September 21, 2021
Are ethical t-shirts worth the money?
This may be a question asked a lot for those who are looking to buy ethical fashion and are making the switch. Being a sustainable shopper doesn’t have to be difficult, or too expensive if you make sensible choices and invest in clothing when you need it! In this article, we take a closer look at why ethical t-shirts are a great choice and an investment, not a waste of money.
Why are ethical t-shirts more expensive?
Ethical t-shirts tend to be more expensive because of the way they are made and the various stages involved to offer ethical transparency throughout the entire production process. From the way the raw materials and crops are grown to the conditions of workers and the way, the product is distributed.
Our top ethical t-shirt picks- From Absolutely Bear
Our geometric bear design will bring a fresh look to your wardrobe. fitted and made from comfortable and long-lasting organic cotton, offering comfort and style, our navy ethical t-shirt is the perfect addition to finish off any casual outfit.
Aspen organic ethical t-shirt in black
Make a statement and wear the bear with our black organic ethical t-shirt. Our production process uses 91% less water than conventional cotton, with our organic cotton offering a soft and comfortable feel all day long.
Our marine sky blue ethical t-shirt features our embroidered bear. The stylish fit and soft cotton blend mean you’ll reach for this t-shirt again and again. Our unique bright marine blue can be paired with dark jeans or chinos for both a smart or casual look.
Notorious BIC - Navy organic cotton ethical t-shirt
Our blue, crew neck ethical t-shirt features our statement bear, is soft to the touch and is perfect for a casual, stylish look.
How are ethical t-shirts made?
Any company claiming to sell ethical t-shirts will have followed ethical practices. Ethical t-shirts will be made by people who are working in fair working conditions, on a fair wage. Similarly, the company that sells the t-shirts will have policies and practices in place that demonstrate that they are a company that is fully in tune with the morals and values of an ethical consumer. An ethical t-shirt brand will work to emulate this wherever possible, which often includes using sustainable raw materials to make their clothing.
You can read more about our sustainability pledge here.
Why pay more for ethical clothing?
The rewards for paying a little extra for a piece of clothing are numerous; not only are you committing to an ethical way of thinking, but you are also helping the planet and ensuring the workers who either grow the raw materials (such as organic cotton) or make the clothing themselves are paid a fair wage and are treated fairly.
Factors affecting the cost of ethical t-shirts
- Labour costs
It can sometimes be easy to forget that every piece of clothing you wear has been made by somebody. Somebody has taken the time and care to craft your t-shirt, and that person deserves to be fairly paid and work in good conditions with workers’ rights. With so many people contributing to the final cost of a garment, from transforming raw materials to dyed fibred, to the workers who cut and sew the garments, to those packaging and shipping the goods. Ensuring that every worker is fairly paid can add up, which - rightfully so - impacts the price of the ethically produced t-shirt you wear and enjoy time and time again.
- Economies of scale
One way in which some companies can drastically reduce the cost of their clothing is by manufacturing products in bulk. Ethical companies, generally speaking, produce smaller batches, with care and proper practices followed to encourage more thoughtful spending and discourage unnecessary purchases that can result in unwanted clothes ending up in landfills. Smaller, bespoke or made-to-order batches are the norm for much smaller, sustainably-driven companies. These smaller batches mean that, per item, the machinery and labour costs are much higher.
- Certifications and transparency
Many ethical companies need to, in some way, demonstrate to customers that they are certified, ethical suppliers. Whether that be cruelty-free, vegan, fairtrade to name a few, securing these certifications and the regular audits that accompany them can be expensive. This can incur a greater overall overhead cost for a brand, which will affect the cost of the final item.
Sourcing the raw materials by ethical means often increases the cost of the final item, as sustainable practices avoid ‘cutting corners’. Mass-produced, unsustainable clothing will often source its raw materials in ways that are more damaging to the environment. One example of this is using pesticides to avoid delays in cotton production. Such harmful chemicals can affect the ecosystem and the health of wildlife and workers; by avoiding these shortcuts and growing products organically, timescales are lengthened, which can have a knock-on effect on the final cost.
Shop our entire range of ethical t-shirts to start your ethical journey.