Fashion fades, Style is eternal.
-Yves Saint Laurent-
Quality over a quantity, a phrase that most of us probably have heard uttered multiple times throughout our lives. Whether it’s in regards to relationships, time or objects; the phrase represents a preference for better things as opposed to more things. But how can can we define what the “better things” are when it comes to our wardrobes and establish what quality over quantity in fashion really is?
When starting out it’s easy to confuse quality over quantity in fashion with brand names, but in reality there are better guidelines on how to discern true quality so it’s time to savvy up! We’ve selected our favourite quality over quantity fashion principles below.
(Organic) Natural Fibres
Choosing natural fibres such as cotton, linnen, wool, silk and hemp means choosing a second skin that’s breathable and stays true to fit for long. Natural fibres are also biodegradable and generally a more energy and resource efficient option, meaning it is not only kinder to you but also to the environment.
It’s important to keep in mind that natural fibres are only as ethical and sustainable as the supply chain they travel through, meaning that non-organic natural fibres can in some cases be a worse environmental option than non-natural fibres due to the heavy impact of chemicals in the finishing process. For a garment to be called organic, the entire supply chain and all processing and colouring stages need to be certified environmentally friendly. This is why, sometimes when the label says the fabrics are organic, it doesn’t necessarily mean that the garment actually is. Instead it might the organic fibre have gone through a conventional non-organic finishing process. 💭
Radical Honesty & Traceability
Previously, quality was often linked to artisan production which required intricate skills but today with the practice of mass production even larger fashion houses have separated from their original artisan production. The goods are still often marketed as artisan made though with the supply chain hidden.
In a way, we have lost touch with knowing the origin of our clothing but, wouldn’t you agree that a major part of quality should actually include knowing what you are buying and where it comes from? For us it definitely does, because mentioning quality without relating it with a ethical and a sustainable supply chain doesn’t quite equate. That’s why we believe that radical honesty and traceability is one of the principles defining quality in the fashion industry as it allows us consumers to have a peek at what’s hiding behind the brand name, allowing us to evaluate how the brand’s supply chain aligns with our own values. Yes Please!
Price Per Wear
With the current throwaway pricing strategy offered by high street brands, the quantity in our wardrobes is certainly increasing alongside the quantity in the landfills where we throw away the pieces we no longer want. It’s pretty safe to assume that this doesn’t equal quality clothing, whether it be because of short-lived trends or bad seams, rather a inflow of easy to wear and tear clothing that we ultimately bore with quite quickly.
So how can we link quality and price? One of the best guidelines would be using the concept of PPW (Price Per Wear) which doesn’t only take into consideration the one time price you pay but instead estimates the longterm cost by dividing the price with how many times you wear it. PPW helps us take into consideration the true cost of a garment and promotes taking care of your garments and repairing them when applicable. Using PPW will allow you to understand your style needs and wants for the long term instead of chasing after trend buys that often have the worst PPW (yay for your wallet and wardrobe!).
What represents quality over quantity in fashion for you?
To know more about transitioning from fast fashion to slow fashion (Click)