Common Fashion Shortcuts – Why We Don’t Buy In

in Apr 17, 2024

Fast, cheap fashion has become a staple for a lot of us, and is especially prevalent in the activewear industry. Companies use a lot of shortcuts to get those profit wheels turning as fast as possible. The result is cut corners and short lived garments. The old saying is true – you buy cheap, you buy twice. Buying cheap ends up costing you considerably more in the long run, and lets apparel companies get away with a whole host of manufacturing sins. So here are a couple of the industries dark little secrets and why we don’t (and never will) buy in.

1: Same Pants, Different Label

 With fast fashion, design work isn’t a priority. A company will simply visit a factory (sometimes not even visit!), look at a rail of pants and decide which to have their brand label sewn onto. There’s no need to design anything when the work has already been done, and that’s a big cash saving. We design all of our clothing from the ground up – fabric, shape, motif, pattern – all these things are put together by us. You simply can’t have a unique garment without adding a personal touch and controlling the manufacture framework. Staying within the process is a must. All our designs are in-house – we design everything. We would never just attach our label to a generic design or sample provided by a wholesaler.

2: Out of Sight, Out of Mind

A lot of companies are happy to keep their manufacturers on the other side of a very long phone line. But all garments have a journey and require real, human labour. People are starting to take note of the ethical and human aspects of garment production, and the cheapest labour is always the least ethically handled. When you’re 10,000 miles from a factory, it’s easier not to consider the human cost of mass production. We personally visit our manufacturers and employers on site – and not just for an initial communication. You need to get a ‘feel’ for a place to know if workers are happy and operating in decent conditions. But again, foreign visits like this cost money, and many companies don’t want to shell out.

3: Fast Fabric, Worse Wear

 Cheap thread breaks, cheap fabric wears through, and cheap prints flake and fade. Even our hand painted motifs have a two year guarantee – how many cheap, flimsy pairs of yoga pants would the average yoga practitioner get through in that time? 6? 7? But when you’re producing clothing en-masse, shortcuts using cheap threads and fabrics can produce massive profits.

Will people mind if their gym pants wear through after a month if they got them on the cheap? Fast fashion companies don’t think so! The cynical side of the industry’s assumption is that you’ll just buy another pair of pants from them, and the cycle will continue. What do you think?