What’s behind Urban Jersey’s £99 price tag?
The biggest difference between brands such as Uniqlo and Monnerville is economies of scale which are a direct consequence of each brand’s size. Let’s compare one of Uniqlo’s top of the range polo shirts to Urban Jersey. As you probably know Urban Jersey is a cross between a polo and a T-shirt and we actually use the same fabric as polo shirts.
Economies of scale can be explained as the more of something you produce, the lower the unit cost. For example, Urban Jersey is produced in small batches of a hundred pieces so the unit cost is very high compared to other brands that order thousands at a time. Economies of scale apply to everything from materials to manufacturing costs. You can imagine how expensive making Urban Jersey is.
Adding to this is that Urban Jersey is made in West London as a deliberate effort to support local employment and communities. Most other brands manufacture in SE Asia.
Furthermore, Urban Jersey’s seams are reinforced with silicone to extend lifetime and we use a very premium organic cotton which is knitted in northern England so workers also need to get paid appropriately. You know how Monnerville is committed to the environment and doing the best we can to minimise our impact on the Earth. The majority of cotton farmers and workers live in developing countries, work extremely long hours, are exposed to poisonous substances daily and earning very little in wages. In fact, many of them have unsustainable debts because they are unable to keep up with employer demands. Sadly, suicide rates among cotton farmers have been high in the last 20 years. In 2013 alone 11,772 farmers committed suicide in India, that’s 44 farmers a day! A rule of thumb: if a cotton product is outrageously cheap, then know that someone else has paid the price.
Making a t-shirt from regular cotton takes 2,168 gallons of water. A t-shirt made from organic cotton uses just 186 gallons of water. Organic cotton is grown without harmful chemicals, leaving the soil, air and water free from contaminates that cause harm. Organic cotton produces around 46% less CO2 compared to conventional cotton. According to Textile Exchange, 80% of organic cotton is watered using rainfall. Using rainfall means precious water sources don’t need to be diverted to cotton farming. On the other hand, the extensive irrigation used to grow most regular cotton depletes groundwater and creates harmful runoff compounding the effects of climate change.