The recent disaster at a clothing factory in Dhaka Bangladesh has brought the true “cost” of cheap clothing into sharper focus, to the extent that it can make for a feeling of discomfort for affluent westerners who delight in picking up a shirt or skirt for just a few pounds or dollars. The last few days have demonstrated that these clothes come cheap but often at a terrible cost.
The growth of online shopping portals has driven prices down even further in some instances as retailers and wholesalers are able to reach out to a far wider audience without the burden of traditional overheads such as mainstream marketing, business showrooms etc.
One particular example throws this into particularly sharp focus and concerns the embroidered workwear market. Cleaning company Proclean domestic cleaning glasgow had always used a local supplier for their staff uniforms and were happy with the service and personal touch., However, when they noticed entirely by chance that they could source the self-same garments, fully embroidered, for less than one third of the price they were currently paying , it gave them serious pause. They approached their regular supplier to see whether they could match the online prices. They were not surprised to find that they either could not, or would not. Either way the company faced a dilemma, particularly in such difficult economic circumstances. At a stroke they could reduce their staff clothing budget by almost 66%, ore pay more and stick with a local company
The online supplier it transpired sourced his garments from a wholesaler overseas and as the world becomes smaller, this is a growing trend. Canadian sportswear wholesaler and retailer SaveOnGoods specialises in the sale of funky animal hats and sought-after wild hats that can be seen just about everywhere on the ski slopes in North America and, increasingly, on this side of the pond too. Originally, they sourced their products locally, but now they make a twice yearly trip to Shanghai where they can find the equivalent products for a quarter of the price they pay in Canada.