What do we think when we say something is “a good price”?
We usually take it to mean an item can be bought for less than its actual worth. In other words, it’s good for the consumer, who enjoys a net gain on a particular item. It’s an incentive, the driving force in our acquisition economy, empowering the buyer to always be seeking more. It’s exciting! Picture the throngs of shoppers pouring into the marketplace on Black Friday, answering the beacon call of the deep discount–CLEARANCE! PRICES SLASHED! BLOW OUT SALE!
So here’s something to consider: What if “a good price” meant that the cost of the item actually reflected its true value all the way down the line, from the manufacturer to the supply chain to the producer of the raw materials? What if “a good price” meant a decent wage for every human being involved in the production and the enforcement of responsible environmental and health standards?
What if we all thought of these things when looking at a price tag with the goal not being to spend as little as possible, but to exchange our own resources for something with meaning and integrity?
Consumers have confronted this issue over the last several years in the context of the organic/ local food movement. The fact is that “real” food costs more– and with the emergence of neighborhood farmers’ markets and local food sourcing, shoppers are given a clear choice of quality over cost. Hopefully the public is beginning to understand that as a basic daily necessity, good food is worth the extra cost and the reasons for it are valid. Our perception that the main goal of producers is to present us with the cheapest possible product is hopefully shifting with a deeper understanding of sourcing, supply chains, and the need for transparency all along the way.
This evolution in the food industry has paved the way for a similar shift in fashion. Increasingly over the last several decades consumers have come to expect a deal on every article of clothing, the cheaper the better. To that end producers have cut costs and wages and environmental safeguards to shreds, all across the globe. No matter where it is from, how it was made or what toxin a garment is dyed with or dipped in, the American public has demonstrated that low cost and quantity, not quality, is the fuel for its voracious consumption. We demand rock bottom prices on fashion, while the ones paying the true costs of all of this dirt cheap clothing are exploited workers and a polluted planet. What results is an enormously wasteful throw-away clothing culture. The clothes cost less and therefore are valued less and thoughtlessly disposed of to an astonishing degree–an average of 82 pounds per American every year.
As a company, Lady Farmer designs and produces a sustainable alternative to the mass-produced commodities that are pervasive in today’s fashion industry. Our clothing reflects the highest standards of environmental sustainability, health considerations and fair labor practices. We also seek to provide the knowledge needed to make informed decisions about clothing because when more consumers are aware and are demanding more from producers (brands), the paradigm will shift towards a healthier system that benefits everyone.
As it is, higher quality and ethically produced goods will cost more than Americans have been accustomed to paying–but there are other ways to refuse buying into this wasteful system.
This is an ongoing discussion in our community. Thrift and consignment stores, clothing swaps, wardrobe repair and “upcycling” are all ways of rejecting the prevailing system with minimal cost. Increasing awareness of personal lifestyle and consumer habits are powerful tools in shifting personal patterns. Individuals can quickly learn that a sense of well- being is not necessarily compromised by consuming less, but can in fact be enhanced by such reevaluation. We support and encourage all of these efforts.
For those seeking the option of new, sustainably produced clothing, our goal is to offer fashionable, multi-functional garments that will fit your life for many seasons and years to come. Be assured that the price tag on each of our garments is a truly “good price,” good for everyone down the line, reflecting the care and well being of all involved in bringing these pieces to you–from seed to sewn to sold.