You know what puts my teeth on edge? Hearing people complaining how sustainable brands are so expensive. It’s one of the most popular excuses people give for not shopping sustainable fashion despite knowing how much damage the fashion industry is doing to our planet and climate.
Well, I’m here to give you a rough awakening on this matter! And I’ll spill the beans right now: It’s not sustainable brands’ pricing that’s the matter. It’s your very own mindset! That’s the only thing standing between you and better fashion choices.
Because here’s a truth bomb: we can all, even the ones living on benefits, afford sustainable brands. And I’m gonna tell you how! But first, let’s take a look at the way we think about the value of the products that we buy, and how it affects our shopping behaviour.
Why Sustainable Brands Are So Expensive & How You Can Afford Them
Fast fashion has distorted our understanding of ‘value’
I want you to ask yourself right now, is money just a necessary evil to you, just something that keeps you alive? Or is it a tool that enables you to live a life that you love to live?
I’m asking you to think about this because we have to understand WHY we think that sustainable brands are expensive. Because I repeat, sustainable fashion is actually reasonably priced. A legit pair of trousers can never cost under £50 due to labor, material, transportation and production costs.
A £10 pair of trousers means that the people who made it didn’t get paid, the material was acquired illegally and the manufacturing process destroys our planet and climate. A £10 price for a pair of trousers doesn’t make any sense if you actually think about it. Have you ever tried to make a pair of trousers? I have. £10 sure don’t cover the bother.
Here’s the thing, fast fashion brands have completely distorted our view on pricing. What’s reasonable, what’s not. And in the process the very racist and non-inclusive industry has also distorted our worth as consumers. Unless you’re white, so skinny that you’re see-through, and taller than anyone around, fashion is not for you. That’s what the industry has told us for decades.
What we should remember, though, is that fast fashion is a new phenomena. It all started with Zara in the early 90’s. Imagine, in just 30 years this one industry has become a massive threat to our existence on this planet.
Now, the thing that worries me a lot — in addition to the human rights violations and the massive waste and pollution problem that the fashion industry is — is the way they’ve made us feel about ourselves.
Because aren’t you seriously worth any better than a £10 pair of trousers? Are you really not worthy of clothes that don’t fall apart after 3 wears? My mum’s generation thought that quality was always better than quantity. But fast fashion has turned this mindset on its head within just a few decades.
Quantity over quality is a hoax
So, why are we so convinced that buying a lot at once for as cheap as possible is the way to go? Obviously the no.1 reason is the quick fix of serotonin. Unfortunately that fix doesn’t last long and we find ourselves wanting more of that happy feeling again and again and again.
How did it come to this, though? Couple reasons:
The fashion industry has taught us that its embarrassing to be seen wearing the same dress twice. So, what can we do? We need to buy more and more and more in order to keep up this useless image of exclusivity. And even when you only wear those dresses couple times, it’s enough to make them fall apart. So, we need to buy more again and again and a vicious cycle has been created.
Fast fashion brands knowingly and intentionally over-produce poor quality garments that fall apart quickly. This is because they want us to keep buying more. Not because they need the money, oh no. Just because they want all of your money, period.
And here’s the main reason why we think that sustainable brands are too expensive: because we need to buy new clothes all the time, we can’t afford anything but shit.
I know that cheap is great because it’s that, cheap. But please understand that you are bloody well worth better than a fucking exploitative piece of cheap ass clothing! And IF you’re done with having to buy a new, bad quality top every other month, I’ll tell you a secret:
You actually save a lot of money shopping sustainable. I’ll explain how in just a bit, but let’s cover one more thing first.
Consumerism is destroying us
Lastly, before I reveal how you CAN afford to shop sustainable brands, I’d like to point out that our society is built on us spending as much money on useless crap as possible. This is called consumerism.
Consumerism is based on pure greed and ignorance of its global consequences. By global consequences I, of course, mean the climate crisis and the massive waste problem we currently have on this planet. Consumerism has brainwashed us to think that the more we have, the better we are. When in fact it’s the complete opposite.
We need to unlearn this horrid behaviour as soon as possible. Fact is, this planet may not exist anymore for our grandchildren. It may as well cease to exist in our lifetime. Human beings are the only species in existence that destroys itself. Unfortunately we destroy everything else as well.
How we take back control
In order for you to understand that you CAN afford sustainable brands, and that they’re not all too expensive, couple things need to happen.
Face the facts
You know it, your neighbour knows it, even the orange baboon leading a certain country knows it (but can’t admit it for financial reasons): we are destroying the planet with the way we consume.
Yes, it’s the big corporations that are the main culprits, but don’t you dare try to shift the blame of your consuming habits on them. We are the enablers, the ones who have allowed these gigantic companies to take over the world. And we’ve done this by shopping with them rather than small, independent brands.
And here’s a newsflash for all fashion bloggers: Hauls are embarrassing! They make people cringe. On top of which, having bought a bag full of actual shit isn’t something you should be bragging about. Or is it?
Think about the cost per wear, not the price alone
Even though sustainable fashion costs more, it’s completely affordable when you think about the cost per wear. That means the price of the garment divided by the amount of times you intend to wear it.
Let’s do some simple math: You buy a fast fashion T’shirt that costs £5. After 3 months you need to buy a new T-shirt because this one broke. And after 3 months again another. This way within 2 years you spend £40 on crap T-shirts.
Whereas, if you buy a sustainably produced quality T-shirt for £25, you don’t necessarily need to buy a new one for 5+ years. The cost per wear for a quality T-shirt is hundreds of £$€ less than for a fast fashion T-shirt.
By spending a little bit more once you save dozens, maybe hundreds of £$€ in the long run?
Buy less, buy better
Here’s the big thing: The excessive buying is the problem, and the reason why you think you can’t afford sustainable, NOT the sustainable brands’ pricing. Do you understand that?
The solution for this is very easy: buy LESS and buy BETTER. The way this works is that when you buy less, you will have much more money in your disposal. Because you’ve now got more money in your disposal, you can easily afford most, yes, most sustainable brands.
And here we come to the mindset change! Once you’ve accepted that you’re worthy of clothes that you love and that make you feel good, putting a little bit more money on them doesn’t feel bad at all. Especially when you also understand that buying 5 T-shirts at once isn’t normal behaviour. Because you don’t even like the T-shirts.
Discover affordable sustainable brands
Now, finding affordable sustainable brands can be tricky. But there are plenty of them! And that’s why I’m here: I will bring them to you.
I’ve got a selection of resources available for you FOR FREE. So, check these out:
- Read this list of 11 affordable and size-inclusive sustainable brands.
- When you sign up to my E-mail list, the Outlandish Adventure, you automatically get a list of 15 affordable sustainable fashion brands.
- And if you’re interested in learning more about sustainable fashion, what it is, how it works, and get a list of sustainable brands and resources, get my free e-book.
There was a day when the customer was king. We’re far away from that today, but it’s not too late to go back!
But now tell me, is money something that makes life extra stressful or is it a tool that enables you to have the things in life that you need? Are you only worth a cheap T-shirt that harms the environment and the people who made it? Or are you worth quality, durability and just better? You decide ♥
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