True Cost Tuesday, Vol. 13

True Cost Tuesday, Vol. 13

Welcome back to True Cost Tuesday where we unpack some of the reasons behind why we at Yobel only provide fair trade, ethical, and sustainable clothing, and accessories. October is Fair Trade Month so we want to continue to inform and educate about the importance of Fair Trade.

Today I want to share some traps of the fashion industry. Creative marketing in fast fashion can keep us buying it, even when we might think we’re doing something good.

A couple weeks ago, an ad popped up online for the brand Free People. It struck me so quickly that my blood practically boiled! The ad said, “We the Free, by Free People” and I was so angry! We have researched this brand before, and while their stores and websites carry more than their own brand, they are definitely fast fashion. This ad deliberately used words that seem good when behind the scenes, they continue to exploit people. What is free about that?

Another ad I saw recently in a fashion email I receive was for a sweatshirt. The caption said, “38,000+ people own Amazon’s best-selling sweatshirt that’s $8 now”. How in the world is this article of clothing only $8? One yard of typical fleece for a sweatshirt can cost that amount. The answer is slave labor! There is no other explanation for that price.

On one hand, who doesn’t want a deal? We're all on a budget. On the other hand though, someone is paying the price with their life for that so-called savings. What makes me more frustrated is that companies can do something about it but many don't.

You’ve heard me say before that there’s a person behind everything. Each of us around the world don’t choose where we’re born. You or I could have easily been born into poverty and facing the reality of working unsafe and underpaying jobs. We have the choice of what we purchase and what that purchase supports. Companies listen to their consumers and I believe that when we vote with our dollar enough times, companies will change their ways for the better.

My first example of the Free People ad is a style of marketing that might cause us not to think twice about the ethics of that company. The name of the company and their ad campaign tug at our heart strings. This could cause us to quickly believe those words, make a purchase, and move on with our lives. In my gut I just think, “How dare they!” The Amazon ad is simply pulling at our budget strings, skipping the heart, and it works. It supposedly worked on over 38,000 people.

I could keep going, but these are just a couple examples I wanted to mention today. As always, we encourage you to do just a little bit of research on a brand or company and take some of our tips to heart, like extremely inexpensive prices. Save that $8 a handful of times and purchase a fair trade, sustainable sweatshirt you’ll have for years to come. We have so much access to information that we can make the right decision. And remember, by purchasing Fair Trade, you’re positively impacting people in one of the most exploitative industries. We can make a difference!