Africa Speaks Reasoning Forum

GENERAL => Kiwumulo Nakandi Galabuzi => Topic started by: Nakandi on September 10, 2017, 04:47:16 PM

Title: Is Ethical Clothing Expensive?
Post by: Nakandi on September 10, 2017, 04:47:16 PM
Is Ethical Clothing Expensive?
Wendy Graham

"Something I hear a lot from people is that they would love to shop more ethically, but ethical clothing is just too expensive. And I do get that. When money is tight it’s only natural to want that budget to spread as far as possible.

Is ethical clothing expensive though? When you look at it on the surface, yes, ethical clothing is expensive. This $120 dress (approximately £96 at time of writing), by Everlane, whose business model is based on ‘radical transparency’, is pretty similar to this £35 dress from a company with no ethical statement. Why would you spend £60 more on a dress that’s pretty similar? It’s hard to make the maths add up.

When you sit and think about that £35 dress though, you begin to think how manufacturers can possibly make a dress for £35, and still make a profit. If you’ve ever tried to make your own clothing you’ll know it’s pretty tricky to make a dress for that amount of money. By the time you’ve bought the fabric and the pattern, and the thread and any zips or buttons, and the electricity to power your sewing machine, you may well have reached or exceeded that amount, before even accounting for the cost of your own time.

So could the rise of fast fashion retailers have caused us to lose our sense of perspective, and our benchmarks and baselines on what is expensive?

You would expect to pay more for something now than in say, 1980, wouldn’t you?"

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Title: Re: Is Ethical Clothing Expensive?
Post by: Nakandi on September 10, 2017, 07:24:51 PM
Luxury brands: higher standards or just a higher mark-up?

Research challenges assumption that there is a link between the cost of clothing and the way it is produced, explains Tansy Hoskins

Cheap retailers such as Primark, Tesco and Asda are generally held up as the villains of the industry: accused of driving wages and working conditions down through their desire to sell clothes at extraordinarily cheap prices. Buying expensive clothes is often suggested as an ethical option, with the idea being that designer brands somehow use their profit margins to benefit their workforce. However, a high price tag is no guarantee of ethical practices.

Numerous high-end brands including Prada, Hugo Boss and Dolce and Gabbana have been highlighted in a recent Clean Clothes Campaign report on conditions in the “Euro-Mediterranean textile cluster” – the former Soviet countries of eastern Europe plus Turkey. The rise of this region as a fashion industry hub has been aided by its “Made in Europe” brand – a concept that purports to be a guarantee of standards above and beyond those of “Made in Asia”.

Rewinding back through the supply chain, filmmaker Leah Borromeo has documented India’s cotton fields for Dirty White Gold: “If you want a purely ethical line you also have to go beyond this idea that your clothes are made in a sweatshop, that’s not where they are made, that is where they are processed,” she explains. “You have to look at who made the thread for that fabric and who supplied the cotton for that thread. At the base of it is the farmer.” Borromeo points out that fields aren’t divided between expensive brands and cheap brands, instead the same farmers and labourers are at the behest of the market.

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Title: Re: Is Ethical Clothing Expensive?
Post by: Nakandi on September 11, 2017, 07:01:13 AM
This documentary highlights some important problems brought on by consumerism via fast fashion. This author, in a review of the documentary, points out a great aspect it misses that is fundamental in the driving forces of abuse by big businesses. "... it is not explicit enough in stating the disproportionate effect of exploitative industries like fast fashion on people of colour, most of all people of colour in the ‘Global South.’ To put it into perspective, (particularly white) Western consumers are exempt of accountability for their part in exploiting the time, health, and labor of people of colour in ‘distant lands.’ So while I commend the film for putting women of colour’s voices and experiences front and center, it cheats its own argument by shying away from the ways in which gender, race, and nationality play into global capitalism’s systemic violence. The film also does not in any way note how global capitalism is in part an expression of Western colonialism and imperialism, and how people of colour (especially women) continue to suffer the greatest burden of this legacy." Full review at (

The True Cost Official Trailer 1 (2015) - Documentary
The True Cost Official Trailer 1 (2015) - Documentary HD (

Title: Re: Is Ethical Clothing Expensive?
Post by: Nakandi on September 12, 2017, 07:51:45 PM
The Cotton Film: Dirty White Gold
The Cotton Film: Dirty White Gold [12min taster] on Vimeo (