A really difficult part of the creative process is pricing your work: I anguished for days about what I should charge for my latest work.
Miles far from the cheap throwaway fashion from the high street and the high street we decided to go over this limitating bench mark of British fashion.
Then I thought, the national minimum wage for over 21 is £6.19 and I am over 21. A skilled worker on average can charge around £20 per hour. I went to university and studied for 3 years I am a skilled worker. A jacket typically takes around 7 hours to make. On minimum wage that would be £43.33 plus the cost of fabric. So really, the least I should charge for a jacket is £60. However, at times it feels as though I can’t charge even that much. People buy names/brands as much as they buy garments. I am not a known brand but my work is de on the high street if not better.
I cannot compete with the high street nor should I be expected to either.
There isn't an established minimum wage in china, however on average; wages are around £5.55 per week. Most of the clothes you buy on the high street will have been made in china.
The days of ‘cheap chic’ and throwaway fashion could very well be numbered.
In 2011, the price of cotton hit its highest level, in real terms, since the American civil war in the 1860s in 2012 traders were worried that crops may be hit by floods in Pakistan and tropical storms across the US cotton belt.
A drought in Texas pushed the cotton price to $2.27 (£1.44) per lb in March 2012, a 175% increase in less than a year. About 50% of the price of producing a pair of jeans is the cost of the cotton. For other clothes, 60% of the shop price is the fabric cost and one third of that is the raw material.
China and India are developing their economy faster and better than the west and increasingly more and more workers aren’t going to accept wages of £5.50 a week.
Eventually it will be too expensive to produce abroad and manufacturing will have to come back to this country. And the general public will have to start paying for what garments should be worth in their economy.
With this in mind for the first time I am able to comfortably charge what my work is really worth.