How Much Does Your T-shirt Cost?
The world we live in today is more connected than ever before. This means our clothing materials can come from the other side of the world. Have you ever thought about where the t-shirt you buy comes from? Or what impact your purchase has on the world? This article will explore the true cost of cheap fashion and attempt to answer the question: how much does your t-shirt cost?
China, Bangladesh, Vietnam, and India are the top exporters of garments in the entire world. There is definitely a high likelihood that you own an article of clothing made from one of these countries. Supply chains that rely on these countries often do so because of their lower costs. For example, Vietnam’s yearly minimum wage is $1,002. This is important, because the wage factory workers are paid directly correlates with the cost of the product that is being made. What that means is when a garment factory makes 2,000 t-shirts to be sold at $5 a shirt, the only way the seller (business or brand) makes money on the shirt is if the cost of goods is extremely low. As a consumer, purchasing from companies that source their garments from regions of the world where workers are underpaid justifies those companies’ actions. In reality, these actions are very harmful, because no matter who you are or what country you live in, you need resources to survive. Being paid the equivalent of $1,002 a year makes it very difficult for those workers to properly live their lives. That is the true cost of cheap fashion. While they may provide a cheap option for you, someone else in the world is being wildly underpaid for your convenience.
At Edward Joiner, we value the lives and the quality of life for everyone. If a factory worker in Vietnam gets paid $0.50 an hour to make clothes for a company that sells thousands of products and makes millions of dollars, how right does that seem? This article is meant to influence all of us to stop and evaluate the true cost of the clothes that we own.
These facts are the reason Edward Joiner works with the manufacturer we do in North America. We know that our garments, while they may be more expensive, are priced because of their craftsmanship and because each person in the process is being paid a livable wage.
The next time you find yourself wanting cheap fast-fashion ask yourself, how much does this really cost?