We believe sustainability goes hand-in-hand with transparency — supply chain transparency as well as transparent pricing. You should know what you’re paying for so you can better understand the value of the garments you buy. 

Therefore, we have followed the example set by other innovative brands and introduced more transparency in several aspects of our brand. This should be the new normal and we encourage other brands to do the same.

What is the true cost of our garments?

The true cost of our garments consists of the material and labor costs, logistics expenses and donations. In order to pay for our company expenses (like employees and freelancers, investments in future products, insurance, website and transaction fees and marketing) we add a markup, which then determines the final retail price.

A sustainable and ethical production is not cheap, which is why the true cost of our garments is often as high as the final retail price of fast fashion items. In order to keep our retail price at a sustainable level, we choose a markup that is lower than industry standard and skip the middle man. The Slow Label is sold exclusively on our website and in pop-ups. We do not wholesale our products to retailers. 

How high is our markup compared to industry average?

Most brands add a markup of x2 (multiplying it by 2) to their true cost, which determines the wholesale price. This is the price retailers pay to purchase the goods and sell them in their stores. At least another markup of x2 is then added to the wholesale price, which results in the retail price. Luxury brands have an even higher markup!

According to this calculation, our €64 raffia bag, which has a true cost of around €27 (excl. tax), would cost €130 (including tax) in traditional retail. But because we only add a markup of x2 and sell direct-to-consumer, we manage to keep the retail price low.

If fair fashion brands add a lower markup, how come they are that much more expensive?

In order to answer this question, you have to look at this calculation the other way around: Let’s say a fast fashion brand sells the same raffia bag for only 45€ (incl. tax). This would mean the true cost is about €9 (most likely even lower).

The equation shows that someone along the supply chain is not getting paid enough. And it is most likely the person at the end of the supply chain: the garment worker or artisan. Considering this bag is handmade and takes about one day to make, this production price is shockingly low.

However, this is just an example. The problem with opaque prices and intricate supply chains is that consumers have no idea how much of their money actually goes to the people producing it. Even for fair fashion brands bringing light into the darkness is not always easy, as supply chain structures are still very outdated. But good communication and constant improvement are key in making the fashion industry more transparent. Read more about our improvement efforts here