Today’s post features an outfit that I wore on Saturday to pop into town and grab a few essentials with the girls. The cardigan was from Oxfam and cost me under £30. It is by the brand Whistles and still had the £135 label on it. I bought the cardigan not because of the label but because I desparately needed something cosy to wear, because I really loved the colour and the also the chunky knit. I hadn’t realised that it would be brand new with the tag still on and I certainly hadn’t realised that it would have cost so much new. This amazing find prompted me to try and post about how ethical and sustainable fashion doesn’t cost too much and how it was easy to find amazing and affordable sustainable clothing. The post proved more difficult than I thought because I guess so much depends on your definition of affordable and sustainable (it was brand new rather than second hand!)
In research for my post I decided to stop by a certain well known fast fashion retailers website to find a cardigan to use for my price analysis. I won’t name names but you can probably guess who I am taling about. Call me naive (I hardly ever go in clothes shops these days and have not set foot in this particular fast fashion store, at least within the last 10 years) but I was really shocked to discover that you could buy a cardigan for just £12! I am really wondering what a cardigan for £12 will look like. Now I know what people mean when they say ethical fashion is expensive. Comparatively speaking even my bargainous cardigan from Oxfam for under £30 was expensive.
I am afraid I have abandoned my original post idea on the basis that trying to justify the cost of sustainable fashion against fast fashion isn’t going to really work. Beautifully made clothes are always going to be more expensive than fast fashion. I am a firm believer that in most cases you get what you pay for. Even in this times when everyone is feeling the pinch with the rising cost of living, £30 for a cardigan or even £60 for a cardigan doesn’t feel expensive for me for something that you plan to keep and enjoy for many years to come. It is roughly equivalent to a month or two mobile phone contract for a new phone and I rarely see many people these days without the latest model of mobile phone (BTW my phone is quite a few years old as I would rather spend my money on clothes).
I can’t get my head round how a £12 cardigan can possibly be made under ethical conditions and can be valued in a sustainable way.
What do you think? Is ethical fashion expensive or is fast fashion just unrealistically cheap?
With warmest wishesPin It