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Sustainability pricing: Tips on how much you should charge for your fashion products

Have you ever wondered what the price of your sustainable products should be? Find out some tips to decide how much you should charge for your fashion items.

Sustainability pricing: Tips on how much you should charge for your fashion products

If you have a fashion brand with a sustainable approach, it’s very likely that you’ve found yourself in the dilemma of how much you should charge for your items. The fashion industry has a fierce pricing competition, normalizing that a cotton T-shirt averagely costs less than €10. What place do sustainable products have in the middle of this fight for low prices? Can items made using quality and responsibility standards be affordable? To clear up doubt, we’ve asked some of our brave brands. Pay attention to what criteria you should follow when pricing your products.

Textile items from sustainable businesses have often been associated with higher prices than the market average, and it has even been discussed whether sustainability is a class issue. But, what’s true in all this? Where do these statements come from? The homogenization of an industry in which supply chain prices have historically been strangled to produce more at a lower cost, has resulted in extremely cheap products that, although accessible to a large part of the population, only seek to enhance overconsumption. Let’s analyze what are the criteria that come into play in defining the price of an item.

What factors influence the pricing of fashion products?

When determining the cost of a product, there are three essential factors that must be taken into account to guarantee a price that covers the resources invested in its creation:

  • Production costs. From the extraction of raw materials, manufacturing, as well as all the resources used in each of the processes, including the labor involved.
  • Costs of placing on the market. Everything related to distribution, storage, packaging, points of sale or commercial campaigns.
  • The company’s profit margin. We mustn’t forget that every fashion brand is a business and as such, it must have its corresponding profit margin to support its growth.

However, despite the fact that these costs establish the selling price for any product, in the case of items created under sustainability standards, both the environmental and social costs must also be taken into account to define what the fair price is.

“We prefer to talk about a fair price taking into account the workers’ wages as well as the company’s margins. The lower the consumption, the greater the purchasing power to be able to choose more respectful garments”. Rosanna Descayre, Customer Support at Organic Cotton Colours

We recently talked about the “Good Clothes, Fair Pay” campaign presented by Fashion Revolution during the last Global Fashion Summit. The urgency of regulating a living wage that pays the labor in the fashion industry is caused by the lack of responsibility of large textile groups that have taken advantage of the lack of regulation in producing countries. Those brands that protect the well-being of the people involved in the creation of their products must reflect this commitment in their prices.

“For us, it’s a rule of three in which materials and labor are the keys that determine the price of a piece of clothing”. Adrià Machado, Founder & Designer at amt.

How much does this social cost increase the selling price? According to calculations by the Clean Clothes Campaign, it would only take an increase of 10 cents in the price of a T-shirt to significantly improve the salary conditions of the workers who made it.

“The price of sustainable fashion is really what a garment is worth. Fast-fashion has spoiled us at prices that aren’t real. Demand is what will make sustainable fashion more affordable for everyone”. Gloria Gubianas, Co-Founder & CEO at Hemper

As for the environmental cost, this is where the choice of raw materials and the development of production processes with less impact on the planet come into play. Working with materials that consume fewer resources and are more recyclable is more expensive than using conventional fabrics. The lack of scalability in textile innovation results in higher prices for brands that use greener solutions.

“The cost difference between a virgin material and an unconventional one is still very high. The key lies in innovation. The more the brands push these suppliers, the sooner sustainable materials will arrive at lower costs”. Damian Augustyniak, Co-Founder at Saye

On the other hand, in addition to the social and environmental cost that affects sustainable fashion brands, it’s also important to note that the production of limited articles increases the cost per unit produced. This is the price to pay for avoiding overproduction, and as a consequence, for reducing the amount of garments whose potential destination would be landfill.

Taking all of the above criteria into account, is it possible to price your sustainable products competitively? At this point, it’s essential to question the consumer culture of today’s society. Promoting a conscious purchase in which the product isn’t a simple throwaway object gives value to the garments you produce. Including criteria such as quality and durability among the attributes of your brand establishes a disruptive consumption formula that enhances the usability of your articles.

“Sustainable fashion becomes affordable as soon as we understand that it must be conceived in a totally different way. If we consume less and better, in the long run we spend less money than if we had bought 3 fast fashion pieces every month”. Marta Bascones, Co-Founder & Designer at Zelles

It’s common to use cost and value as synonyms. However, the next time you find yourself in the situation of pricing a product, before asking yourself how much it should cost, reflect on the value you want it to have for your consumers.

At BCome we’re working on the development of new solutions that allow you to set fairer prices for your product portfolio. Life Cycle Costing (LCC) will make it possible to analyze all the costs that can be assigned to your items from their conception to the end of their useful life. A guide through which to assess your products from an economic, environmental and social point of view. If you want to know more about how our technology can make your transition to sustainability easier, let us show you!

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