With any innovation comes doubt. The sustainable textiles industry is no stranger to this response. As we develop more products and source reused materials, we also attract a lot of questions. Why does it cost this much? Why does it take this long? Why wouldn’t I buy something brand new? We’re not discouraged by these questions. In fact, we welcome them. They’re an opportunity for us to share why what we do is so important, and why you should join us in our mission to reinvent the way people see their clothes.
Take a look at the shirt you’re wearing. How much did it cost? Now think about every shirt you’ve ever worn. They probably add up to a much larger grand total, and you probably don’t own most of them anymore. That’s what seems to be in style. As of 2016, most Americans disposed of 81 pounds of clothing per person, per year, accumulating to 13 million tons annually. It’s a lot of money wasted for you and your community, costing cities $585 million nationwide to manage. As staggering as it sounds, this is miniscule compared to the cost our planet pays.
The common misconception that clothing is easily dispensable along with our culture’s preference for fast fashion has left us with a problem– several, actually. Of the 13 million tons of clothing discarded, 84% reaches its final destination at a landfill or incinerator. It’s there that their fibers, dyes and chemicals break down into greenhouse gas, contaminate groundwater and pollute the air. Last season’s styles may have a fleeting lifespan inside people’s closets, but they stay around a lot longer than we think, biodegrading for hundreds or thousands of years.
With these facts in mind, let’s look back at the questions raised earlier through the lens of Reborn Clothing Co….
Why does sustainable fashion cost so much?
The answer lies in manufacturing. Part of what makes fast fashion so cheap is the way it is made, assembled out of poor-quality materials by grossly underpaid and often underage workers. We work differently. Our products are not mass-produced, but made custom for each client out of their own discarded textiles. This means we examine each order closely, matching our designs to the unique materials we are handed.This takes a skilled team of product developers. We’re committed to empowering our team and supporting them with fair wages for their high-quality work. The combination of special care, durable design and ethical practices puts our price points higher.
Why does it take longer?
When you make a purchase with Reborn, you’re doing more than simply buying a garment. You’re helping us a build a story, and stories take time. In our effort to work sustainably, we ask that you send us the clothes you no longer use for us to craft your product out of. That’s the first step. Once they have been shipped to us, the second step begins, when our product development team processes your materials into your unique order. Finally, we reach the third step, when we mail it back to you. This method is important to us. It’s how we extend the life of your textiles, and it’s a story in itself. So while we take things a little slower than the industry is used to, each minute is time well spent.
Why wouldn’t I just buy brand new?
We know that your money is hard-earned, and each purchase you make is an investment. So instead of investing in harmful materials that hurt the environment and exploit the people who make them, invest in Reborn. With us, your purchase goes toward supporting small business, environmental sustainability and the history of your treasured textiles. We’ll put in extraordinary effort to get a durable, stylish product back to you. It’s a good thing our products are made to last, because stories never go out of style.