The True Cost of Sustainable Fashion: Why It's More Expensive Than Regular Fashion

May 19, 2023

In recent years, there has been a growing awareness of the environmental and human impact that fast fashion has on our world. Many people have started to consider sustainable fashion alternatives, but have also noticed that these options come with a higher price tag. Why is this the case? In this blog post, we will explore the true cost of sustainable fashion and why it is more expensive than regular fashion. We will explain how fair trade, organic, natural materials, innovation, and traceability are practices that require investment, which reflects in the final price of these products.

Sustainability is about going back to common sense. We have to stop over-consuming, we have to be smart in the way we utilize the natural resources of the planet, and we need to change our consumption attitude and behavior,” shares Patrick Thomas, industry legend, previous CEO of Hermès, and MycoWorks’ board member.

Fair trade is a crucial element of sustainable fashion. It ensures that workers involved in the process are paid fairly and have decent working conditions. This means that the brands who use these ethical practices will have to pay a premium to source their materials and labor. Fair trade also guarantees that the workers involved in producing an item of clothing are treated with respect and dignity. Unfortunately, fast fashion companies have been known to exploit labor in developing countries, which leads to low prices but has an extremely high human cost.


Organic and natural materials are also an important aspect of sustainable fashion. These materials take more time and resources to grow and harvest than synthetic materials. It is more expensive to produce biodegradable fabrics such as cotton, linen, or silk than plastic-based materials. Additionally, organic farming practices are typically more labor-intensive, which also adds to the price of the final product. However, organic and natural materials are better for the environment and our health, as they do not release microplastic fibers into the water or air when they are disposed of.


Innovation and traceability are key components of sustainable fashion. Brands using eco-friendly and sustainable materials are constantly researching and developing new technologies to create better products. These advancements require investment in research and development, which can add to the cost of the final product. Traceability involves numerous levels of checks and balances that ensure that every step of the process is ethical and sustainable. This level of accountability can be costly, but it guarantees the transparency needed to meet the standards of fair trade and sustainability.


The durability or life-cycle of a product is also essential. Sustainable fashion brands invest in creating high-quality clothes that will last longer than the fast-fashion alternatives. They encourage consumers to develop a long-lasting relationship with their clothes, which ultimately leads to less waste and a smaller environmental footprint. These products require more attention in terms of design and production, but the result is a longer-lasting and better-quality item that delivers value to the consumer.


In conclusion, sustainable fashion is more expensive than regular fashion because it takes into consideration numerous factors that fast fashion simply ignores for the sake of lower prices. The cost of fair trade, natural and organic materials, innovation, and traceability adds up, but it is worth it. For conscious consumers, investing in durable and sustainable clothing that is made with ethical practices is the right choice for both the planet and the people who live on it. By learning the materials’ sources, the labor conditions, and the time invested in fabricating the piece, we can make better choices and support a more sustainable fashion industry. We can make a difference by being more informed in the choices we make as consumers and supporting the brands that align with our values. Together, we can create a more sustainable future for all.


MycoWorks has partnered with leading brands since its origin, brands that are committed to excellence, quality, and durability. Hear Patrick Thomas, a luxury industry legend, thoughts on luxury and sustainability in our new MycoWorks LIFE podcast episode and learn about MycoWorks’ partnership with heritage luxury brand, Hermès. 

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