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Why Designer Products Cost $400

Posted on by The Revury

Quality designer clothes are expensive for primarily four reasons: (1) craftsmanship, (2) design, (3) designer and, most importantly, (4) quality of materials. 

***Flashback to the last time you got sticker-shock & wondered "Why the f*** does this sweater cost $400?!"*** 

We get it. Here's our explanation on why designer products are expensive, why purchasing low-quality "fast fashion" isn't a good deal & how to get quality designer products at "fashion fashion" prices. Read on. . . 


Starting with craftsmanship. Many high-end knits are hand woven rather than assembled on a machine assembly line. Often times, it requires a skilled laborer who is an artisan or skilled in the craft, which can be pricer than an ordinary tradesman. Labor costs are calculated into the retail price and therefore passed on to the consumer. 

Design plays a similar role, as a talented designer is needed to innovate new concepts and designs. Although the person sketching the design and crafting the product can be one in the same, the two elements should be appreciated separately; particularly since there is beauty in both a novel design and perfectly executed stitching. 

Designer, a nuanced variation of "design", refers to the premium paid for the name brand. It acts an insurance policy guaranteeing the quality, performance and "cool" factor of the garment. 

Lastly, quality of materials. This is perhaps the most significant factor as the quality of the materials underlies every aspect of the process. Starting with premium raw materials ensures the final product will endure the wear and tear intended for the garment. Standing the test of time. As they say, "garbage in, garbage out", which is why it is important to start with quality materials.

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Buying high quality products, of course, comes at a high price, but we assure you it's worth the purchase. These four elements have become the corner-stone of the "slow fashion movement"—whose principle lies in the virtue "quality over quantity." And underlies our argument that shopping "slow fashion" ultimately is a better deal than purchasing "fast fashion".

"Fast fashion" prioritizes quantity over quality by producing a quick turnover of ready-to-wear apparel using cheap materials and (often) inhumane labor methods to sell trendy fashion at extremely cheap prices. Think brands like H&M, Fashion Nova, Zara, and ASOS (Minimalism Made Simple). In these instances, fast fashion companies are more invested in turning a sale at the cheapest price possible, without consideration to human cost, environmental cost or quality of the product.

So, if the product doesn't last long, won't you just have to buy more? Correct! These are the items that you find and think you're getting a steal because it looks just like the name brand one, but is half the price. Well, while you might be right about it being half the price, it is not a steal. 

Purchasing a "fast fashion" knock-off at half the price also means your getting half the quality. The shelf life of a "fast fashion" knock-off is significantly shorter than a quality product produced by "slow fashion" methods. 

Think of it like this: A $400 sweater that you wear 40 times, comes out to $10 per wear.  BUT, a $40 sweater that you can only wear twice is $20 per wear. Funny how that works out, huh?  

So, while you think you may be getting a "steal," by the time you replace the initial product five times, it would have been less expensive in the long run to purchase the higher quality item that you could wear for five years. 

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And, I KNOW, the big argument for "fast fashion" is that it democratizes the fashion industry making styles available for the masses. That would be true, IFthere wasn't a secondary market for these quality pieces. But, there is. 

Secondary markets and luxury consignment shops, like The Revury, seek out authentic pre-owned "slow fashion" designer pieces and resell them, often at a fraction of the retail price! Making it a great option for those looking for items at a lower price point. 

Plus, here's all the benefits you gain by shopping pre-owned and supporting "slow fashion":

1. get your favorite brand at a great price (yay!);

2. receive quality product that will endure the test of time;

3. reduce the carbon footprint of the fashion industry by extending the product lifecycle and diverting the product from landfills;

4. reduce the demand on creating new waste;

5. support environmentally conscious product creation and humane labor; and

6. support skilled craftsman and designers.

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So the next time you find yourself debating between the expensive $400 (that you love, but will blow the bank!) and the cheap $40 sweater (that you know is low quality, but will probably do the trick)—cut the argument and get the best of both worlds by shopping authentic designer consignment at The Revury. 

Happy shopping! 

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