How can it be that our clothes are so cheap? What is the downside of this price? Who is actually paying for it?
Read now why it is time to change our shopping habits and understand the true costs of fashion.

Before reading this article we have a question for you:

What kind of emotions is coming over you when you buy a €10 dress?

  • Do you feel happy that you bought it? 
  • Did your heart maybe even make a little jump because you got so excited about this low price?
  • Do you maybe feel proud that you bought the dress because you shot it at a good deal? 
  • Did you maybe mention happily the low price of that dress to your friend when he/she complimented you?

Today, we want to introduce you to a new feeling when you buy next time a cheap fast-fashion item*: A moment of hesitation.

(*And please note, it does not matter if the item from that fast fashion brand is €10 or €40 or even from their “luxury line” tagged with a higher price label)

The question

We know it’s hard to face the truth and to start associating our clothes with some new aspects, except just the way it makes us feel and look. 

Fashion has found its place in our lives and hearts as something good, often associated with a special treat, with which we pamper ourselves because we deserve it.

But we also need to associate it also with economical and political relevance.

Believe it or not, the fashion industry is the second biggest polluter to the environment, after the oil and gas industry. 

And how we are consuming fashion now is the clearest example of where globalization has failed. We had globalization and capitalism kick in and the workers were instead exploited, rather than supported to live better lives. Read a deep dive on this topic here.

So here the question, what is the worth of this €10 dress? And what does it actually cost to make this dress?

The cost

The answers are the factory worker in Bangladesh that gets paid too little, the environment that gets polluted, and our future.

So when we say that this dress was €10, we don’t consider the following costs:

  • How the production of this item is exploiting people lives for a low salary
  • How the production of this item is often also involving child labor
  • How the production of this item is polluting our environment (air and water)
  • How the production of this item is harming the health of the people producing it
  • How the production of this item is costing lives (of people who are involved in the production process, but also people who are secret bystanders because they live in the same area, or also babies that haven’t been born yet.)

Now next time you want to buy something at a fast-fashion brand, hold on for a minute and ask yourself if this new dress is really worth all of this?

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