About our Pricing
We started running ads on Facebook a while back. Two of the most common feedback comments we have received are ‘Love the designs’ and ‘Why are your prices so high?’ We often hear at markets and festivals we sell at, how much people like our fabric patterns and clothing styles but the comment about the prices surprised us. When we thought about it though, we realized that shopping in person allows customers to see and feel the quality of the clothing and since we also explain about the fabric and the manufacturing process they appreciate what goes into each garment. This is more difficult to convey online. Americans have been acclimated to cheap clothes through fast fashion stores, discounters and department stores that seem to have everything on sale all the time. We realized that most people are not only unfamiliar with the quality of our brand, but probably don’t understand the costs involved in producing eco-friendly goods. So, here is a bit of an explainer:
Our prices are based on three things:
- Cost of Recycled Fabrics
- Cost of American Labor
- Scale of Production.
Let’s look at the cost of the recycled fabrics we use. Our leggings are made from recycled polyester made from recycled plastic water bottles. The bottles are thrown away – they’re garbage right? How much can it cost to recycled a bottle? Well actually a lot and the reason is that the recycling industry isn’t very large especially compared to the oil industry from which virgin or new polyester is made. Virgin polyester is everywhere and it’s cheap because the long standing production and supply systems are vast and dominate the textile markets. Recycled fabrics make up only a very small percentage of fabrics made and recycled polyester is about 3 times more expensive to source than virgin polyester.
The second most important influence on price is the cost of labor. All of our products are made entirely in the USA. You have all heard about the push to increase the minimum wage to $15. We support this because we feel that everyone should earn enough to eat and have a proper home to live in but face it, even without the wage increase, American wages are far higher compared to wages overseas. And, consider this; we have to pay someone to custom print the fabric with our unique designs and then pay someone to cut out the pattern pieces, and then pay someone to sew all the garments together, and then pay someone to tag and label each garment. Add all this together and labor cost of an American made garment is 3-5 times higher than the same item made overseas.
Our third most important cost is scale of manufacturing. It’s a simple concept - The cost per item goes down as the quantity you produce goes up. Big brands produce styles often in the thousands and tens of thousands of pieces at a time. The cost of small batch production, like what we do, means our cost per item is higher. It’s one of the reasons it’s difficult for small businesses to compete with large mega brands and retailers. The large profit margins that massive scale production creates allow the big fashion brands the ability to offer free shipping and returns and all sorts of deals and sales.
So what does this all mean? First of all, prices of eco-friendly goods will eventually come down as the recycling industry expands and demand for recycled fabrics rises. But, the key to this is DEMAND! By spending the extra money now you are investing in the future of recycled and sustainable goods.
Secondly, products made in the USA will probably always be a bit more expensive than products manufactured overseas but if the domestic clothing industry re-emerges and becomes more competitive, labor costs will also come down. In the meantime, we encourage everyone to support your neighbors and communities by buying domestically made products when you can.
The one cost that will always remain higher for small fashion brands is scale of production. We don’t see that as a problem though! Artist designed, small production batches mean no mass produced, cookie cutter garments common in the big brands. We guarantee exclusivity and uniqueness for our customers who want to express more individualize style. We think that worth a few extra dollars. I unfortunate truth is that some people just can't afford to spend so much on active wear and we sympathize. We've lowered our prices recently as much as we can and we've added Klarna payments to make shopping within your budget easier.
We understand that online ads can’t convey the superb quality and workmanship of our clothing but, the saying ‘you get what you pay for’ is true. We produce quality active wear garments. The fabric is breathable, wicking, quick drying and has a Sun Protection Factor of 50+. The fabric won’t fade or lose its elasticity over time and it doesn’t pill or snag. Every garment is machine washable in cold water. Our customers know that our active wear value-wise is actually less expensive than better known brands with lower quality products and, they appreciate the uniqueness of our garments. Trust me when I say we aren’t getting rich in this business. Choosing to be a sustainable and socially conscious company means smaller margins and low profits but when you do something you love for a cause you believe in, getting rich isn’t the point.