When a new pair of shoes cost $9 what does this really mean?
Once overheads such as freight, packaging, wages and a multitude of other costs are taken out, those shoes may have cost just $2 to make.
In the costing for those shoes from the manufacturers are also overheads such as materials, machinery and power and let’s not forget the human element of manufacturing, wages. So the people that are making these shoes, what do they get paid?
We are living in a throwaway society. Those $9 shoes may or may not last a year. The wearer may find them uncomfortable due to their synthetic components or the style goes out of fashion faster than you can say ‘sweat shop’.
The the sad reality is that those shoes will more than likely end up in landfill.
If you think about all the too good to be true, cheap pieces of fashion you have purchased in the past few years – where are they now?
How much do you know about the products that you purchase and the implications they have socially and environmentally?
With my label, Dames & Divas I strive to not only work with upcycled and environmentally friendly materials but I also have my products made in workshops that have a social conscience. Fair trade, small workshops, family businesses and ethical businesses where the workers are paid fairly.
I meet with my makers. I see how they operate, I meet their families, spend time with them and hear their stories and know that choosing ethical and fair production really does make a difference to people’s lives.
So the next time you think a piece of fashion is so cheap it’s too good to be true, it probably is.
(Originally written for Style Collection in 2012 as their guest editor).