"Fashion fades, Style is eternal"
Yves Saint Laurent
Quality over a quantity, a phrase most of us probably have heard uttered multiple times. Whether in regards to relationships, time or objects; the phrase represents a preference for the longer lasting, as opposed to more disposable items. But how can we define what the "better item" is when it comes to our wardrobes? How do we determine what quality over quantity in fashion really is?
When starting, it's easy to confuse quality over quantity in fashion with brand names, but in reality, there are better and simple 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 Fibers
Natural fibres such as cotton, linen, wool, silk and hemp are more breathable and stay true to fit for longer than most synthetic textiles. They are also biodegradable and generally a more energy and resource efficient option, meaning it is not only kinder to your skin but also to the environment.
However, it's important to keep in mind that natural fibres are only as ethical and sustainable as the supply chain they travel through.
This means that non-organic natural fibres can in some cases be a worse environmental option than non-natural fibres due to the impact of heavy 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 textiles are organic, it doesn't necessarily mean that the garment actually is. Instead, organic fibres might have experienced a conventional non-organic finishing process, so try to check certifications and see how their the supply chain looks.
Radical Honesty & Traceability
Previously, quality was often linked to artisan production which required intricate skills. Today with the practice of mass production, even large fashion houses have separated from the original artisan production.
In a way, many of us have lost touch with knowing the origin of our clothing. But wouldn't you agree that a major part of quality should include knowing what you are buying and where it comes from? For us it definitely does. Because mentioning quality, without relating it to an ethical and sustainable supply chain, doesn't quite equate. That's why we believe that honesty and traceability is one of the principles that define quality in the fashion industry. It simply allows consumers to have a peek at what's hiding behind the brand name. It also gives us insight to how the brand's supply chain aligns with our own values. Yes Please!
Price Per Wear
With the current throwaway pricing strategy set by many high street brands, the quantity of clothing in our wardrobes is certainly increasing. Which also means that the quantity of throw-away clothing in the landfills is increasing. It's pretty safe to assume that this doesn't equal quality clothing. Whether it be because of short-lived trends or bad seams, we are constantly surrounded by a flow 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 Price Per Wear (PPW). The idea is to not only take into consideration the one time sales price you pay, but instead estimating the long-term cost by dividing the sales price with how many times you wear it.
This helps you take into consideration the true cost of a garment. promotes taking care of your garments and repairing them when applicable. As using PPW will allow you to understand your style needs and wants for the long term you'll be able to avoid instead those pieces that render a higher PPW.
This concept helped me to realise that something which initially seems cheap, but is only worn once might cost you more than a more expensive garment you wear for years (yay for wallet and wardrobe!).
Let us know if you have any great tips on how to decipher between quality and quantity in fashion or what quality over quantity in fashion means to you?