Big Question Needs A Big Answer
To start answering this question, I think we need to see past the fact that it’s a piece of clothing that has a “function”. There are plenty of companies out there making comfortable and affordable clothing; I just think
we should see that there’s something more that lies within this question.
A good place to start, is to ask; why do we buy anything? It’s not always a need but often something else – a want.
It often comes down to what moves us – what our values and opinions are. We buy something that endorses them. I don’t know many people that would buy something that goes against everything they stand for. That’s why, in clothing, it’s important to know #whomademyclothes! It’s also why we make choices to buy both ethically, and sustainably.
Now, I think that ‘value’ is an interesting concept because it’s subjective and is different for each of us. We like to feel we are getting a bargain – something of a high value for a low price. But let’s come back down
to earth for a minute, if you are getting something for a high value that costs little you have to ask – who is missing out?
And why does everything have to be related to a monetary value anyway?
What’s it Worth And At What Cost?
In the traditional designer clothing world what something is “worth” comes down to the way that item can make you feel. Normally this feeling is based on how it makes you feel in terms of status (or desired one),
perceived wealth, perceived desire for quality and perhaps the appreciation for the attention to detail.
Notice lots of these are what we want others to think about us. Not to say that designer fashion is vain in nature, but to say that it is often about how we want others to see us. We can often base entire outfits
around one designer piece, getting cheaper pieces to compliment that designer piece. We are of course talking about the fast fashion world and the cost to human life that comes with it. Some of the horrors that
are involved include mass fainting’s, child labour and even modern slavery (I’m sure you know the score!).
Surely There Is Another Way To Enjoy Designer Clothing
I think what something is “worth” comes down to the way that item makes you feel. If every time I put a t-shirt on it makes me feel “mehh” maybe it is worth £10. But if every time I put a t-shirt on I feel like I am supporting
the development of the underprivileged, I am allowing parents of children who previously struggled go to school & get out of poverty and I am making sure that our beautiful planet continues to exist as it is for our
Grandchildren’s Grandchildren to see, then that t-shirt is worth much more!
Then you are not just buying any item of clothing; you are buying something that empowers you from within. Something that is more than just yourself and how others see you. Now if this item of clothing is also carefully made to a high level of quality and designed by skilled designers – then perhaps you would be happy basing outfits around it & getting some
accessories to match!
I think designer clothing captures this aspiration within us to do better, to be better and reach out for things we want from life. This powerful connection we make with an item of clothing, even if we are not consciously thinking it, is very powerful and can be done with both ethics and sustainability in mind.
Okay, So Now What?
We are all offered products from hundreds of brands every single day, but it’s us who ultimately decides how to style it and what we are trying to say through it. When a message is meaningful enough and a brand
embodies the ethics and sustainability that is needed to help make the world a better place for us all, then you have a powerful mixture for great positive change. I think that mixture is powerful enough to dramatically
change the whole industry to have greater respect for the garment workers, who let’s be honest, are the real hero’s here. They are the one’s who make our clothing a reality. You get to make the decision on which
companies you want to see more of in this world by shopping with those that align with your morals, and avoiding those that don’t. The price we pay for clothing is nothing compared to the price that so many around
the world pay with their lives to keep clothing cheap.
About the Author
Innerstand aims to capture this ethos behind designer clothing and create a stronger connection between how we see the world and how the world sees us. It’s not enough for us to justmake clothing, we must ensure it’s made ethically, using sustainable resources - reducing their devastating impact on the environment. To achieve this (to name a few) we use factories working with the Fair Wear Foundation, GOTS Certified Organic Cotton, and a Sedex supply chain to ensure ethical and sustainable practices. If we can encourage enough people to make a 1% sustainable change in their shopping habit (not necessarily with us), that has been inspired by one of our designs, we are making positive progress.