Have you ever wondered why one t-shirt can cost $5 and another can cost $50? Is the more expensive t-shirt that much better? Maybe, but maybe not.
Not all t-shirts are created equal.
When a t-shirt costs $5, how much is going to the farmer who grew the cotton, the manufacturer that made the thread, the person who sewed the shirt, the shipper who delivered it to the store, and the retailer that you purchased it from? Paying more for a t-shirt doesn’t necessarily mean that everyone involved is treated or paid fairly either as price isn’t the only differentiator between two shirts.
It’s also important to consider the amount of water, pesticides, and energy required to produce the fabric for our clothing (it’s seriously disturbing!). Approximately 10% of all agricultural pesticides and 25% of insecticides in the U.S. are used to grow cotton, and it takes almost 1/3 of a pound of chemicals (synthetic fertilizers) to grow enough cotton for just one t-shirt.
Choose t-shirts made with clean, sustainable materials from socially responsible companies.
The solution is as simple as caring about the shirts on our backs, and giving the shirts off our backs too! When you need to shop, start by asking (yourself and those at the store) “who made my clothes?” (not which brand….but literally, who?). Think about the thread from the garment, to the machinist who sewed it, all the way back to the farmer who grew the cotton. They all matter.
Together, we can use the power of fashion to inspire change and reconnect the broken links in the supply chain. Fast fashion and fast consumption doesn’t work. Let’s slow fashion down together and call for a better, fairer, cleaner, safer, and more transparent industry – and a healthier, happier world.
Find our favourite t-shirts in The Wellness Intelligence Collective.
For more of our lessons in Empathy Economics click here.