Conversations with our elders about clothing are very important. They can tell us first-hand of the times where garments were not in abundance at the click of a mouse. The times where local manufacture was the norm and clothes were robust; passed down through families, and the thought of only wearing something once or twice was remarkably ridiculous.
One of the main reasons? MONEY. That thing that makes the world go round. Back then, you saved up over a period to buy a new garment, and because of that, you then looked after it well – and better yet, it was made well in the first place with strong natural materials… so far less likely to fall apart! It is the combination of these aspects that makes up the #buylesslovemore mentality that ‘Repeal It’ is advocating
People regularly say that ethically made clothing is too expensive, and so isolates those from lower economic backgrounds. On the surface this is an understandable issue, but it’s not as it seems when you dive deeper.
It comes down to consumption behaviour. Indeed, if you want to buy sustainable garments at the same rate you might buy things from fast-fashion brands (yes… we have seen the online ‘haul’ culture) then sure it will seem extremely expensive.
The truth is that fast fashion has gigantically skewed our understanding of how much clothing actually costs.
We have been conditioned to believe that keeping up with ‘trends’ and ‘seasons’ is essential, and that having a wardrobe bursting with new clothes is somehow aspirational and a positive goal or achievement. It means that now, we feel entitled to clothing in abundance, and with that entitlement comes an expectation that it should be ‘affordable’.
Well, what you’re not paying for with money, you are paying for with environmental impact and the knowledge that someone, somewhere, has been exploited. That is how big brands can offer clothing so cheap, and equally, why brands like us are constantly having to justify our prices.
Clothing is 'not cheap'.
It takes time, energy and money to make things. With so much of manufacturing taking place overseas or out of sight, many of us have become very far removed from the realities of making most things, so it is understandable that the masses struggle to digest realistic clothing prices.
Cue our Prickly Thistle ‘Ethical Receipts’ – the next ‘Repeal It’ action we are undertaking to help everyone understand our prices and how fair they really are! But this is not just about us, hopefully if people can learn from us about the real behind-the-scenes process of labour, love and cared for staff, they will understand the higher prices (AND VALUE) of other local makers too – and change will start to happen!
Every Prickly Thistle garment will come with a digital ‘Ethical Receipt’ that will give a clear breakdown of the entire making process – from start to finish – as well as the cost of ethical, natural materials and true cost of keeping our mill alive and healthy! Throughout the month of July you will see all our products one by one have an additional product image, sharing with you what goes into making every piece of Prickly at our mill.
Love Clare and the team