Made & More, like other sustainable brands, decided not to have regular sales like the rest of the clothing industry. We are doing this because, in Europe, out of the 5 million tons of clothing sold, close to 4 million tons of textiles are thrown away each year.
The clothing industry is the 2nd most polluting industry in the world, and one of the least transparent when it comes to its manufacturing conditions. Not so surprising when you see that a t-shirt is sold for 5€ at a fast fashion retailer. Both overconsumption and overproduction in the clothing industry began in the seventies and have continued to grow ever since. 130 billion items of clothing are produced every year in the world (1). This overproduction has consequences for the environment and mankind. Especially when you know that out of 5 million of tons of clothing, 4 million are thrown away (2)….
To manufacture those 5 million tons of clothing you need a lot of fabric and a lot of manpower. To produce cheap clothing, you need cheap fabric and cheap labour. The thousands of tons of cotton needed for this mass production leads to soil depletion and scaled use of pesticides. Currently, 25% of the world’s pesticide use is dedicated to growing cotton. Cotton is also water intensive crop: to produce 1 t-shirt you need 2700 litres of water. The production of a pair of jeans requires 7000 to 11000 litres of water, which equals 285 showers! In turn, polyester, a very cheap fabric, is a product of the oil industry (you need 1.5kg of oil to produce 1kg of polyester). Every time you wash polyester, it causes ocean plastic pollution: the IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) reports that after each load of laundry, microparticles of plastic detach themselves from the clothing and end up in the ocean. (3).
This is why we prefer natural materials such as organic cotton, sustainably produced viscose and linen.
" In Europe, out of the 5 million tons of clothing sold, close to 4 million tons of textiles are thrown away each year "
THE REAL PRICE OF THINGS
A garment simply cannot cost a few euros. This is neither realistic, nor acceptable. Manufacturing a t-shirt requires 60cm of fabric. At Made & More, we pay between 6-13€ for a meter of organic cotton, which brings it to 4-6€ for this t-shirt. The production time (cutting the fabric and sewing the t-shirt) is 12€ for a t-shirt made in France. This brings us to 16€ just for the fabric and the production. Now, let’s add the costs of the label and accessories, the logistics, marketing and distribution. The final price is between 40-60€ all taxes included so that each and every person along the line can live decently from their day’s work (by living, we mean pay the bills, receive a living wage … we don’t mean treating yourself to an island in the Bahamas).
I wrote an article a while back on the price of things. I broke down the price of a garment and demonstrated that the cost of wanting everything at the cheapest price was human poverty and the destruction of the planet.
"We believe that through rewriting the rulebook, positive impact happens "
At Made & More, we make a conscious choice to not overproduce and we encourage sustainable consumption. Unlike other brands or retailers, we don’t destroy or throw away our inventory of clothing. We work with high quality, sustainable and beautiful fabrics and produce in factories in Europe that we know well. Then we try to use our best knowledge and energy to sell these beautiful garments. We do our best to reach you in an innovative way without having large advertising budgets to pay for David Beckham or a large TV campaign.
Our core principles are sustainability and timeless clothing: garments should not be worn just a few times and then thrown away. That’s why we decided to offer a lifetime warranty for all Made & More products. You can keep your clothing much longer and maybe your great-great-grand-child will be able to wear your dress or t-shirt in 200 years.
Furthermore, we consider the manufacturing chain of our products in its entirety. During the cutting and sewing of products and fabrics, fabric intercuts are usually thrown away. We ask our factories to go the extra mile and send us the remnants back so we can re-use them to produce smaller articles, like headbands. We have a circular economy vision for our brand and keep on challenging ourselves to evolve in that direction.
" We make a conscious choice to not overproduce and we encourage sustainable consumption "
MAKE A DIFFERENCE THROUGH SUSTAINABLE SALES
Despite those alarming facts and figures you can make a difference. To act during this intense frenzy of sales, we chose to have a completely different kind of sale. We were inspired by other innovative and disruptive brands we admire like Patagonia, Everlane or Reformation in the USA and Maison Standards in France. Made & More is the first Belgian brand to let you choose what you pay.
The idea is simple: on select products, you can “choose what you pay” by selecting between 3 prices.
The idea is simple: on select products, you can “choose what you pay” by selecting between 3 prices. The lowest price covers our costs for sourcing, manufacturing and shipping. The second price includes the overhead to pay our team. The full price allows us to work on developing the brand, innovating with new fabrics and creating new products.
You might ask us why we are encouraging you to consume more through this initiative. Firstly, we think that if you want to buy yourself a new lovely dress, it’s better to have one that was produced sustainably and ethically. Secondly, we can make space for some new arrivals!
We believe that through rewriting the rulebook, positive impact happens.
- The Guardian: Cotton trade: where does your T-shirt grow?
- The Guardian: Invisible plastic: microfibers are just the beginning of what we don’t see
- Consoglobe: Le lavage en machine des tissus synthétiques libère des microfibres plastiques
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