Price Breakdown for Ethical Fashion
Most of us want to buy the things we need, whether that be food, clothing, or other items, from sources that reflect our values in their production and create beauty rather than oppression in the world. However, we are often surprised by the price of such items, and many of us indeed find them to be beyond our present means. The interconnected forms of capitalist exploitation ensure this, of course.
In the spirit of education and full openness, we wanted to offer a price breakdown for our new TALIBA collection. These prices reflect above-market rates for labor and materials, because of our insistence on fair pay, slow processes, and natural, quality materials.
Let us take the TALIBA Collared Blazer, for example:
$7 for Handcrafted Copper Belt Buckle
$5 for all-natural mother-of-pearl buttons
$5 for patterns and sizes ($100 paid once, distributed over all units sold of the same model and size)
$35 for cutting & sewing labor
$35 for hand-loomed artisanal raw wool fabric (this includes shearing the ship, cleaning and carding the fibers, spinning into thread, dyeing if necessary, and hand-weaving)
$7 plant-dyed cotton lining
$8 Handling, Care, Paperwork, & Packaging
$2 Local transportation
$21+ International shipping (we subsidize this, charging $5.99+, we also pay to plant trees for every shipment)
$25 Designing and Prototyping
$12 Shoot and Modeling
Our price: $208
Profit Margin = 21%
In any industry, this is a modest margin, but particularly in fashion, where retail fashion often charges 5x, 10x, or even 20x the cost of production for profit margins of upwards of 80-95%. Our margins, by contrast, will likely not allow us to offer sales, or pursue wholesale, etc. Our fabric prices and labor costs for cutting & sewing, in particular, are far far above average market rates. Again, they represent upwards of 20x standard industry costs. But to us, it’s worth it to offer beautiful pieces in the truly most affordable way we can.
We hope that this helps to show the careful and painstaking work that went into these pieces. Each artisan in this supply chain deserves their right for their difficult work. We have worked very hard to offer truly the most affordable prices we were able, and not to pursue luxury markets or bourgeois clientele. We hope this is a collection for the people, that reflects the true cost of ethical, beautiful clothing.
You can explore the TALIBA collection here.