As part of our commitment as a company to being fully transparent, we wanted to break down the cost price of our garments. Each piece has its own set of costs, including fabric, hardware, production and transportation.
- Fabric: We buy high quality, sustainable and all-natural materials from fully certified Italian and Portuguese mills. Many international mills use hazardous chemicals in the dyeing and treatment of fabrics which is not only dangerous for the environment, but also the workers; we choose to use mills within the EU because it enables us to ensure worker safety and environmental standards. Our fabrics cost us between 20 and 30 EUR per meter; we use at least 1m for small tops and 2.5m for our coats.
- Hardware: We put as much thought into our hardware as we do into our fabric selections. Our buttons, zippers and trims are sourced from all-natural or compostable materials, so you won’t find a plastic button or polyester zipper on any of our garments. We are so committed to this that we canceled a dress this season because we couldn’t find a polyester-free invisible zipper.
- Labor: Our clothing is manufactured in Portugal in small, family-owned factories — many of which have been working in the garment-making business for multiple generations — and we ensure that all our workers are paid fairly. Each of our garments requires great attention to detail to ensure the perfect fit and finish, resulting in a production cost between 40 and 50 EUR per piece.
We keep track of our entire production chain, from the origin of the yarn at the farm where it’s grown to the processing of the fabrics in the Italian and Portuguese mills, to the Portuguese factories where it’s sewn, and we visit all our mills and factories and talk to everybody involved so we can guarantee all workers are treated fairly and everybody involved has a quality of life to be expected of someone living in the EU. You can find out more about each of our manufacturers in our transparency section.
- Transportation: This includes all costs to transport the fabrics from the mill to the sewing facilities and then the finished garments to our fulfillment warehouse. It doesn’t include any shipping costs from the warehouse to you.
We calculate all this as the “true cost” of the garment, and we multiply the “true cost” by an average of three to cover the costs of running our business, such as our employees, our warehouse, and our research and development. Each style goes through multiple stages from sketching by hand, to prototypes and fittings until we finally decide for it to be ready to see the light of day. If we were not a direct-to-consumer company, and we relied on wholesaling our clothing to retailers, we would multiply our costs by three to get a wholesale price, and then by three again to get the retail price. By cutting out the retailers we are able to sell luxury clothing at a lower price than traditional designers.
We believe that Attire can only be as good as the people who are sharing and carrying our vision. That’s why our major costs are investing in human capital, like paying our brilliant designer Carmela.