It's a fact: Ethically produced clothing generally costs more than conventionally produced clothing. Choice of materials, partners, quality and durability. Many elements enter into the calculation of the cost price and thus, the selling price. So that you can better understand why buying ethically costs more, we invite you to discover the elements that will make up the price of a garment.
Calculating a selling price in fashion
Before getting to the heart of the matter of ethical fashion, let's see how the selling price of a garment is made up.
Current practices involve taking into consideration the cost price, that is to say, everything that makes up the manufacture of the garment (materials, threads, buttons, manufacture). From this cost price, we often multiply by 2 to obtain what is called “a wholesale price”. This is a price intended for purchases between professionals. From this wholesale price, we will then multiply by 2.5 and sometimes by 2.7 to obtain the sale price. This sale price is the price at which you buy a garment. It absorbs the expenses related to the operation of the brand: salaries, social charges, rent, website, creation and production of collections, marketing, etc. Finally, the brand collects VAT from the consumer - and includes it in the sale price: it is 20% of the sale price that it pays back to the State.
Some fashion brands do not respect the usual margins
The above case is a general case. Some fashion brands will go well beyond the usual margins, multiplying their margins by 12, 15 or even 17.
Other brands, like KIND STUDIO, won't have the ability to mark up as much as conventional ready-to-wear. In our case, if we respected the usage margins practiced in the clothing sector, the prices would be even higher and the clothes would thus become even less affordable. This is not our wish and that is why we choose to minimize them, while offering a price that matches the quality of the clothes we offer. This practice is common in the world of ethical fashion.
For example, the price of the ANA coat should be more than €1,000 if we respect the margins usually practiced in ready-to-wear. However, we have decided to keep it at the price of 500€.
The case of Kind Studio
We often hear that our prices are high. But, are they really?
If we take into account all the elements that come into play in the manufacture and distribution of our parts, perhaps you will realize that our prices are the fairest possible.
The cost of quality labor
We have worked since the beginning with the Chaiim Foundation , which fights against human trafficking by offering women victims of this trafficking, or at risk of being so , social and professional reintegration . Beyond this commitment, we collaborate only with workshops where the confection is made by hand and not industrially, workshops where each piece is made with care, passion and know-how. And our partners pay their employees fair wages.
Respecting people and choosing our manufacturers for their positive social impact take precedence over the desire to seek the lowest price in production, in addition to betting on real manufacturing quality.
The cost of responsible materials
We select natural, organic and recycled materials whenever possible; but also materials from dormant stocks. We are committed to offering clothes made from good quality, durable materials that make you want to wear these clothes all the time.
For the fall-winter 2021-22 collection, we have created a hand-woven material . This manufacturing method ensures neutral energy consumption, apart from the energy of the craftsmen who make the fabric. For past collections, we have also worked with vegetable dyes. In the future, we will certainly collaborate with craftsmen, textile printers and embroiderers, for example. This unique craftsmanship obviously has a cost but also gives us the possibility of offering pieces that you will not see anywhere else, in exceptional materials.
The rest of the collection is created with more classic fabrics, such as gabardine and cotton poplin, for example. Here too, favoring organic cotton over conventional cotton leads to a higher cost, due to the way it is produced and processed. Just like the new eco-responsible materials ( Tencel, Modal, ReFibra, Econyl ) which have recently arrived on the market, and whose price is more expensive than their conventional equivalent (viscose, nylon), since these materials are ecological and are still new . Thus, eco-responsible materials have a higher cost.
The cost of well-made cuts and finishes
In addition to a conscious choice of material, we bet on well-made cuts . We work with a design office specializing in trouser patronage so that our stockings have the most flattering fit possible . We also make our own patterns and take the time to create models that are both timeless and in tune with the times. In other words, models that you will like and that you will keep for a long time.
The inside of a garment being just as important as the outside, we do not overlook beautiful finishes. French seams, topstitching, a trouser waistband and a braided fly or full lining - the details that make all the difference in terms of quality and even longevity of the garment.
In short, a garment with a beautiful material is good. If this beautiful material is highlighted by a beautiful cut and beautiful finishes, it's even better. This quest for quality has a cost which is necessarily reflected in the selling price.
The cost of limited series
By choice, our pieces are produced only in limited series. This allows us to avoid storing unsold items and encourage over-consumption. The choice of limited production does not allow us to benefit from lower unit costs, both in terms of raw materials and supplies and at the manufacturing stage. So our cost per part is higher. Some of our pieces are also produced in surplus fabrics and we are limited in the quantities of fabrics available.
The cost of reality
The reality is that our margins are too low to cover our costs . In other words, the operation of the brand costs more than what it brings in during its first years of life. Obviously that's not the goal, it's time to build it and find the right balance. The first years being crucial to define its market and therefore its selling prices, we reduce the margins of which we spoke to you above in order to offer you clothes at a price that we consider affordable for you, even if this one is not not just for us yet. Time to gain visibility, time to grow – in other words, time to sell enough for quantities to increase slightly and margins to become viable for the business.
Choose to buy less to buy better
Of course, our pieces unfortunately cannot be accessible to all budgets, due to the choices of materials, cut and partners that we make. We don't want to offer prices close to fast fashion, because that would amount to denying our convictions and our values, which are the pillars of the brand.
However, what we do is to make our customers aware of reasoned purchases, of a form of responsible consumption . Yes, we are a fashion brand and thus participate in the production of something new. But this new piece will be produced in all conscience and in the most responsible way possible .
The responsibility goes as far as the purchase, then we take care to encourage the idea of buying less, but better. To, perhaps, put aside to afford this room in which we feel so good. Or, to afford only one dress rather than 4. For us, ethical fashion encompasses everything: from manufacture to purchase, to the life of the garment after purchase.
If you have any questions about our prices, we will answer you transparently by email at email@example.com
Linda and Elena