhand.