About a week ago, I received an email from the Girlfriend Collective. The email explained that they would increase the pricing of their clothing from $4 to $10.
The Girlfriend Collective is a clothing company that makes its clothes eco-friendly by using recycled materials and reusing offcuts to minimize text tile waste. In short, they are considered more of a sustainable clothing brand compared to a competitor like Lululemon.
After receiving the email, I started to think about sustainable clothing in general and why the cost of sustainable clothing is so high. Last year I had listened to a virtual seminar from MATE the Label, a sustainable loungewear brand. The question that was brought up the most is, “why is the brand’s clothing so expensive?” And while the company explained it was due to labor wages, the materials, and the sourcing of the products that led to higher pricing, some were still hesitant to give their money to the brand.
Sustainable and eco-friendly clothing is looked at as a privilege to buy, and I can’t help but agree. While clothing is a necessity, well-made clothing has been turned into a luxury. When a T-Shirt made from an eco-friendly company is $50 versus a T-Shirt that’s $10, most are going for the $10 shirt.
However, some things need to change.
It’s a little hypocritical when I see someone share a $500 SHEIN haul on their Tik-Tok and then claim they can’t afford to buy sustainably. Hauls, in general, need to be slowed down when a clothing item goes viral on social media, and everyone is buying it. We all know it’s not going to look good on everyone and people tend to forgo returning clothes a lot of the time. So now these brand-new clothes are piling up in landfills and creating bigger waste.
I want to clarify that I am not perfect when buying sustainably. I do buy from what is considered “fast-fashion” brands, except SHEIN. (Sorry to anyone who is reading this and shops at SHEIN. Keep shopping there if you want; I just can’t.) In the past year, I have tried to be an overall conscious consumer and become more aware of where my clothing is coming from.
This is not a post to guilt trip or shame anyone for where they get their clothes. None of us are perfect when it comes to buying sustainably, and that’s okay. Ultimately, it’s down to the big corporations to make some profound change. But I think it’s a topic that needs to be discussed, and more need to be aware of the implications of fast fashion and the harm the fashion industry is doing to the environment.
Thanks for reading!