Pricing Transparency: Why We Cut Our Margins So You Can Shop Sustainably
by Cindy Chen·
3 minute read
When it comes to practicing ethical and sustainable fashion, there can be a high price tag associated with it. Consumers need pricing transparency from businesses in order to gain their trust. Especially when it comes to sustainable fashion and ethical practices. It is important for brands to be open with their pricing transparency so shoppers can make good judgements when they shop.
In any business, profit margins are important. In this article, we will be discussing the fast fashion industry, clothing markups, our fashion supply chain and our pricing transparency. Keep reading to learn more about the supply chain of our AMEERA blouses.
Fast Fashion In A Nutshell
Fast fashion refers to inexpensive and quickly made garments in terms of design, manufacturing, and marketing. Fast fashion brands take trends straight from the runway, and produce garments within a 2-3 week time frame. In order to bring inexpensive styles to consumers, garment manufacturers reproduce trends while using low-quality materials
The usage of social media marketing and influencers working with fast fashion brands are at an all time high. Consumers are blind sided from the fact that fast fashion is not ethical or sustainable. Workers in the garment industry suffer tremendously just for fast fashion.
Everyday, tens-of-millions of people are purchasing clothing mainly online, without giving any consideration to ethical or environmental concerns.
Ultimately, the results of fast fashion have resulted in an industry-wide movement towards excessive consumer consumption. Unfortunately, this results in harmful impacts on the environment and garment workers. Fast fashion is ultimately destroying the Earth.
Low Costs And Low Quality In Fast Fashion
Fast fashion brand SHEIN, is most known for their low prices and trendy clothing. The company is the most popular amongst Generation Z, with 21.6 million followers on Instagram- they are one of the fastest growing online retailers.
Fast fashion is cheap when it comes to quality and cost, as it is accessible to all. Behind the trendy clothing and low price tags; garments are being made by people who are underpaid, working overtime, mistreated and working in horrible conditions. In some cases, the garment made is more expensive than the wage of the person who made it.
Fast fashion companies need to meet high demands, therefore they produce cheap clothing. When consumers throw away unwanted clothes, it’s more than just wasting money. The garment sits in a landfill becoming a potential toxin to the environment that could take up to 200 years to decompose.
Fast fashion is known for having hidden supply chains, and exploiting their workers. Fast fashion brands are willing to pay their workers pennies while marking up their garments for a larger profit than what the garment workers were paid.
In 2019, a New York Times article discovered a garment company paid their seamstresses $2.77 an hour. One of the workers at the factory named Ms. Cortes noticed the $12 price tag on one of the dresses and said that it was, “very expensive for what they pay us.”
According to the article, Ms. Cortes worked every day of the week. Her pay was dependent on how fast she could sew, “Ms. Cortes was paid for each piece of a shirt she sewed together — about 4 cents to sew on each sleeve, 5 cents for each of the side seams, 8 cents for the seam on the neckline. On average, she earned $270 in a week, the equivalent of $4.66 an hour.” - New York Times, 2019.
The creation of a garment comes from logistics and a lot of strategic planning. To craft one of our garments at AMEERA we have to think about the expenses, paying employees, production, labor, and material costs that determine the final retail price of the garment.
Our Fashion Supply Chain At AMEERA
At AMEERA, we want to be transparent with our customers about our prices, and with our fashion supply chain. Our supply chain is simple, and easy to trace back. Garments are made to order, and handmade by artisans in New York City, as we support ethical and healthy labor conditions.
The production of our blouses are simple. There are different styles of our blouses on the website, prices may vary depending on materials.
- Production Cost: Our garments support fair labor, as they are handmade in New York City. The production cost is $110.
- Fabric: Our current blouses are crafted from silk. The silk fabric is machine washable and biodegradable. We need 4 yards of silk fabric to craft one blouse, and each yard is $19.15 to purchase. 4 x $19.15/yard = $76.60
- Notions: For the small details in our silk blouses, we use natural mother of pearl buttons, and we use sustainable notions. (No plastic here!) The total cost of buttons and notions is $12.93
With different styles of blouses on the website, the approximate cost to produce one ranges from $200-$250, and retails around $300-$350. Other similar styles from other brands mark up their garments 3X the price, compared to ours. We strongly believe in lower margins, fair wages, and healthy labor conditions when it comes to the production of our garments.
With owning a business comes many responsibilities, and being honest and transparent with our customers is a must. Our profit is what will keep us in business in order to bring these options to our customers.
We choose a markup that is lower than industry standards, and strive to make luxury fashion accessible to all. At AMEERA we want to educate and reform the fashion industry through these means.