How Should We Think About What We Pay for Clothes?

Gerard Ortiz

How much would you pay for a white T-shirt? $5? $20? $50?

Whether you care about brand names, sustainability credentials, material options or not, cost is one of the biggest factors that influences our buying decisions. Clothing has never been more affordable or accessible, with everything from ultra-cheap fast-fashion brands like Shein, FashionNova and Boohoo to high street giants like Zara and H&M available to shop 24/7 with just a few taps on our devices. For the cost of a coffee, you can buy a whole new outfit. Meanwhile, we’re bombarded with messaging telling us to buy, buy, buy, with a host of incentives to spur us along: sales every other week, free shipping, free returns — you name it. That handbag you browsed yesterday? It now follows you around the internet via pop ups and targeted ads. Social media platforms have slowly evolved from community and content platforms into shopping destinations.

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