Why Isn’t Sustainable Fashion More Affordable?

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Each one of us is in search of fashion that’s affordable right? And for most of us that look for options in sustainable fashion, the cost of apparel seems high. This is also a reason why a lot of people consider sustainable fashion a luxury item.

In essence, if you are considering fashion to be sustainable and ethical the production costs and a variety of other factors add to the overall cost. Here are the top reasons why sustainable fashion isn’t that affordable:

1. Affordable Fashion and Fair Wages:

Sustainable Fashion
Sustainable Fashion

In 2013 Bangladesh, Rana Plaza Disaster had exposed a huge part of the fashion industry. This was the part that wasn’t paying fair wages or offering a safe environment for working. And the reality is that big fashion companies outsource the production work to other countries.

The disaster led to 1132 people dying when the factory collapsed. This was the place of producing clothes for top fashion brands. Most victims were women and they were compelled for working even after they had shown cracks in the area a day before.

These are the places where labor wages are low and countries that have a high unemployment rate. Therefore the locals are easily working at low pay and in a completely unsafe environment.

Now, this kind of fashion includes work ethics and also fair and safe working place for people linked with the production. The pay offered is equivalent to the work they do. But when we talk about sustainable fashion the minimum wage is way higher and this does make the final cost higher.

2. Does Slow Fashion Mean Affordable Fashion?

The main objective of sustainable fashion is not making quick money because of irresponsible and massive production. The aim is putting planer welfare on top priority. The brands that produce sustainable fashion also follow the rules of slow fashion. In case clothes are lasting for a long time the adverse effect on the planet will also be less intense. Also, there is a need for good craftsmanship for fashion that lasts longer.

Certainly, this means that the clothes are not made in a rush. There is an effort put into detailing so that longevity is increased. Indeed a skill like that with workers that are talented needs higher remuneration. Therefore you will have to pay a higher price when compared o fast fashion.

3. Vegan Material Cost:

There has been the usage of animal products like fur and leather for years. And over time humans have been able to produce all of this for cheaper costs. But when we talk about vegan materials in fashion the existence is comparatively a lot newer. Vegan alternatives have been recently invented. Their producers are trying to get all of it at a lower cost. Therefore, we as consumers need to support such brands so that the cost slowly comes down.

How Can Sustainable Fashion Be Affordable Then?

So as we can see the reasons that lead to the expensive cost of sustainable fashion. But there are ways through which you can work around it for making sure that all of this is available to you without you emptying your pockets. So whenever you shop ask yourself the following questions:

  1. Do you need a specific garment immediately, or can you wait so that you can save or its ethical alternative?
  2. Are there any sustainable brands that presently sell similar clothing at the budget that you have?
  3. Can you easily find an alternative of a garment at a charity or vintage shop?
  4. Will you be able to get a lot of wearing time from the purchase that you have made?

All of this will help you in narrowing down your choices and making wise investments. There are still some sustainable brands that offer reasonable prices as well. You need to a bit of research for that. Don’t stop because you’re bored but when you need something. This will also allow you to have a higher budget as you don’t shop often.


There is still a lot of time when we will be able to get sustainable fashion on a budget. But it all depends on consumer demands. Also trying to manage the way you shop for sustainable fashion can help in making sure that it’s worth every penny that you spend and offers value in the long run as well.

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