Made in Fuckistan. A quick jump into Denim costings and global sourcing.
Let’s forget about sustainability for one second.
Let’s forget about globalization, currencies, soft commodities and macro economics.
Let’s focus on social responsibility and how consciously we walk in our pair of Jeans.
We do not want to get in another indigo dyed moralistic theory, we just want to make a simple mathematical operation.
In fact it is possible to establish a basic formula for a worldwide standard cost calculation of one yard of Denim.
Besides cotton, all the factors involved in this calculation can change drastically (depending geographic and geopolitical situations), but we can put something together in a pretty reliable form.
So let’s create our fabric.
An average kind of ring/ring spun, indigo yarn dyed, sanforized fabric.
Nothing too crazy or fancy. Basic.
98% Cotton / 2% Elastan.
Here is what we need in order to produce our fabric in 2015.
One linear yard, 60 inches wide (approximately 150 cm):
– Cotton: 1,8 USD x Yd
– Elastan: 0,2 USD x Yd
– Water: 0,1 USD x Yd
– Indigo: 0,2 USD x Yd
– Other Chemicals: 0,2 x Yd
– Energy: 0,2 USD x Yd
– Human Labor: 0,2 USD x Yd
This very simple and approximative (but extremely reliable) calculation shows that one yard of Denim fabric costs at least 3,0 USD x Yd (2,75 Eu x Mt).
Why is the World full of Denim which costs 2.50.. 2.60.. 2.80 USD x Yd?
All second coice? Stocks? Left overs?
We are not even taking in consideration a bunch of very important factors which should be part of this calculation and more generally part of a sustainable economy.
Elements such as investments, machines amortizations, technologies, innovation costs, environmental impact,
If we summarize and minimize the costing relevance of all these factors we can realistically talk about 60 or 70 Cents.
Let’s also completely ignore any sort of general expenses a mill should have (marketing, sales commissions) and let’s not even mention the word PROFIT.
Do you really believe that one yard of Denim can cost less than 3.50 USD (3.20 Eu/mt) in a sustainable economy?
The answer is NO.
And the scary part is that 90% of Denim produced in the World is sold below these figures.
Most of this fabric is sold below its real cost.
What does this mean?
Obviously nowadays the offer exceeds the demand and the industry is taking advantage of certain global conditions which do not support human labor, rights and welfare.
We operate in a free global market which does not match a free global World.
If you buy one yard of Denim below 3.5 USD to make your pair of Jeans, well, you are very probably buying left overs, seconds, shitty fabrics or even worse,
you are supporting a system which does not care about Denim and the people involved in its making process.
Axel & Victor