What is the true cost of the clothes we wear? Does an organic cotton t-shirt really only cost a hundred? And what is the story of the traditional textile cotton fiber?
The true value of things can rarely be explicitly determined. But life is not a scientific experiment, so instead of explicitness, at least an approximate value is sufficient, a value that makes sense. In most cases, the fashion industry is built on a model that has worked since the beginning of mankind. The developing world provides the developed world with an extremely low cost of labor, which is therefore not realistically included in the price of the final product. And so a t-shirt made of organic cotton costs less than a hundred in a popular discount store.
The story of cotton can serve as an illustration. It was originally grown and processed in its place of origin, i.e. mainly in China and India, where all profits ended up. Cotton was one of the world's most important trade items in the 16th century and was also used as a valuable barter currency. African rulers, for example, found the colorful "Made in India" cotton fabrics extremely attractive and did not hesitate to exchange them for their citizens, who they sold to European colonizers as labor for American plantations. The colonizing powers very soon understood the need to gain full control over the know-how of cotton processing by moving it to the European continent and degrading the colonized economies to mere suppliers of raw materials. In just a few decades, they masterfully transformed global trade chains. Colonized Asian countries supplied the material, the European powers created added value, which they then exchanged for labor from Africa, and meanwhile the largest laboratory for growing, processing and distributing cotton in the world was being built on the American continent.
In the 21st century, it's as if the cotton wheel has turned back a little. After "Made in India" became "Made in Great Britain" there was another big leap, and so on all t-shirts not only from the popular discount store, but basically from any large multinational clothing manufacturer, you will find the inscription "Made in India/Bangladesh/China ". Instead of the know-how appreciated by African rulers, the reason is low costs, appreciated by European and American sellers. In short, according to economic principles, production moved to where it is cheapest. And the value of human labor seemed to be lost somewhere in the textile formula, or rather approached zero.
The true value of things can rarely be explicitly determined.
The real value of things, but it has to make sense.
1. We are not sustainable, we are responsible
Like you, we are tired of how sustainable everyone is these days. What does sustainability really mean? How is it measured? 100% love? Yes. 100% sustainability? Illusion. For us, sustainability is a term without content. For us, responsibility is a term we understand and follow. Every part of our production and sales chain is a reason for us to improve. For us, every customer is a responsibility that we fulfill with love and joy.
2. We believe in natural materials
We believe that our bodies deserve the best and so does the planet. Organic cotton, silk and cashmere are the 3 basic materials we work with. We try to gradually add more innovative biomaterials to our assortment that are gentle on nature and the human body.
3. We use 100% materials
Nothing is 100%, but 100% materials are much easier to recycle than a combination of different materials. An ordinary cotton T-shirt, which is made of low-quality cotton and improved with additives such as elastane, is much more difficult to recycle than a 100% cotton T-shirt. We use 100% high quality materials, to which there is no need to add other synthetic elements. These materials are ideal for recycling.
4. If we use synthetic materials, then always recycled ones.
We already know that nothing is 100%, so sometimes it is necessary to use a synthetic material, otherwise we would create a product with such properties that no one would wear it. And such a product is a waste of resources. But if we use synthetic material, then always recycled to minimize the need to produce new artificial fibers.
5. We produce locally
We don't want to contribute to pointless global transport routes where one t-shirt travels three different continents before reaching its owner. For us, local does not necessarily mean production in the country where we are based. Cotton fiber doesn't grow in the Highlands, and cashmere goats don't run around the yard on the Little Side. By manufacturing in Ulaanbaatar, we support local business and fight against the export of raw cashmere by Chinese traffickers who then mix it with wool and pass it off as 100% cashmere. Production in Portugal gives us the opportunity to use modern technologies in factories whose production is based on responsible principles and experience with biomaterials. Production in the Czech Republic is ideal for our limited collections, which require direct supervision.
6. We are building a circular economy
It is absolutely essential for us to destroy the linear principle of mass production: make - use - throw away. Instead, we want everything we make to last as long as possible. We support second-hand sales and plan to create a store with JUSTLOVE used clothes, participate in swap events and think about creating a JUSTLOVE rental shop. We send all the clothes we make to be recycled into textile fibers. We want natural wealth to be treated with respect and dignity, we want to change linearity to circularity and establish the principle: produce - use - recycle.
7. We innovate through technology
Just because you love nature doesn't mean you can't love technology. For us, technology is a fascinating world that allows us to make the real world of the fashion industry better. For the design of our limited silk collection, we used 3D visualizations for the first time. These will allow cutting errors to be removed before it is physically cut into the fabric. This eliminates the need to create sets of prototypes and consume a lot of materials and energy. Other areas in which we invest are recycling, the creation of innovative materials and the development of AI technologies, which are used, for example, to create so-called virtual cabins. These simulate how the given piece of clothing would look directly on your figure.