Fashion Revolution Week, and what’s up with the organic cotton shortage
Fashion Revolution Week is an annual global campaign that calls for the fashion industry - and consumers worldwide - to focus on people and the planet over profit. Join us in celebration as we raise awareness April 19 – April 25. This year we have BIG updates. Read below to see what’s up in the slow fashion world.
WHY FASHION REVOLUTION
Fashion Revolution is an activism movement, founded after the Rana Plaza factory collapse. This week calls for clean, safe and fair working conditions across the fashion industry via policy change. This year specifically, we’re campaigning for human rights in addition to the rights of nature. Fashion Revolution calls for a radical shift in our relationships with each other, our clothes, fashion supply chains and the natural world. Join us by campaigning, or shopping fair trade today and support people and the planet over profit.
WHAT’S HAPPENING WITH COTTON - IT’S NOT GOOD
You likely didn’t hear, but there is an organic cotton shortage. The Trump Administration imposed an import ban on all cotton products, among others, before his administration left. While many here in the U.S. may not be aware of the situation, we’re working hard to secure our own supply of organic cotton to continue to produce our products.
Production is down from decades ago. Competition is even more fierce for organic cotton. It’s basic economics, but the demand is greater than the supply. This could mean Passion Lilie will have to significantly increase prices. We are a slow fashion company, and already working on small profit margins selling products at a reasonable price. Inventory may also be limited because of the shortage. Anyone who takes the Global Organic Textile Standard seriously (we do!) will be facing this problem, too.
Many large fashion brands who said they were going to use organic cotton have switched back to conventional cotton or BCI cotton, so they can keep producing at high levels for low costs. So while you might end up paying a little more in the coming months, the brands and artisans who make the slow fashion pieces will appreciate your support so much more.
BACK TO THE BASICS
Unlike our competitors, Passion Lilie does not use screen printed fabrics, only ikat woven and block printed fabrics. Ultimately these processes are more costly. Couple that with the 30-50% cotton increase, and our consumers might indeed see a slight increase. There are also very long lead times, so some styles may take even longer to produce and we may have even smaller quantities. When our next collection is launched, if you see something you want - snag it!
LET’S BREAK IT DOWN A BIT MORE…
- Petrol has gone up, which has increased the price of everything, including food costs (also thanks to the pandemic!).
- Inflation is happening in India where our garments are made - another obstacle!
- Organic Cotton Yarn (Passion Lilie’s fabric) has gone up in cost by 30-50% in India specifically, and globally by approximately 10%.
- Supply cost has increased as well including zippers and thread. Passion Lilie uses YKK zippers (which are the best - but costly!).
- At Passion Lilie, we have not increased our prices over the years even though our cost has increased. The competition has increased and so has the demand for a more “affordable product.”
THE BOTTOM LINE
Continue to shop fair trade fashion and support Fair Trade Federation brands whenever and wherever you can. Support people and the planet over profit. It’s worth it!