WE'RE BREAKING DOWN THE TRUE COST OF A T-SHIRT
Listen friends, we're no strangers to the fact that made in Canada clothing costs significantly more than fast fashion brands. But we CAN guarantee that in the long run, ours will cost you the same, if not LESS than that $25 t-shirt you buy online or at your local shopping mall. Wait, come again? Yes, it's true! Let's break it down together.
When you purchase a high quality t-shirt that's made from high quality fabric, you’re paying somewhere around $100 dollars for it. At first glance, that feels VERY expensive, but that same t-shirt will last you for many years. Our Founder and owner Donna still wears her Miik tank tops from when she first started the company (spoiler alert: that was 10 years ago). On the other hand, the t-shirt that cost you a quarter of the price will likely start to look old and worn after around 10 washes, according to a study released by The New York Times.
So, you head out to buy a new cheap shirt because the one you bought 3 months ago has already started to pill or fade. You pay $25 for a new one and then in the next few months, $25 more...see the math here? You’ll end up paying the same $100 dollars after going through a number of shirts that at best, got you through a couple years of wear. Not to mention you've contributed to creating more waste in a landfill, which we can all agree...we don’t need more of! 😖
SHIFTING OUR MINDSET FROM CONSUMER PURCHASES TO INVESTMENT PURCHASES
Buying high quality, sustainably made clothing seems expensive until you think about that math. Long lasting garments that you'll wear for years to come, almost always yield a lower lifetime cost. We've attached a graphic that will help you identify the cost per wear on any of the pieces in your closet or for future purchases:
1. How many days in 1 month will I wear it?
2. How many months in the year can I wear it?
3. How many years will this garment last before I need to replace it?
THE TRUE COST OF FAIR AND ETHICAL PRODUCTION
Okay, we've talked about cost per wear, but you still might be wondering WHY the clothes cost so much. We know not everyone is able to pay $100+ for an item of clothing, but at Miik, we do our best to make our clothing accessible through our bi-annual slightly flawed sale (everything is 50% off!) and special offers for subscribers (you can click here to subscribe). If you are able to invest in high quality pieces and timeless styles that will truly last in your closet, why not do so? Not to brag, but they're ultra stretchy and buttery soft as well...you can thank us later!
Let’s break down the true cost. Our clothes are made right here in Canada (all within 50 km of our Toronto office, actually), from milling and dying our fabrics to cutting and sewing the finished garments. The minimum wage here in Ontario is $14.25 and we contract local, reputable millers and manufacturers that pay their employees a fair, legal and livable wage within the province’s law. In comparison, most fast fashion brands produce their clothing in China or Bangladesh. According to this article by Open Access Government, garment workers in Bangladesh are paid a LEGAL wage of $96 per month USD. Assuming they are working 8 hour shifts, 5 days a week — that adds up to $0.54 cents an hour. Producing locally means the retail price of our garments reflect the wages we pay. At the end of the day, we're happy to pay more. We want to sleep at night knowing that every hand that helped create a Miik piece is getting paid fairly and is treated with dignity and respect in their workplace. And we know our customers want this too.
REDUCE WASTE, WEAR CLOTHES LONGER, SAVE THE PLANET
Another reason our costs are higher than your average fast fashion brand is because as a small business, we produce our collections in small batches. This ensures that every garment we create is worn and loved for years to come. Did you know that both luxury fashion companies and fast fashion brands have been caught burning their clothing and products, due to the overproduction of goods and the push to constantly put new products on the market? Many brands have also been known throw out their returns and exchanges because it's CHEAPER to put it in the trash than to pay someone to re-ticket and put back in inventory. After knowing all of that, charging what we do for our clothes suddenly makes a lot of sense. The first step to bigger change, is when you as a consumer, start questioning businesses and holding them accountable in their actions.
LUXURY FABRIC THAT'S BETTER FOR YOU AND THE PLANET
We're not quite done yet though! There's still one more thing to talk about, and that's our fabric. There’s a reason why we use fabrics that are not only high quality, but sustainably sourced. All our garments are custom milled in Ontario and made with rayon from bamboo or MicroModal, both of which are biodegradable and if discarded won’t end up sitting on landfills for years like synthetic clothing does. Did you know most of the cheaper fabrics that are used to make fast fashion styles are derived from fossil fuels which are NOT biodegradable and will indeed sit for hundreds of years on landfills, polluting our planet? Always check the fabric contents before purchasing, and look for natural fibres like organic cotton, Tencel, rayon from bamboo and Micromodal. In addition to being eco-friendly fabrics, they are long lasting, maintain their colour and shape, can withstand wash and wear, and feel like BUTTER to the touch. Seriously, once you've tried our bamboo leggings, you will never go back.
We hope this breakdown helps you to understand the true cost of local garment production for this small, woman-owned business. We believe that producing locally, even if it means at an increased price, is worth it. We are proud to be a part of making a long lasting difference in your closet.
Still have questions? Don't hesitate to reach out to our team, we love connecting with our community.
Your Miik team