When we started SustainU, we want to be a company that made quality, sustainable clothing affordable for everyone. This seems to fly in the face of common perceptions that ethically-made apparel is of necessity, expensive, and only accessible by those with deep pockets and large bank accounts. We didn’t think you should have to be rich, to be more sustainable.
In honing our business over the past four years, we have found that it is possible to make high quality clothing in America from more sustainable material for a price that is affordable for everyone. One of the ways to do that is focus on simple, basic styles that everyone wears.
Broader appeal means higher volumes means less manufacturing costs means lower price
Everyone owns a t-shirt, probably more than one. We started with the classic tee because its broad appeal enabled us to manufacture more garments at a time. And the more you can make of anything at one time, the more efficient and less-expensive each shirt becomes. And we pass on those savings to people who like to wear t-shirts. Which is just about everyone.
Timeless designs are sellable longer, reducing turnover waste, which reduce costs
When we make a garment, our hope is that we would sell every last piece. We have to pay for each shirt we make, so we would love to sell it if we can. With basic, timeless styles that don’t go out of style, we have more time to sell the inventory, which reduces our costs. Remember parachute pants? Popular for about a week in 1987. And any they had left over aren’t moving today. Whoever made those passed on the cost of those unsold pants to you (and me, I admit it) by increasing the prices of what they did sell.
Simple clothing is easier, and therefore less expensive, to make
Basic, timeless styles tend to be simple and straightforward to make. It doesn’t get much more simple than a t-shirt. Simplicity not only eliminates the cost of adds-ons and extras, they are more efficient to make, because of their familiarity and long history of production.
Simple, basic designs are just one of the ways SustainU is making great, conscientious, more sustainable clothing affordable for everyone. Our dream is that one day, everyone will consider what they wear and the positive impact clothing can have on our lives and in our world.