There’s no doubt that everyone loves a bargain. Certainly, when shopping at a big clothes store there are plenty of bargains to be had. Mass production and economies of scale account for some of the cheap prices but there’s a darker side too. The fact is, most global clothing manufacturers use fabrics that are produced non-organically. The production methods are industrial and dirty and damaging to the environment. Furthermore, the wages being paid in countries such as Bangladesh, Cambodia, China, India, Myanmar, Pakistan and Vietnam are shockingly low. So, if you’re looking to build a wardrobe of affordable organic kid’s clothes, why might you pay more?
Ultimately, profit is the overriding driving force behind most kids and baby’s clothes. Of course, all clothing manufacturers need to make a profit, but it can be done in a more ethical and balanced way. When a big clothing brand is selling kids and baby’s outfits for as little as $5.00, the margins are extremely tight. After all, the costs involved include fabrics, manufacturing, shipping, taxes, marketing and their own profit margin. Everything in the process is squeezed. Unfortunately, that includes the welfare of the workers in developing countries. But, while we continue to support this unethical manufacturing model, it’s sure to continue.
According to Oxfam Australia’s latest report on the clothing industry, Oxfam’s ‘A Sewing Kit for Living Wage’, roughly 4% of each item of clothing goes towards overseas factory worker’s wages. However, they estimate that by absorbing a mere 1% of the item production cost would improve living standards dramatically. His would include a staggering 40 million workers in the Asia-Pacific region employed in the clothing and textiles industry. So, to make real changes, you don’t have to rush out and replace your entire kid’s wardrobe. Instead, try buying one organic item at a time. Every item makes a difference. Eventually, you’ll have clothes that will be loved for generations. They’ll feel good, for everyone who was, or is, connected to these clothes.
Elves in the Wardrobe is steadily growing alongside my passion for ethical organic baby and kids clothes. It makes me happy to work closely with so many wonderful ethically sourced kids fashion labels. These include loud+proud, leela cotton, pigeon organics, poudre organic and buck&baa who are all committed to creating beautiful, comfortable, healthy organic kids clothes that will not only last but also help to make a change for everyone involved.
Yes, ethical organic fashion costs more but each extra dollar represents an investment in the fair treatment of people, in the protection of our planet and in nurturing our handmade traditional craft.
These higher prices aren’t there to create status or generate more revenue for shop owners but to simply cover a living wage for those involved in production and support environmentally responsible practices.
So surely, they’re not high prices, just reasonable prices. Don’t you think?
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