The true costs of a slow fashion brand

With the true costs of fast fashion being at the forefront of the eco-conscious consumers mind, do we give enough thought to the true costs of having a slow fashion brand?
Last week we shared this image of a receipt showing the breakdown of costs on our socials to highlight the costs involved in bringing a new product to market as a 'slow-fashion' business.
Some costs might be obvious but some might come as a surprise. 

What is a slow fashion brand?

A Slow fashion brand is everything a fast fashion brand isn't.

  • Only hold a small amount of stock
  • Offer their classic designs year on year
  • Don't turn their inventory over every week
  • Produce high quality pieces
  • Offer a take back or mending scheme
  • Offer customisations
  • Offer aftercare tips

    Slow fashion brands chooses an approach that weighs up the pros and cons of the different manufacturing processes and materials needed to make clothing. Proudly flying the flag for buying better-quality garments that will last longer and have been made with sustainable & ethical manufacturing practices.

    Slow fashion believes in fair treatment of workers and the ethos of 'Planet over Profits'.

    Is slow fashion and sustainable fashion the same thing?

    Slow fashion and sustainable fashion share a lot of the same values. 

    The main difference being, Slow Fashion brands tend to produce on a smaller scale to meet market demand. This often means that the brands you buy from will have made the items in-house either in small batched or made to order.


    buy less, choose well, make it last - slow fashion brand

    So what are the true costs of a slow fashion brand?

    Now more than ever, with the cost of living crisis growing, we though it was time for complete transparency.
    We want you to understand the price tag and know where and how your £££ are being spent whilst highlighting costs that you might not necessarily think of when buying from a slow fashion brand. All these costs are based off the assumption we sell enough items to use the fabric purchased. 

    Breakdown of costs for our custom made Hoodie retailing at £150

    Manufacturing costs with 'Living Wage' pay - £14.40

    For Burnt Soul, as we custom make a lot of our pieces, we decided a while ago that it would be more beneficial to employ seamstresses compared to using a factory. As we offer 9 sizes in our classic women's catsuit and have multiple variations in dozens of different colour ways - it didn't make sense to use a factory who had minimum order requirements per style and size. 
    To keep to our 'make what's wanted' ethos, this was the only way to go and shows that manufacturing in the UK is still very much a viable option.

    Fabric, trims, thread & recycled labels - £19.16

    As we will only buy small amounts of fabric at a time to meet demand, this does increase our materials cost greatly. A lot of time goes into our fabric sourcing as we consider things like, availability, continuity, carbon footprint and sustainability.

    Recyclable packaging - £0.72

    We have been using recyclable packaging for some time now. We opt for the more eco-friendly paper and card as oppose to bio-degradable bags.

    Marketing & photoshoots - £7.12

    As an e-commerce store marketing and imagery are essential to show our customers how the new pieces look. We try to show these on several different body types, especially when they're made to order and non-returnable.

    Product development, sampling, grading and pattern making - £7.82

    As a slow fashion brand - everything is done by hand. From the designing to the pattern grading. This can sometimes take weeks when you have new products to launch.

    Overheads - £33.56

    Setting up a studio in house certainly has its benefit's but it also comes with extra costs like rent and storage space, insurance, customer service, heating, internet, web hosting... I could go on but I think you get the jist.

    Website development & design lab fees - £8.49

    How many of you have every thought about the different applications used by online stores to offer a smooth transaction? With custom items, the applications are an essential part of the process. 

    In the past we relied on a simple fabric chart and emailing customers with a final image of their fabrics in their chosen design. You can imagine this was hugely time consuming for us and frustrating for our customers who might want to view multiple designs before purchasing.

    Luckily we found an application that shows the design process in real time on 26 of our customisable products. 

    Setting up new products and fabrics is very laborious but we wouldn't have it any other way.

    If you've not played fashion designer yet then head on over to the Design Lab now.

    Sellers fees - £4.04

    To ensure secure and fast payments for our customers.

    Profit - £29.70

    For rainy days, winter months, discounts, business development and hopefully, for actual profits.

    A whole lot of love - Free

    Goes without saying right 😍😍

    VAT @ 20% - £25

    For our international customers - this amount will be deducted from your cart total as you will need to pay import fees for your county.

    So, what were the big surprises for you? Will this make you look at the price tag in a different way? We'd love to know👇

    Shout out to Satin Studio who were the inspiration for this post.

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