Pricing, Ethics & Sustainability
Thank you for supporting fat-friendly Slow fashion xx
When we started this project, we had just a couple of goals: create beautiful, ethically-made garments for the often-overlooked plus-size consumer, and ideally earn enough money to cover our expenses and pay ourselves a fair wage.
Of course, we understand that in a world of fast fashion, forking out £150 for one item of clothing can feel shocking. Even as we become more aware of the costly price of cheap apparel — not only the environmental impact, but the conditions in which garment workers both abroad and in the UK often work — big investments are still big decisions for most of us.
If you’re someone who is taking steps to shop more consciously, we hope that you take time to think about whether our garments will enrich your life. Sit with the decision for a couple of days before purchasing if you need to! Email us with any questions you may have! That is part of the slow fashion process, after all.
Although there are plenty of sources out there for more information on the harmful, often life-threatening repercussions of the fast fashion industry, we still feel it’s important to be as transparent as possible with our customers.
So let’s start with our sustainability and ethics. We first want you to know that all of our fabrics and lace are sweetly soft and made of 100 percent cotton, which means they are also biodegradable. Everything is OEKO-TEX 100 certified, so no harmful substances have been used in the printing process.
The buttons you see on our smock and pinafore dresses are adorable wooden numbers purchased locally at a queer, plus-size owned haberdashery called Mabel & Luka.
Those buttons, as well as our lace, elastic, and the wooden hoops we used for the embroidered wall hangings were all made in the UK. We're trying to reduce our carbon footprint by doing as much as we can from one site.
We're extremely happy to report that we've produced this little capsule with zero percent waste! That's right: zero! All scraps (even extra bits of thread) have been repurposed for our embroidered wall hangings, as well as a tuffet that Lois made for Marie's birthday!
It was also very important to us to pay the models you see on our site fairly as well. Even as a small biz start-up, we always wanted our budgeting to include the models; who as well as shooting in our clothes are ultimately helping us promote and advertise this collection. We feel very lucky that these glorious fat babes took a chance on us.
Now, we’d really like for you to know exactly why things cost what they cost; so below, you’ll find a summary of all of the expenses and work that went into launching this capsule collection. Please stick with us: it’s a journey!
So, assuming you all love our collection as much as we do, let’s imagine that all of our garments sell out — and that wonderful fat babes the world over are delighting in their storybook-like ensembles. Should this be the case, this is what we’re looking at in terms of total income from sales!
Smock Dress: £158 x 20 = £3160
Pinafore: £138 x 20 = £2760
Skirt: £108 x 20 = £2160
Blouse: £55 x 20 = £1100
Wall Hangings: £18 x 40: £720
This makes for a total income of £9900.
Now, let’s look at our expenses! There will undoubtedly be little things we forgot to keep track of throughout the process (extra thread, for example!); in addition, we cannot yet factor in shipping costs as these will vary. Still, this will give you a ballpark figure of what it has cost to make our garments and décor, and promote them with the help of our fat community:
Details (lace, velvet ribbon, buckles, clips, wooden buttons): £278.17
Dye (BTW, our skirts are hand-dyed in Lois’s bathtub!): £46.79
Sewing bits (thread, elastic, oils, labels, tape): £142.09
Wooden Hoops: £91
Wix Website/Domain/Email Address: £260
Model wages: £200 per model x 4 = £800
Postage to models: £50.19
Eco-friendly packaging and tissue paper: £100.20
Add it all up and you get: £3625.82.
Now, subtract this from the total income and we are looking at a profit of: £6274.18.
If you’re still with us at this point, we’ll now be moving into paying ourselves. As there are two of us, we’re earning approximately £3137.09 each.
The truth is, we’ve been working on planning, designing, making and launching the collection for over six months. There are lots of invisible hours that go into this process. Those hours have been an absolute joy (shout-out to that original Pinterest board full of the sartorial inspirations for the capsule!), but they have been work nonetheless.
Just in terms of the sewing, however, Lois has worked full days for two months crafting the garments themselves.
Marie spent that time doing things like building the website, drafting pages like the one you’re reading now, collaborating with our remote models, shooting images in all the garments, pitching our collection out to feminist, fat-friendly publications in the hopes of spreading the word, managing our finances, and launching our Insta page!
If we forget about the aforementioned invisible hours of the pre-production phase, we’re paying ourselves £1568.54 per month. The average UK monthly salary as of early 2021 was estimated at £1950. National minimum wage is £8.72. At 40 hours per week, that’s £1395.50 per month. As we'll be deducting UK shipping costs from our wages, we'll likely be earning just about that figure.
Phew! That was a lot, wasn’t it? So if you’ve made it this far, we hope this outline has helped lay out the basis for our pricing. We’re not trying to be extortionate; we just need to pay ourselves and have some funds left to put towards a second capsule launch 🤞
Our big-time goal is to be able to make more ethical and sustainable collections, for even more sizes (prioritising the higher end of the plus-size spectrum), in styles that are hard to come by in size fat. We’re working mums with lots of dreams; and we are sincerely grateful to you all for supporting us as we take the first big step into the future.