What's the deal with sales?

So you’ve started your journey into sustainable shopping—you’ve invested in a few lifelong pieces for your closet, and you’ve slowly moved away from buying fast-fashion hauls (only to wear the items once before tossing them into a donation pile).
Now you’re wondering, what’s the deal with sales?
If you buy something at regular price from an ethical brand, you’re trusting that the makers + farmers are getting paid fairly for the work and resources that go into constructing the garment. When an item goes on “sale” or when a brand runs a promotion it is important that they are transparent about why they are slashing their prices.
Finding things at extremely low prices is exciting (everyone loves a bargain!), but in being a conscious consumer it’s best to pause and ask yourself “what is the cost that went into designing/producing/shipping this item?”, and “who is missing out on a piece of the pie?”.
As someone who has done the research and has experience in all aspects of the retail industry, I wanted to share my understanding of promotions in an effort to help you feel the GOOD instead of the GUILT when reaching for an item that is on sale.

Fast-fashion and big-box retailers have a negative track record when it comes to offering steep discounts. The traditional retail industry as a whole encourages mass-consumption and mindless buying, and is controlled by large retailers who squeeze/cut costs (with maximizing their own profit in mind). There has been very little partnering with the makers and manufacturers who are putting in the work. Ultimately, when these retailers run promotions for you to take advantage of, there is no guarantee that the extra revenue is going back to people who matter most.

The fact is that most ethical and sustainable brands need to run promotions in order to move their inventory. Moving inventory helps to generate sales and furthermore, invests back into the producers + communities where your clothes are being made. The brands that we work with at Edify have developed long-term partnerships with these communities and giving them our business, support, and healthy working conditions is top priority.
At the end of the day, shopping from a trusted ethical brand who is transparent with their customers is the way to go. Trusted brands will find it important that the discounts you receive do not affect the makers pay + livelihood.
January 29, 2021 — Rachel Garrett

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