Everyday when we get dressed, we take for granted the huge amount of human ingenuity, craftsmanship, cooperation, and labor that went into a pair of jeans, a t-shirt, or a dress. Cotton had to be grown and harvested, fabric had to be milled and dyed; prints designed, patterns drafted, samples sewn, machinery maintained, workforce trained and paid, product transported and displayed... It might not be as revered as the advent of indoor plumbing, but accessible clothing is such an indispensable part of our lives that it almost should be.
Right now, our company is in a staring contest with all these factors. We're hard at work costing our future products, and that means we have to weigh each potential cost that will factor into our garments - factory labor (grading, cutting, sewing, etc.); fabric; trim (buttons, zippers, elastic, etc.); packaging and shipping, and so forth. Essentially, we are determining how to balance three very important factors:
Quality of goods and ethics, which drives our production costs up: We want our clothing to last you more than a few washes before it starts to pill or fall apart, and we want it made by someone who was treated well and paid a fair wage.
Affordable pricing, which drives our retail pricing down: We want our product to remain as affordable as possible to the trans and non-binary communities. Standard procedure for clothing companies is to mark garment production cost up by 100% when they sell to a retailer, and then the retailer marks that same garment up another 100%. So, a garment that cost $20 to produce ends up selling for $80 in the store. We want to eliminate that inflated cost by selling our garments online.
Sustainable business: We need to ensure that our business policies, strategies, and management will generate enough income to pay for wages and salaries, warehouse and office space, and for the next shipment of fabric, and the next, and the next. Only by minding our business will we ensure the future of our business, and be able to serve the transgender and non-binary communities on an ongoing basis.