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Why is sustainable fashion more expensive?

Perchè la moda sostenibile è più costosa?

Hello and welcome back to the usual weekly Shenty Blog appointment. This week we are going to deal with a very delicate subject, but of fundamental importance. As the title suggests, we will try to explain to you in a simple and essential way, the reason why sustainable fashion is more expensive than the competition.


First we must go and analyze the psychological side that affects people 's buying habits every day. Unfortunately, during the last few years we have been strongly influenced by the market proposal put in place by the giants of Fast Fashion . These brands not only launch continuous news on a weekly basis, but offer their clothing at very low prices . It is therefore very easy and accessible to date, to be able to go to a clothing store and go out with full bags, for a cost well below € 100. This "bad habit" has changed our perception of the cost of each item; being used to spending little, slightly higher prices immediately tend to scare us , leading us to consider the product in question totally out of market. We have been corrupted over time, leading us to choose Quantity rather than Quality .


But now the time has come to start thinking, and that is why we want to explain an abstract concept, but which is not so abstract: "the paradox of quantity" . We will try to do it in the simplest way possible, by telling you a story, in which you will surely be able to reflect yourself.

"Luca decides to go to the mall one Saturday afternoon to go shopping. He needs to buy some t-shirts for the summer and a pair of pants, his budget is not very high, it is around € 100. in the usual Fast Fashion shop, full of news and with products offered at very low prices. He starts trying on different items and realizing the very affordable prices he lets his hand slip away , and in the end he leaves the shop with a bag containing: 3 t-shirts , 2 trousers, 1 bermuda shorts and 1 hat. He slightly exceeded the budget by spending a total of about € 140. He allowed himself to be influenced and attracted by low cost products , and he focused on quantity, convinced that he had made a real bargain.

After a year Luca finds himself again with the need to go to the mall for shopping, as he has the feeling of not having clothes to face next summer, but analyzing the purchases of the previous year he realizes that:

- a t-shirt he had bought faded after several washes, another t-shirt went out of fashion , he left it in the drawer, wearing it only 3/4 times. The third t-shirt has used it so much that it wears out in just one year, and it has a heavily worn look.

- The trousers have survived the time, with dignity, but it is clear that they will not be able to last a new year . The bermuda instead has wisely sold it thanks to the use of a used clothing marketplace, collecting the smallness of 5 € , as it is a worthless garment.

- The hat is unused, it was just a whim of the moment .

So Luca goes to the shopping center again, but this time he decides to change his shopping mentality and with a budget of € 100, he only buys pants worth € 100. Make a sustainable choice by buying from a small brand that is committed to providing high quality , environmentally friendly products.

Three years after that fateful day, Luca realizes that the trousers he paid for € 100 are still intact , perfectly preserved, despite having used them many times, and above all he continues to wear them. However, he realizes that none of the items of clothing (paid € 140) he had bought 4 years earlier, in that Fast Fashion store, managed to resist over time, and got rid of them by throwing them away . "

The moral of the story is that in the end Luca, buying more clothes and focusing on quantity, did not save on the contrary, on the contrary, he found himself spending more and using them very little. What's more, he tried to get rid of it after just one year, initially making an ethically correct choice with Bermuda shorts, selling it in a used items marketplace. However, realizing the very low market value, and only € 5 collected, he threw away the remaining items, triggering the chain of pollution , as those same items will be destined to be burned. On the contrary, by choosing Quality , Luca still wears the same trousers he bought 3 years ago for € 100, he does not need to spend money to buy another one, and he knows that if one day he chooses to resell it, he will be able to collect well, and consequently he will never find himself in the situation of having to throw it away.


The previous story serves to introduce the first essential element for an eco-sustainable brand: Quality . Without it, producing garments in organic fabrics or recycled materials would still be useless, as it would not be possible to guarantee garments the ability to withstand over time:

Quality = more uses

Being able to wear the same t-shirt hundreds of times, the same sweatshirt thousands of times is an absolute guarantee of quality. Something that belongs to past times, but which is destined to return , if we want to start polluting our planet less. The more clothing we buy, the more we pollute , this is a concept that must always be imprinted in our mind. Therefore, a brand that can be defined as eco-sustainable must guarantee its potential customers the highest quality , and must also encourage them to buy less but better . We therefore have the first answer to the initial question that gives the title to this article:

1) Sustainable fashion is more expensive as it can guarantee higher quality products. The initial higher investment on the cost of a single item of clothing will be repaid, as it will be able to guarantee you a greater number of uses , and therefore a greater ability to withstand the passage of time.


Very often when we buy an item of clothing we tend to see and evaluate the final product , without making any kind of reflection on its origin, or on who actually made it. We stop apparently without evaluating the involvement of third parties , without thinking of the rights of the workers who have achieved it and they of the minimum wages. Each clothing brand should ensure a sufficient salary for the workers involved in the making of the garments, so that they can guarantee them a dignified life , allowing them to have enough food, running water, the right to education and everything that is part of it. of a normal lifestyle. Unfortunately , in most cases, this is not the case : the workers who often belong to underdeveloped countries in charge of production are exploited and above all underpaid . It goes without saying that in this case the result is and will always be a much lower final price of the product . Here is the second answer to the initial question:

2) A brand that can be defined as sustainable must be able to guarantee fair and higher salaries to all workers who are part of the production and distribution chain. In this case the final result will certainly be a higher price than the competition, but at least the product you are buying can be defined as Decent.

To ensure this, a sustainable brand is required to rely on a certifying body capable of issuing certifications . These bodies are responsible for sending (under payment of the brand) inspectors to check and verify the working conditions inside the factories. All this obviously affects the final price of the product, but acts as a certificate of trust and transparency necessary for the sustainable Brand.


We talked about the Social certifications, but the Textile Certifications also compete in large part to the increase in the final price of the product. We have already talked about the latter in a very thorough way in a last article of the Shenty Blog that I warmly invite you to read by clicking here . What you need to know, in summary, is the third answer to the initial question:

3) An eco-sustainable brand must necessarily have textile certifications, in order to guarantee the real organic and sustainable origin of the fabrics used to make the products. Without any type of certification, we will never be able to know if the organic cotton declared on the label is for real or not. These certifications require higher costs than the competition and this obviously ends up having an impact on the final cost of the products.


We have therefore reached the end of this journey that led us to the final and definitive answer to the initial question that gives the title to this article:

"Why is sustainable fashion more expensive?"

- Quality defined by the use of more expensive fabrics, able to resist over time

- Respect for work with guarantee of correct wages and salaries to all workers of the factories in charge of production

- Textile and social certifications to offer maximum transparency, trust and quality

We have thus come to the end of this article from the Shenty Blog, we thank you for coming this far and for having decided to change your way of thinking and buying. We look forward to seeing you next week for a new article.