Wanderlust looking at the real cost of sustainable clothing

As consumers, we are faced with making decisions about what to buy every day. We weigh our needs, budget and ethical views as we seek to strike a balance between sustainability and style. Anyone looking for ethical fashion will have noticed that clothes cost more, but why? We contacted the London brand, Starseeds, a “slow fashion” brand at the forefront of the ethical clothing movement to ask: What really explains the price of sustainable clothing? Mateusz Zawada, CFO of Starseeds, responds:

Fabrics are more expensive


Wanderlust TV Guide, Pip Elysium in Starseeds

“The prices of sustainable fabrics are, on average, two and a half to four times more expensive compared to the most widely used fabrics. This price increase is due in part because they are more expensive for manufacturers. For example, organic cotton should be grown in clean soil for at least three years to allow it to return to the level of biodiversity that allows the crop to grow naturally, without toxic fertilizers. It is hand-picked and does not grow as efficiently as the one using toxins, but the quality is much higher and more durable, which should make the cost just increase.

In addition, eco-friendly dyes and prints also consume more time and cost, which increases the price. “

Eco-friendly textiles are in lower demand

“While they are growing in popularity, as they are, eco-friendly textiles simply do not have as much demand as cheaper, mass-produced fabrics such as polyester or cotton (non-organic). The greater the market demand ‘a product or service, more competition, more makes prices go down when they are manufactured in higher quantities.

The same principle applies to organic dyes (natural dyes made from plants, animals or minerals) – the demand is not so high and therefore the manufacturing processes are expensive. Natural dyes require a large area of ​​soil to be obtained in any quantity, and you also need more of the dye itself (for example, 100 g of wool would need about 50 g of dried red root to dye it).

The finishing touches

Starseeds pants

“One of the many advantages of choosing sustainable fashion is that the clothes are often of a much higher quality, down to the smallest detail. In addition to the best quality fabrics and manufacturing processes, sustainable clothing focuses on high quality details such as yarns, fabric labels, hanging labels, closures and packaging.

Our pieces are packaged in biodegradable sheets which are then stored in large cardboard boxes. And as far as we can we will try to reuse all the materials involved in storage. When we publish, we use eco-friendly paper with water-based adhesive tape and recycled paper boxes. Our clothing labels are made from reusable seed paper, which you can plant and add to your home garden. “

How the pandemic paid off

The garment industry had a big impact when the global pandemic hit, and we asked Starseeds founder and designer Natalia Zawada how this era will create a new relationship with clothing for this generation. “During the pandemic,” says Natalia, “people had no choice but to slow down, turn inward, which naturally affects our decision-making process. Collectively, we became more aware and careful about consumption. The pandemic provided an opportunity for people to start caring about sustainability.


Starseeds provided the clothing for Insiya Rasiwala-Finn for the 10-day filming of Wanderlust TV in Bali.

On a practical level, being locked up at home made us more aware of the space occupied by clothes in our homes. And more globally, many factories around the world were closed or working with a minimum of staff that massively affected the flow of production. Here at Starseeds, our new collection made in Bali was delayed by months. Import-export became much more expensive. Packages did not arrive on time.

However, as a sustainable business with a responsible production philosophy, at Starseeds we are accustomed to dealing with delays, as we are accustomed to the inherent limitations of producing ethically and sustainably. Finding materials and waiting for them to be produced and dyed is one. Also, cutting and sewing at a normal pace, instead of pushing people to work outside of hours, makes the whole process slow compared to fast fashion companies. But it is crucial for us to choose the well-being of all the people who work in our supply chain.

Most consumers do not have the patience to wait. But from experience we know that our loyal customers can expect quality products. We hope the pandemic has shown consumers a little more patience with buying clothes. “

the seeds of the stars behindBefore you buy, ask yourself …

We asked Natalia what questions consumers should ask themselves before buying a garment. “The same questions we ask ourselves before designing a piece:

  • How much do I want this article?
  • What would I do if I was bored or no longer needed?
  • Will it last more than a season or two? (Consider the two aspects of longevity: quality and whether design can last)
  • What is the functionality and versatility of use? Can I take him out of the yoga studio?
  • How would you make me feel? (Consider some aspects: fabric, color, and style)

Yoga Beyond the Mat

When asked how the yoga mindset is expressed in the choices we make outside of our asana practice, Natalia shared how yoga has inextricably intertwined with her career and lifestyle. “My journey with yoga began about 15 years ago, but it was just after I left the Alexander McQueen fashion house in 2010, when I thought about improving my well-being and got more serious about the philosophy of yoga in Since then, yoga has become my way of life. my body, but in finding a healthy and balanced flow of life.Thanks to my daily morning rituals and especially to the practice of meditation I can say that I feel very present and guided by my intuition.A few months before the pandemic, I went I decided to move our business to e-commerce, and I moved to Bali. Thanks to that, we were able to move our production to Bali slowly. but we learned that po we have to survive. I just can’t imagine my life without yoga. “



Natalia Zawada is the founder and art designer of Starseeds. She received her bachelor’s degree in fashion / tailoring from London College of Fashion, her bachelor’s degree in fine arts from the Warsaw Academy of Fine Arts and is a certified professor of Hatha, Yin and AcroIoga. Natalia’s fashion journey began more than 15 years ago, while working for print magazines on luxury fashion and lifestyle in Warsaw, including Elle Poland. After moving to London, she did internships at various fashion houses, worked in the printing department of Alexander McQueen and completed her tailoring degree, following in the footsteps of the master’s degree. During her yoga journey, Natalia left luxury fashion to start her slow fashion brand Navada, and soon after, Starseeds was born. Natalia is also a lifelong yoga student and practitioner.

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