The True Cost of Fashion

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One thing that’s always bugged me about the fashion industry is it’s lack of transparency. In case you haven’t noticed I want to know all the things all the time. It's part of my charm =) Seriously though, as conscience consumer, I need to know this stuff. If I don’t have transparency in my brand how can I know I’m shopping with a company that aligns with my values?

From the fashion industry’s standpoint it makes sense to keep us all in the dark. If you don’t know they’re only paying their workers in Bangladesh $0.24 an hour to sew your t-shirt, you’re not going to demand better of them. You’re just going to be happy you got a shirt for three bucks.

Let’s be honest, the price of ethical fashion is a major sticking point for a lot of people. It’s hard to justify a purchase that is 5 times more expensive than what you’re used to. Especially if you’re only looking at a price tag devoid of its context.


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Bangladesh       $0.24

Cambodia           $0.45

Pakistan            $0.52

Vietnam             $0.53

China                 $1.26





How do we get context? We demand it of our brands. That’s what I love about my new eco-fashion crush YSTR. They break it down for you. I’ve never manufactured clothes myself, and I’m going to assume most of you haven’t either, and I find it so helpful to actually see the true cost of my clothes. A perfect example is their Penny bodysuit. The price tag of $128 may feel like a lot at first glance, but when you see the fabric alone costs $28 you get it. By the time I got through looking at how much each step of manufacturing cost, I was like “$128 is a steal!”

While my crush was sparked by YSTR’s true cost model, it didn’t stop there. Everything is made to order, allowing them to seriously cut down on fabric waste. According to a study by Reverse Resources manufactures produce 40-80 billion square meters of fabric waste every year. That’s enough fabric waste to cover North Korea. Eliminating even a fraction of that waste makes a huge difference!  Plus it makes me feel just a little bit fancy to know something was made just for me.

Their monthly subscription capsules and single pieces are gorgeous, comfortable, and will last. I love the quality of their clothes. If you’re a real fashion nerd like myself, I recommend turning your garments inside out and looking at the seams. That’s where you can really see the quality. Girl, YSTR has some good looking seams. Not a stray thread in sight.

There is no beauty in the finest cloth if it makes hunger and unhappiness
— Mahatma Gandi
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Of course, it always comes down to style. Luckily you find this in abundance at YSTR. I’m really digging the fun flirty vibe of this blouse. They like their frills and are not afraid to use them. Wearing this blouse I feel beautiful and strong. With all the chaos in the world these days it’s nice to be reminded of the power of femininity.

Whether you join the YSTR subscription club or buy a single piece, you’ll shop knowing your money was spent well.




All photos by Anais Ganouna

Blouse: Seraphina Tunic

Hat: Lucy Hat by Goorin Bros.

Purse: Vintage Pierre Cardin

Watch: Votch Watch